With thousands of Mounties nearing or already at retirement age, Canada’s national police force is continuing its aggressive campaign to recruit new officers and by all indications, the strategy is paying off, at least locally.
“Recently we’ve had numerous inquiries at the detachment from people ranging in age from 18 years all the way up, and we’ve had people go through the academy up to 55 years of age, I believe,” said Sgt. Mark Groves. “We’re always looking for good people from Alberta who are physically fit, with strong moral character and ethics, with compassion, integrity and honesty. We’re looking for people from all walks of life, and we certainly get excited when somebody from small-town Alberta applies who has all of the good attributes that we seek.”
Groves said one of the most compelling aspects of a career with the RCMP is the fact that every day is a new adventure and officers never know exactly what they’ll be doing from one moment to another.
“Well, it’s unlike any other job. You could be challenged every day with a new experience. It’s not like the typical ‘8 to 5’ job where you know what you’ll be doing at 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. everyday because at any minute, it could change,” he said. “Also, it’s always nice to have a challenge and in today’s world where people will change their jobs every few years, in the RCMP you can maintain a career for 25 years but do something different every few years if you wanted to.”
In addition to regular duties as a constable, the RCMP offers a wide variety of interesting and exciting career options such as working with the Police Dog Service, commercial crime, drug enforcement, forensics, explosives, Customs and Excise, or as a member of the force’s numerous squads including the Emergency Response Team along with a host of other opportunities.
Another intangible that the RCMP offers is the camaraderie established between new recruits, that in the case of Groves for example, could last a lifetime. Over his 15-year career in policing, including nine years in the RCMP at five different positions, he has also made friendships with people from all walks of life including gold miners, big game outfitters, businesspeople, farmers and many others.
“Being trained at depot in Regina, you meet your troop-mates who become like brothers and sisters and of course they get posted in all parts of Canada from coast to coast so you’ve instantly developed a bond and a close friendship with say 30 other people and those people in some cases, become lifelong friends,” Groves said.
Furthermore, not only would a career with the national police force provide a person with the opportunity of seeing many parts of Canada that they normally wouldn’t, officers can also experience working in more international settings.
“A constable who worked for me a few years ago just got back from a one-year mission in Sudan. The young man was 29 years old and in that one year he got to see many different countries in Africa on top of the service he did in Sudan,” Groves said. “He saw everything from elephants to lions and how people lived. All of those life experiences as well as knowing that you served a community over there and helped to make Canada renowned for being helpful and compassionate, and all of those things can be very rewarding.”
A career in the RCMP also offers numerous benefits, including above average remuneration, early retirement and a significant pension, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
“None of us joined the force for the paycheque, but it’s a pretty fulfilling career knowing that you helped somebody in their moment of need,” Groves said. “That’s why we all joined — to serve the community. Certainly there are higher paying jobs out there, but maybe not as rewarding.”
Anyone interested in joining the RCMP is invited to drop by the Rimbey Detachment for more information or to discuss career options with Groves or one of the other officers. They can also access more information online by visiting: www.rcmp.ca or by phoning 1-877-RCMP-GRC.