2020 F. Darren Smith Award Winner Announced!

The recipient of the Darren Smith Award for 2020 is Simon Paré of Public Safety Canada.

This is a well-deserved recognition of Simon’s contributions to the adoption and advancement of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Canadian police and public safety sector. He meets and exceeds all the criteria we use to select the recipient for this annual award.

In 2004 Simon was leading of the fledgling e-learning team within RCMP’s Learning and Development. They were leading the country with respect to developing and delivering on-line courses. His boss, C/ Supt Graham Muir, was involved in creating a national collaborative approach to the creating of e-learning courses and Simon quickly jumped on board the initiative that became the Canadian Police Knowledge Network.

A little-known fact, it was Simon who came up with the name CPKN has proudly used for the last 18 years!

Throughout his career in the Canadian public safety sector Simon has worked tirelessly and has never lost sight of the value of collaboration and learning from colleagues and partner organizations. He has been a valued member of CPKN’s National Advisory Committee, counted on to keep us all updated on advances in new and groundbreaking learning tools and modalities – immersive simulations, augmented and virtual reality and advanced research – are all part of Simon’s toolkit that he shares freely.

On the international front Simon has also been involved in the creation of CUSTIG a group Canadian and US public safety players that collaborate and share on new learning tools. Canadians have benefited greatly from these partnerships.

It is clear through all his activities, initiatives and volunteering with organizations like CPKN that he continues to be excited about technology-enhanced learning and the power of collaboration to bring the best training to Canadians in public safety. Simon is never one to look for praise or recognition but this modest recognition of the valuable role he has played is long overdue.