A Proud Tradition of Keeping Communities Safe

With the launch of the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) in the spring of 1978, came the beginnings of a post-secondary institution unique in Canada, if not the world, for its focus on justice and public safety.

The fledgling Institute started out with five academic areas under one roof – the Police Academy, Corrections Division, Courts Academy, Fire Academy and Educational Services. The first campus, with stunning ocean and mountain views at 4180 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver, was a former Second World War military barracks which had become the Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind before housing JIBC.

Two years later, the precursor of the Paramedic Academy was created to provide training for paramedics, only a few years after the provincial government created the BC Ambulance Service. In JIBC’s first decade, additional areas of study were added including the Centre for Conflict Resolution, the Emergency Management Division, and the Driver Education Centre.

The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation was established in 1993 and since then has raised more than $13 million in support of justice and public safety education at JIBC and funded more than 2,000 awards, bursaries, and scholarships to recognize student achievements and increase access to education.

In 1995, JIBC moved to its new home, a $30-million, custom-built campus centrally-located in New Westminster at 715 McBride Boulevard. Designed by renowned architect Richard Henriquez, this main campus allowed for the further integration of faculty and students from all JIBC’s areas of study, as well as a multitude of scenario training locations and situations.

Since then, JIBC has expanded to six campuses in total with the additions of facilities in Maple Ridge (live fire training), Pitt Meadows (Driver Education Centre), Chilliwack, Kelowna and Victoria. Each year, about 25,000 students study at one of these BC campuses, through online distance education, and at dozens of other locations in BC, across Canada and around the world.

Today, in addition to recruit training for all municipal police departments in British Columbia and BC Sheriff Services, it is responsible for training workers in BC Corrections, and community justice. JIBC educates and trains students for potential careers in law enforcement, paramedicine, firefighting and emergency management, search-and-rescue, security, bylaw enforcement, community care licencing, intelligence analysis, and tactical criminal analysis. It also develops and hones skills in counselling, mediation, negotiation, conflict resolution, and leadership.

JIBC’s students hail from across BC and Canada and around the world where its expertise in justice and public safety fields is widely recognized. The training of international students from as far as China, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia takes place both locally as well as overseas in subject areas ranging from firefighting and policing, to paramedicine and emergency management.

From its five original academic areas, JIBC has now grown to encompass its numerous areas of expertise into three schools – the School of Criminal Justice & Security, School of Public Safety, School of Health, Community & Social Justice – and three offices – the Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies, Office of International Affairs and Office of Indigenization.

In its first 40 years, JIBC has had nearly 295,000 individuals enroll in its courses, of which more than 40,000 have graduated from its programs – both non-credentialed programs and those culminating in certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, baccalaureate degrees and graduate programs.

As Canada’s leading public safety educator, JIBC offers internationally recognized education that leads to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates; continuing education for work and career-related learning and development; applied research that enhances curriculum; and customized contract training to government agencies and private organizations worldwide. Its pioneering approach to education emphasizes realistic simulations and applied learning delivered by instructors who are experienced practitioners. 

JIBC contributes to safer communities and a more just society by providing professionals with the knowledge, skills and abilities to excel at every stage of their careers and make a difference every day.

Last updated January 21, 2019