Students train like RCMP at Vernon's at Jean Minguy Memorial Youth Academy

Students get taste of policing

Chelsey Mutter

A group of high school students wants to know if they have what it takes to become RCMP officers.

“I am here at the Jean Minguy Memorial Youth Academy and we are learning about RCMP work and training as an introduction to what it might look like if we wanted to follow this as a career path,” said Tiger Lily Butler, a student at the Vernon academy.

This year, 33 students are getting a glimpse at what law enforcement does.

The students stay at the Vernon cadet camp for a week to learn about officer's duties. Including waking up early, running laps, and reading to children.

Const. Joel Kooger is the school resource officer in Vernon. It’s his first year overseeing the academy.

“The kids basically get a one week depo experience. So they learn marching, they’re learning law, principles of law, powers of arrest, the history of the RCMP,” said Kooger.

A lot of the students attending the camp this year are interested in joining law enforcement in some way.

“That’s my goal for now [becoming a police officer]. This has been a great entry for me, and I’ll see where it will take me,” said Butler.

“I’m here because I want to join the Canadian Armed Forces and I thought this would give me a taste of the training I would have to do,” said Darius Reza, another student in the course.

This year, students will also be learning what it might be like to testify as an officer. They’ll take notes and information on a break and enter and then go to the courthouse to give a testimony.

“We actually have some supreme court judges and the sheriffs, some crown counsel and defense counsel coming there to run that,” said Kooger.

Kooger said he’s not sure how many students who do the program end up becoming police officers. He’s met officers in the past who had been in the academy.

“One of our police officers coming from Kelowna took this academy a number of years ago,” said Kooger.

“He’s excited to come back and share what he learned, and his experiences here, and how that got him into the RCMP.”

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