RCMP and NPSS team up for youth academy

Students interested in law enforcement careers learn RCMP history, entry requirements, and investigative techniques

The Fort St. John RCMP and North Peace High School have partnered to show students what a career in law enforcement could look like.

Sixteen students in grades 10-12 participated in weekly meetings with members of the local detachment, learning through seminars and mock drills what it takes to be a police officer.

Detachment Commander Insp. Tony Hanson is very supportive of the community partnership and was happy to greenlight the project, adding that similar initiatives have seen great success in other northern communities like Prince George.

“Anytime you allow civilians to look inside and remove some of the mystery, because there really isn’t any mystery, we all work in our silos, there’s always an upside to that” , said Hanson. “If people have a better understanding of what the police are in our society, what their mandate is, what their limits are, what their responsibilities are, it’s better for everyone.

Hanson added that Cst. Joshua Cullen came up with the idea and launched it with the support of his fellow officers.

“Agent Cullen is very community minded, he is also a high school athletic trainer. He told me about the Prince George initiative and I put him in touch with the people who ran it,” Hanson said. “He took their information and we created a kind of hybrid academy.”

Chris Nock, Deputy Director of NPSS, says the program has been a great opportunity for students and hopes it will continue.

“We thought it was a great opportunity for our students. Several of our students have expressed interest in careers in law enforcement or the military,” Nock said.

The students were invited to visit the local detachment, Nock added, noting that Cullen had also prepared an activity program for them.

“It ranges from learning about the RCMP and the history entry requirements there, to doing mock investigations,” he said.

Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at [email protected]