The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were in Drayton Valley on January 26 in the hopes of attracting new recruits.

Recruiter Neil Muz says there are RCMP visiting several communities across the province holding Coffee with a Recruiter and career presentations. Muz says he’s travelled through some of the northern part of the province including Fort Vermillion, Slave Lake, High Level, Manning and Grande Prairie. 

“I started doing this just before Christmas,” says Muz.

Right now, Muz is travelling through Western Alberta, starting with Jasper on Monday and then ending with Drayton Valley on the Friday.

Muz says that recruitment levels for the RCMP are low across the country, and they are looking for ways they can make the RCMP seem more attractive as a career.

In the past, Muz says recruits would apply for the position, go to Depot for six months, and then they would be transferred to any location in the country. Now, he says recruits can choose which province they work in.

“If they want to stay in Alberta, they can stay in Alberta,” says Muz. “If they want to go to B.C., they can go there. That’s way different than it was when I started out 20 years ago.”

However, he says there is no guarantee that the new officer would be able to choose which community to serve in. Recruits can select up to 20 locations they would prefer to go to, but they might not get them. Muz says the RCMP have to take a look at which detachments have openings or are in need of more support. 

Another change in the process is new recruits are compensated for their time at Depot. Muz says when he was going through the process cadets were not paid.

Muz says the changes in the requirements and in the training are a good thing. He says many police forces are struggling to bring in new recruits and to make the position appealing they need to keep up with the times.

Muz says anybody is welcome to attend the Coffee with a Recruiter or the Career Presentation, but those who wish to apply have to be at least 18 and they will have to turn 19 before they graduating their training in Depot. This is because the minimum age in every province besides Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec is 19 and officers need to be able to go into all establishments.

He says he tells anyone who wants to apply to do it on their 18th birthday. 

“Even if you’re a rock star, one of those very few that gets through the application process in six months and you get into training, you still have to spend another six months training,” he says.

The application for a position is found online. Muz says it takes about 25 minutes to fill out the forms and then the applicants will have to wait anywhere from six to nine months to hear from National Recruitment. If successful, applicants will receive a package they must fill out.

“From there you just complete the package with your eye and ear test, your physical fitness test, evaluation, and the background checks,” says Muz.

At that point, the package is submitted and reviewed. If the applicant is deemed suitable for the position they will be contacted for interviews. Successful candidates will then go on to train at Depot in Regina for 26 weeks.

“It’s a great experience,” says Muz. “It’s one of those things that you’re so happy that you did it and accomplished it, but that you never want to do again.”

Muz says he loves his job, but he says it’s not a career for everyone. He encourages those who are considering working with the police to really look at the pros and cons of the position. 

“The policing role is different than a lot of other careers,” says Muz. “There will be things that you never thought you would see or do in your whole entire life. If you’re up for that kind of challenge, then by all means apply.” But if an applicant has a list of things they aren’t comfortable doing, Muz says working for the police might not be the best career for them.

Muz says anyone who wants to attend the Coffee with a Recruiter can do so at the Cobblestone Cafe from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. He says coffee and snacks will be taken care of and it’s a great opportunity for people to have a one on one conversation with him.

The career presentation which will be held at the Clean Energy Technology Centre from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. will have a powerpoint presentation and an overview of a career with the RCMP.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 25, 2024 at 09:48

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

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