Special Constable Shannon Calladine began working with CAA in 2019 when she joined the community services department at Barrie Police Service. At that time, there were 38 schools and over 900 patrollers in the program trained by four officers from Barrie Police Service, who has been a dedicated program partner for over 60 years.
But then came COVID, which saw a significant reduction of schools, student participation and other challenges. Shannon along with Barrie Police Service, could have made the decision to cancel the program during COVID but instead Shannon used this as an opportunity to keep the program going while creating better, more efficient processes for the SSP program in Barrie.
With only one Special Constable in the unit, Calladine provided safety patrol training on her own throughout the 2021-2022 school year. She was able to collaborate with other members of the service who, through technology, assisted in enhancing their ability to serve the community. Together, a portal was created on the Barrie Police Service website housing all the CAA School Safety Patrol documents the school would need to complete their training process.
Schools were invited to join this portal and could also access a brand-new online booking system to schedule dates and times for safety patrol training.
To make the program more accessible to schools during the pandemic, Shannon ensured that training was offered to schools in ‘cohorts,’ if it was required, based on COVID regulations. Since CAA had made the videos available for schools to watch before officer arrival, Shannon was able to maintain COVID-19 standards by offering an outdoor Q&A session, and the practical application of the training.
Shannon’s passion, enthusiasm, commitment and genuine care for the well-being of the students is evident in her accommodation. If students were absent due to COVID-19 restrictions, Shannon was happy to reattend to train those who missed the first round of training.
While safety patrollers missed in-person events over the last couple of years, Shannon still made sure to show her appreciation for all they do.
This year, Shannon is excited to resume in-person events again and to grow the CAA School Safety Patrol program in Barrie with her creativity and resilience.
Outside of her police life, Shannon is a mom of four (fun fact, her oldest daughter was a patroller in 2006) and has worked at the Barrie Recreation Centres for 19 years.