Police chief visit becomes lesson in delivering news


Professor Susan Pedler holds up the mic for police chief Bryan McCulloch during a visit to the Welland Campus.

Journalism and Broadcasting students got the inside scoop on issues impacting Niagara – straight from Niagara’s chief of police.

Niagara Regional Police Service chief Bryan MacCulloch visited the Welland Campus on December 15 where he met with second-year Journalism students and first-year Broadcasting students.

The event wasn’t just a visit, it was an exercise in delivering the news, noted professor Susan Pedler. While Journalism students had an opportunity to meet and interview this key Niagara leader and cover the event with articles and photographs for the Niagara News; Broadcasting students reported from the event for a radio assignment. Many students also live tweeted from the event.

Pedler said that having a key Niagara newsmaker visit the College was a great experience for students and provided an opportunity for them to produce meaningful coverage.

“Journalists cover crime and justice issues all the time. But it’s not often they have direct access to the chief…especially for an hour,” she said. “I asked my students to come with well-researched questions. They delivered.”

What did students ask the chief? Questions ranged from the recent seizure of a local reporter’s computer at a Niagara Regional Council meeting, to the 2018 police budget, to the upcoming marijuana legalization and the issues it raises for the local police force. They asked about the NRP’s stand on mental health courts, police body cameras, and diversity within the force.

In addition to responding to questions, MacCulloch offered students words of wisdom.

“He gave them advice: make good choices; the choices you make now will affect the rest of your life,” said Pedler. “He stayed afterwards for more questions and to take selfies with the students.”

MacCulloch was named the new NRP chief in September after former chief Jeff McGuire retired in July.

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