RCMP units visited the University of Guelph-Humber on Monday to encourage students to join Canada’s national police service.
Students coming to the Atrium in front of the GH plant wall had the opportunity to question service members from the Explosives Disposal Unit, Forensic Investigation Section, Police Dog Services and more.
Most visiting officers were dressed in uniform, from heavy bullet proof vests to the familiar red RCMP regalia. Beyond career information the guests also brought along a robot used to investigate potential explosive devices, photos from a drug lab in a recent Hamilton raid and underwater breathing apparatuses used by the Marine Services Enforcement Team.
“It’s mostly a little kid interest about seeing these things,” said Johnathon Reichart, a first year Media Studies student. “I suppose I would consider a position, I was having a word with the forensic officers about respiratory equipment and it was very interesting.”
Reichart later picked up a conversation with a service member about typical civilian jobs with the RCMP such as in communications or administration.
Because joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police may not occur to students pursuing post-secondary paths outside policing, the recruitment events allow the RCMP to reach out to students like Reichart whose complementary strengths could be put to use.
Some recent changes to the RCMP’s recruitment process make the path to a new career easier for post-secondary students. As of May 2016, applicants with a two-year college diploma are no longer required to write the entrance exam, a benefit that had already been available to university graduates for a year.
“We are taking individuals from any walk of life or background, we aren’t picky about that, we assess each individual separately,” said Constable Stacey Anderson of the recruitment unit.
Anderson was a popular presence and easily noticeable as she was the only one in the traditional red uniform.
For Cst. Anderson, an RCMP career has meant many different opportunities.
“I started off in British Columbia as a general duty officer and in Ontario I’ve done VIP security, the marijuana team, and I was an air marshall for over three years.”
She added that at recruitment events like this the forensics unit and dog services tend to generate the most interest.
However, students need to know that there are roles in the service unavailable upon entry but could be considered as career destinations.
For example, according to Sean McFadden, a corporal with an RCMP explosive unit, his department doesn’t typically see new recruits because they only employ two full-time staff members and a few part-time staff.
Cadets at the RCMP are given $500 a week, so for some with student debt, this could be an appealing option.
The hope is that recruitment events like this will make students aware of the wide range of opportunities available to them after graduation.
“The purpose is to show if you become a cop, you don’t just have to stay in that traditional field, and open up students minds to different chances,” said Allison Scully, the career services coordinator for the University of Guelph-Humber.
The next such GH event will take place March 30, when York Region police visit.
“Students will be able to attend an information session and even do a fitness test,” Scully said.