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Q&A with the President: Future Directions of CPKN


The Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN) is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and this monumental year is bringing change and growth for the organization.

We sat down with Sandy Sweet, President, CPKN, to discuss the upcoming change in leadership.




What inspired the search for a new President?

I have been aware for some time that CPKN would need to transition to its next president. In June 2022, a new leadership model was approved by the Board creating a Vice President of Operations position and a part-time President position.

The new Vice President of Operations – Krystine Richards – started her role in January 2023 and in May 2023 I was supposed to start working part-time. In reality, that was never possible. CPKN has seen so much growth and has such unbelievable potential that the idea of a part-time President became a non-starter.

After reflection, I felt that I could have continued as a full-time President, but I feel this is a great time for adding a new leadership vision to the mix. This will protect the incredible foundation that we have collectively built and find new complementary ways to provide value to the Canadian police community.


How will a new full time President affect the organizational structure of CPKN?

The structure will remain as is with the Vice President of Operations reporting to the President and the five Directors (Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Director of Learning Development, Director of Innovation, Director of Communications and Outreach, and Director of Information Management) reporting to the Vice President of Operations.

I assume there will be changes moving forward as CPKN continues to grow and add capabilities, but that will be for the new President and the senior leadership to determine.


What will the transition period look like for the new President?

So much will depend upon the experience and expertise of the new President. The executive search firm that we are using is committed to attracting a large, diverse pool of candidates. There will be candidates from policing, academia, not-for-profit, and private sectors. A policing background may be of value but by no means is it a prerequisite.

Certainly, Krystine as the Vice President of Operations and the leadership group will be a big part of supporting the new President though the transition period.

So, the transition period could be long or short depending on who is selected.


After two decades helping to build CPKN, what does it feel like to be stepping out of the role of President?

I am excited for CPKN. I think this change is happening at a time of great potential for the future. I love my job and this work. If I was 10 years younger, I would be chomping at the bit to see what is up the road and around the corner.

Instead, I am going to take the opportunity to slow down a bit and pursue some other interests, leaving the leadership of CPKN to others.

That said, I will be remaining as President Emeritus for the foreseeable future, supporting the Board, the new President and the Network as required. I am very much looking forward to that new role and will continue as long as I am needed.