A group of high-school students from across the Okanagan got a taste of what it's like to be a member of the RCMP this week.
The annual Jean Minguy Memorial RCMP Youth Academy brought 26 students to the Vernon Army Camp for a week of training.
Const. Neil Horne, the Vernon RCMP school liaison officer, said the idea is to give them a “little taste of what RCMP Depot training is about.
“We give them some basic skills about police in terms of investigations, note taking, search and seizure, the principles of the law, the Charter of Rights and kind of give them the education piece,” Horne said. The students also go through mock scenarios with active RCMP members.
And make no mistake, this is no leisurely walk in the park. The students are up as early as 5:30 a.m and train well into the evening.
“It's very enlightening, it's very tiring,” said Grade 12 Clarence Fulton student Jordyn Kisilevich who is exploring the RCMP as a possibility to fulfil her desire to become a first responder.
“It's totally worth it and lots of fun. You are definitely learning a lots of things you wouldn't get to learn anywhere else.”
Rutland Senior Secondary School Grade 11 student Blake Pomeroy has wanted to be a member of the RCMP for as long as he can remember.
“I have always admired law enforcement. I could never see myself doing anything else than becoming an RCMP officer or conservation officer,” he said. “I believe they play an important role in society.”
Through the academy, Pomeroy said he is learning many important things about being a member of the RCMP
“Not a lot of people get the opportunity to do this and the fact that I got to do this is a big privilege. It's a great program...I would recommend it to anyone else.”
One of the things the cadet learn is how to make a bed and take care of their personal space.
While that might not seem like an important aspect of police work, Const. Chris Terleski said it is part of much bigger picture.
“The cadets when they arrive from day one are introduced to standardization. They are introduced to doing things the same way,” said Terleski. “The reason it's important is to teach them that standardization, doing things the same way all the time and doing things with attention to detail is incredibly important.
“It all links back to policing and it's important because we don't get two chances to examine a murder scene. We have that first instance of collecting evidence and then it might be gone. We are really trying to impart on them the importance of doing it right the first time.”
The academy is held every year in memory of Const. Jean Minguy who died in the line of duty in June 2005.