Surrey RCMP holding career info session amid recruitment struggles

British Columbians are being offered a unique chance to become BC RCMP officers.

On Saturday, Surrey and BC RCMP officials are hosting a career information session, when applicants will be provided the opportunity to start the process on-site.

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“Surrey RCMP is excited to host this session as it will be the first of its kind here in British Columbia,” Surrey RCMP Sgt. Tammy Lobb. “Applicants can enter into a flexible posting plan, allowing them to work in the available positions across British Columbia if they choose to. If you’re from BC and want to police with the RCMP in BC, this is your opportunity.”

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Two sessions are being held on Saturday at the Surrey RCMP detachment at 14355 57 Avenue.

The first was for 11 am, where potential applicants got to hear and speak to both Surrey and BC RCMP officers first hand about their experiences.

The second session begins at 2 pm for an application workshop and a mandatory career presentation.

It is a requirement for all new RCMP officers to attend a career presentation.

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Back in early May, Global News obtained an internal RCMP report that said it was having a hard time recruiting new officers.

The report, produced in June 2022 by the RCMP’s Management Advisory Board’s Training and Education Taskforce and obtained by Global News, called for an overhaul at the national force’s Depot training facility.

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What’s more, it found “deep concern” about both the quality and quantity of recruits coming into the force.

“More than once, the Taskforce heard the recruitment situation described as a ‘crisis,’ a descriptor that did not strike the Taskforce as exaggerated,” the report states.

“The process for recruitment remains too administratively heavy and burdensome, lengthy and inaccessible for many prospective cadets, especially from remote and/or Indigenous communities. The Taskforce detected a profound worry among a multitude of key stakeholders, as the organization is at a precipice of a large number of retirements.”

The report warned that if the recruitment issues were not resolved, the force would be “even more challenging” to meet its commitments under provincial, territorial and municipal service agreements, and stated current members who are already stretched, could face more stress and mental health issues.

It said new funding for recruiting and advertising were a “good start,” but called on the force to develop a “multi-pronged recruitment strategy” with specific efforts to diversify the force and reach out to Indigenous communities.

Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation which represents RCMP officers, said the report represents a snapshot of a “moment in time” at Depot, coming out of the pandemic.

“A lot of their interviews and what they reported on is seven to nine months old. A lot has changed. They were obviously coming to it from a very recent post-pandemic Depot,” he said.

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“The place was a ghost town. It is no longer a ghost town. The amount of applicants, the amount of cadets, and the number of people in that hopper to become police officers in the RCMP, whether it be for BC, whether it be for Surrey, or whether it be for Nunavut, Newfoundland and Labrador is actually looking really good.”

Sauvé said the RCMP has recently cut the time from application to acceptance into RCMP training down to six to eight months from 16 to 24 months.

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— With files from Simon Little and Richard Zussman

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