Scott Bertrand enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in his role as a Correctional Officer.

Be a role model, be a peace officer and change lives

BC Corrections aims to boost hiring numbers with professionals passionate about making a difference

Scott Bertrand recalls receiving the hand-written thank-you card in the mail. That’s not unusual but this card was from a former inmate and Bertrand was one of the BC Correctional officers who oversaw his time in the provincial correctional system.

As a young correctional officer, new to the job, Bertrand supervised the man’s living unit, learning that they grew up in the same hometown. It was the inmate’s first time in a correctional centre and he was having some family challenges.

“He needed someone to talk to, about his life and plans. He saw there was no judgment from me and I was able to relate some of my experiences to what he was going through,” Bertrand recalls.

After the man’s release, he sent the card thanking Bertrand for taking the time.

“We really do have an impact,” Bertrand says, moved to know he affected the life of another person. “I really saw that many of our inmates are receptive to change and we have a huge opportunity.”

Double the opportunity

Over the coming months, BC Corrections’ Adult Custody Division aims to double the number of new officers it typically hires – offering meaningful careers for men and women with the skills and personal qualities needed in today’s peace officers.

“Our staff are our greatest asset and we believe they act as strong role models in both their personal and professional lives,” says Stephanie Macpherson, Provincial Director, BC Corrections, pointing to the BC Corrections’ vision of ‘Inspiring Excellence and Changing Lives.’

“Our staff truly care about helping those who have found themselves in custody. They want to make a difference and have a positive influence on these men and women. We firmly believe our leaders are so successful because they are such strong role models. Every moment we exercise the choice to display who we are as individuals and as officers. To us, it really is all about the people and believing there is an opportunity for change.”

Marking 10 years with BC Corrections, Bertrand started working for the organization at 19, fulfilling years-long interest in the field. “I knew at a very young age that this was something I wanted to do,” he says.

While incoming officers are often a little older, with other job and life experience, Bertrand brought both a keen interest, a background with the community and travelling, and awareness that communication would be one of his greatest strengths.

Inmates of all ages appreciate his position of mutual respect, demonstrated through words and actions.

“Communication is a huge part of what we do. I reinforce that I’m going to treat them with respect and all I ask in return is that they do the same,” he says.

“As soon as a client sees that you feel that empathy, it’s amazing how much progress you can make with them,” Bertrand says.

Rewards of the job

On a personal level, the married father of young children appreciates the growth opportunities and work-life balance BC Corrections affords.

With 10 correctional centres around B.C. housing about 2,800 inmates at any one time, BC Corrections employees work directly with inmates, supporting positive change in their lives and working toward successful reintegration into society.

In addition to compensation, benefits and pension, a flexible shift schedule also allows officers to balance family responsibilities. Professionally, Bertrand also enjoys the diverse career opportunities with room to grow and advance.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Proponent of controversial quarry looking to get out

Sumas Mountain mine has triggered widespread opposition

NDP statements may impact farmland-for-industry decision, Abbotsford mayor says

City has asked for removal of farmland from Agricultural Land Reserve to spur industrial growth

Ammonia concern prompted closure of Abbotsford ice rink

Ice arena at Matsqui Recreation Centre has been shuttered for more than a week

No immediate plan to convert farmland to sports fields

Abbotsford lacks ball diamonds and other fields, but solution could prove controversial

VIDEO: Widen the freeway now, Langley chamber insists

Business advocates describe cancelling bridge tolls and highway expansion as ‘disappointing.’

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

One dead after targeted shooting in Coquitlam

IHIT also asking for information about a car on fire nearby

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Heavy snowfall warning continues

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

VIDEO: Injury-riddled Vancouver Giants find a way to edge Edmonton Oil Kings

Giants win 2-1 at home despite missing four key defencemen from lineup

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read