RCMP Youth Academy gives Kamloops high school students a taste of career in policing

“That way they can have something like a mini-depot experience, with the cots, working together as a troop, being exposed to all these different units,” said Cst. Crystal Evelyn of the Kamloops RCMP.

Students are visited by members of various police departments, such as the Combined Forces Special Law Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), which specialize in gang violence and are based in the Lower Mainland.

“This gives us the opportunity to come to the Okanagan and educate young people about UMECO’s efforts to combat gangs and gang violence in the province,” said Sgt. Brenda Winpenny with UMECO.

Students will learn about different law enforcement career opportunities – from dog handling to media relations to Emergency Response Team (ERT).

“I find the ERT team exciting because they’re kind of the guys who help people who are already helping, and they basically watch over everyone. [They have] a broader reach than what a standard police officer does,” said Cadet Christopher Bux, a participant in the RCMP Youth Academy.

A glimpse into the daily life of an officer inspires some students to continue their education upon graduation.

“Many of these students who went through the academy went through the UTR justice program and from there they became candidates for the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies,” said said cape. Dana Napier, who works in crime prevention with the Kamloops RCMP.

“From what we have been told in our presentations, it seems very difficult. You will face a lot of adversity and I always like to push myself and challenge myself to reach that next level,” Bux said.