SD73 RCMP Youth Academy 2024

Posted On Thursday March 21, 2024

Heather Grieve, Board Chair

We celebrate the 13th years of the RCMP Youth Academy in Kamloops and the success of 14 youth who completed their cadet training in the annual SD73 - RCMP Youth Academy at Brocklehurst Middle School from March 16-21, 2024.

The students participated in six days of training together by spending days and nights in Brocklehurst as a group. They woke up early and prepared their bunks for inspection and proceeded to follow a regimen of exercise, meals, and learning to fully understand the Depot experience. These youth gained an inside view of what it is like for those young adults who successfully apply to become RCMP officers and are assigned to a troop of 32 members in a 26-week training program at Depot, which is the RCMP Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. Once they successfully complete the Cadet Training Program (CTP), they are then offered employment with the RCMP and given peace officer status.

Our long-standing SD73 - Kamloops RCMP Youth Academy is the result of our strong partnership with the RCMP that has only grown stronger each year since 2011. While we are not the only RCMP Youth Academy, we attract students from outside of our district. This year, three students, two from SD 36 (Surrey), and one from St. Anne's Academy (Kamloops) participated. Last year, we had students come from Quesnel, Hope, Seabird Island, Harrison Hot Springs, and Agassiz.

Corporal Napier shared, “The strength of our partnership is that everyone believes in the importance of providing this immersive experience to students and as a result, volunteers provide countless hours to this day-night six-day program.”

The students benefited from presentations RCMP Units: Indigenous Policing Unit, Police Dog Services, Emergency Response Team, Forensic Identification Unit, Tactical Enforcement Unit, Targeted Enforcement Unit, Traffic Services, Integrated Crisis Response Team) and associated services (Crown Counsel, Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, CBSA, ICBC Road Safety, CP Police, BC Conservation Service, BC Sheriff Service, Community Service Officer, TRU Police and Justice Program, Gangs and Guns Intervention Program - City of Kamloops). Students also participated in daily physical fitness training and learned Police Defense Tactics. Students applied their learning during a "scenarios night" (Tuesday evening - day 4) where volunteers acted out criminal behavior to which the students needed to respond.

Director Kienlein stated, “Each student who takes part learns a lot about themselves and whether they can see themselves in a law enforcement career. It is as much about testing out one’s interests and passions for the law and law enforcement as it is about choosing a specific job or role.”

The students took part in classes both inside and outside over the course of the week. There has been an emphasis on integrating Indigenous content throughout the course work. On Saturday night, students made drums under the tutelage of Constable Big Charles. On Sunday morning, academy participants and supervisors participated in a smudging ceremony performed by Randy and Amanda Big Sorrel Horse. The 7 Grandfather teachings have also been integrated into the academy. Each morning a teaching is discussed as it relates to being a law enforcement officer.

There was a blend of learning about the importance of note-taking and notebooks to reading someone their rights, arrests, handcuffs, and searches as related to the fundamentals of the Criminal Code. Students also learned the basics of conducting investigations, of personal defense tactics, and about the importance of determination, precision and teamwork.

“This experience has increased my passion to serve my community”, stated Sa-Hali Secondary student Specwitsa Grizzlypaws. “It has reinforced for me the value of discipline, unity and courage”.

“This is my third year witnessing the change in students showing how they have risen to the challenge of being disciplined and developing skills to participate in all activities and learning, including the final ceremony in which they are inspected, ”stated Superintendent Nixon.

We are so grateful to Superintendent Pelley, Corporal Napier, Corporal Tunbridge, Corporal Elwood, Corporal Underhill, Constable Martin, Constable Whiles, and Constable Sadler, as well as all of the officers who supported the programming. I also appreciate Amanda and Randy Big Sorrel Horse for opening with a smudging ceremony, and to our staff who were here throughout the week: Rick Kienlein, Robb Dolson, Julia Carlson and Melissa Neubauer.

The Board of Education appreciates the parents who took the time to support their children to take part in this academy. Thank you to the students who took a chance to learn about being an RCMP Officer and becoming familiar with legal and law enforcement careers. It has been a wonderful experience to take part in the closing ceremonies of this year’s RCMP Youth Academy.

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