Blue Line

GRADS 2016

April 21, 2016  By Morley Lymburner

Doctor Sergeant Jo-Ann Savoie

After a five year journey that saw a weekly commitment of 50 hours of research, class time and study, Sgt. Jo-Ann Savoie is now Doctor Savoie having just earned a Doctorate in Business Administration, with Honours, from Walden University in the United States and was ‘hooded’ in a graduation ceremony on January 30, 2016.

In her 20th year of policing, Sgt. Savoie is the Executive Officer to the Deputy Chiefs. Her work assignments have included Acting Staff Sergeant of Community Mobilization, Youth Coordinator, Crime Manager, Patrol Supervisor, Divisional Detective and Recruiter.

Her education journey began with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Western Ontario, Masters of Arts degree from Royal Roads University, Risk Management Certificate from McMaster University and then on to Walden for her doctorate.


“After finishing my Masters in 2009, six months later I still had the ‘bug’ so I jumped in”, said Dr. Savoie.

Skills Women Bring to the Position of Chief of Police is the title of her doctoral study. It’s a multiple case study that used a conceptual framework that incorporated the dual lenses of transformational leadership and doing gender theory. It was in 1994 that Canada had its first female police chief. Since then, 13 women have become police chiefs; six have retired and seven are current serving.

“It’s not a glass-ceiling study,” said Dr. Savoie. “It’s about leadership skills and the skill sets needed to be competitive. The exciting thing is that I was able to interview all 13 women who have held the position of Chief of Police in Canada.”

Coding and analyzing the interviewee’s responses showed three underlying themes that the participants considered mandatory for the position of Chief of Police: higher education, political and business acumen and effective interpersonal skills.

The research is ground-breaking as none had been done previously in this area. Recognizing this, Jo-Ann’s Chair, Dr. Carol-Anne Faint has nominated her doctoral study for the prestigious Frank Dilley Award for Outstanding Doctoral Study which is bestowed upon a Walden student whose doctoral study is judged as meeting the highest standards of academic excellence. And so far so good. She has made it through the preliminary round and her research is now being fully considered.

Along with her obvious commitment to continuous learning, Jo-Ann also has a passion for law enforcement and the community. For the past six years, Jo-Ann has served as President of Ontario Women in Law Enforcement, OWLE. Additionally, she was the Fundraising Chair of Wilbuild, the Women in Law Habitat for Humanity Hamilton project which raised $250,000 and saw hundreds of women and men in law enforcement across Ontario build a Habitat home for a family in need. The home was completed in December 2015 and the key turned over to the family just before Christmas. Jo-Ann also served with the Canadian Armed Forces from 1987- 2007 as a Reservist, retiring at the rank of Major.

Congratulations to Doctor Sergeant Savoie for this remarkable achievement.


Constable Christine Joseph B.P.S.

Constable Christine Joseph of the Vancouver Police Department was hired in April 2015 and after graduating from the police academy in December 2015 was assigned to District 1, which includes the downtown, west-end and Stanley Park.

Christine’s calling to be a police officer comes from her father who served with the Lethbridge and Edmonton Police Services.

Christine attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Political Science) with Great Distinction. She later attended the University of Victoria Law School and was awarded numerous academic scholarships including a Gold Medal from the British Columbia Law Society for being the top student.

Christine earned a position as a law clerk for the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and subsequently, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.

She worked with a commercial law firm and later accepted a position to assist a Supreme Court Justice on a very high profile organised crime trial. Christine became a prosecutor at the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse and later moved to the Appeals and Special Prosecutions Division.

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