The RCMP Aboriginal Policing Section (APS) in B.C. has been advised that the Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program (APTP) could be proceeding in July and August of 2016.
The APTP offers Aboriginal people who are considering a career in law enforcement the opportunity to experience the work that Peace Officers do within the RCMP.
The program has been greatly successful in years past. Aboriginal Policing Recruiting Cpl. Bev Pitawanakwat says that the APS is attempting “rejuvenate the program” for summer of 2016.
“It’s a big undertaking,” she said, one that requires approval, commitment and funding from detachments across Canada. But in the meantime, the recruitment process has begun.
Through the APTP, participants train at the RCMP’s Training Academy (Depot) for three weeks, then are stationed at a RCMP detachment for the following five weeks to assist police officers with various duties. Preferred stations are the detachments nearest the participant’s hometown.
Locally, there are opportunities to be paired with First Nations members at the Chilliwack RCMP detachment, where Cpl. Pitawanakwat was stationed for five years.
Although duties will vary between detachments, participants will experience a variety of hands-on experience with crime prevention and community policing initiatives.
“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Cpl. Pitawanakwat said. In the training, “they get a taste of what it’s like to be a cadet. They eat, breathe, sleep – like a cadet.”
There’ll be early morning marches, runs through the training course, boot polishing, and plenty of scolding.
On the job, participants will also learn about law and criminal code, defensive tactics, and refine valuable skills like problem solving, public speaking and cultural awareness.
“People have fears that they aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or fast enough,” Cpl. Pitawanakwat explained. But the APTP is a way to “break down those fears that we impose upon ourselves.”
“It’s very challenging, and very rewarding.”
Quite a few pre-cadets are now members of the RCMP, like Cst. Simon Courtoreille, who is part of the Williams Lake detachment after participating in the program in 2006.
The paid program will not only physically and mentally prepare young Aboriginal adults for careers in the RCMP, it also develops candidates as positive role models in their communities.
To be eligible to apply for this program, interested applicants must be between 19 to 29 years of age, hold a minimum grade 12 education or equivalent, have a full driver’s license, and must be of First Nations, Metis or Inuit descent.
The national program will accept up to 32 people, an estimated 10 of whom will come from B.C.
Due to the enhanced reliability security clearance procedures required, the deadline to apply is Monday, Jan. 4.
To apply, submit your resume (with references) as well as the original copy of your completed and signed pre-interview questionnaire via mail or in-person to: Cpl. Bev Pitawanakwat, RCMP E Division Aboriginal Recruiter, Mailstop #101, 14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, B.C., V3T-6P3.
For more information on the program, contact Bev at 604-365-1297 or email email@example.com.