The following is a press release from Saint Mary's University.
Steve Meyer, police officer for the Mendota Heights Police Department, recently returned from a weeklong trip to the United Kingdom with 11 of his classmates in the public safety administration graduate program at the Twin Cities Campus of Saint Mary’s University. Meyer, who lives in Rosemount, will graduate from Saint Mary’s this spring.
The purpose of the trip was to get students out of their comfort zones and experience policing in another country. While there, the Saint Mary’s group met with people in all facets of the Northamptonshire Police department, from the lowest-ranking constables to Sir Hugh Orde, the United Kingdom’s highest-ranking law enforcement official (see photo). The trip was made possible through a partnership between Saint Mary’s University and the Northamptonshire Police.
“This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Katie Blackwell, Saint Mary’s student and sergeant of the Minneapolis Police Department. “The valuable information I learned has changed me as a leader and challenged me to broaden my horizons and think of the bigger picture in every situation.”
Students enjoyed comparing law enforcement in the United States and the United Kingdom. For example, U.K. police officers (“bobbies”) generally do not carry weapons. Only a very small number of officers are allowed to carry weapons after undergoing extensive training. Students were also impressed with the level of information sharing and collaboration among agencies in the U.K.
“One of our teaching philosophies of Saint Mary’s is to give students opportunities to expand their perspectives of their chosen careers,” said Lora Setter, director of the public safety administration program at Saint Mary’s. “This was an important trip for the students in terms of their career development, as our program prepares students to lead and manage public safety organizations.”