Dr. McConnell has worked within the criminal justice system for the last 28 years in a frontline capacity. Specifically, in this work, he has worked exclusively in gang prevention, intervention and suppression for the last 15 years. This practitioner experience combined with the pursuit of lifelong academic learning situates him for teaching and facilitating learning sessions on a variety of criminal justice-related topics and specifically gang and organized crime.
Dr. McConnell has held sessional/contract faculty status at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Douglas College, Royal Roads University, Wilfred Laurier University, and the Native Education Centre. Moreover, Dr. McConnell has been a regularized faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for over ten years in the Public Safety Communications Program, and the last several years in the Faculty of Arts-Criminology.
Dr. McConnell has an undergraduate degree from Thompson Rivers University, a masters degree from the University of Leicester and a doctorate degree from London Metropolitan University at the John Grieve Center for Excellence in Policing. His thesis is titled, Gangs in British Columbia: Mafioso, Gangster or Thug?, which included qualitative research with almost 250 hours of field observations in Chicago, Toronto, Hobbema, Los Angeles and London, England.
Dr. McConnell was awarded the Frederick Thrasher Award for Excellence in Gang Scholarship, Leadership and Enforcement in 2014 at the National Gang Centre in Chicago, Illinois. He served as a citizen participant on the Surrey Mayors Task Force on Gangs, is a member of both the Canadian and the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, and is on the Board of the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago, Illinois. He has published in both the Journal of Gang Research and the Journal of Police Practices.