CORNER BROOK — Becoming a police officer has been on Dean Hull’s mind ever since high school.
Now in his third year of studies for a business degree at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, the Corner Brook resident is currently going through the application process for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
He will also soon apply for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
On Wednesday evening, he was one of about three dozen people to attend two information sessions on the RNC’s police recruit training program held at Grenfell. The sessions are part of a series being conducted by the RNC across Newfoundland and Labrador this month in advance of the Nov. 16 deadline to apply for the force’s next training program in September 2013.
“I’ve been to similar presentations in the past, but every time one is offered I try to attend because there is always new information available,” said Hull prior to going into the session. “I find, the more people I talk to, the better insight you get into a career in policing.”
Whether it’s the RNC or the RCMP, Hull is willing to be trained by whichever force wants him. If he gets the call before he is finished his business degree, he said he will probably pursue the degree after he becomes a cop.
He likes the opportunities a career in policing offers.
“It’s a rewarding career in that you can see how you’re making a difference in the work you are doing,” he said. “You are doing something different every day and it’s not the same routine day in and day out.”
The first of the two sessions held at Grenfell on Wednesday was for women only and was attended by 23 interested women. Alicia Power and Jenna Parsons both want to finish their psychology degrees first, but are clearly interested in becoming police officers after that.
Wednesday’s session outlined for them the process they will have to successfully complete before becoming an officer, including physical fitness testing, psychological assessments, background investigations and in-person interviews before they are even accepted into the police studies program at Memorial University. The university program itself takes a year, broken into two academic semesters followed by a third semester involving a field placement.
“This (information session) made me want to be a police officer even more,” said Power after the session.
They both like the great prospects of landing a job in their home province if they can complete the demanding training.
“It seems like a really cool job,” said Parsons. “You learn a lot of different things to stay connected with the community.”
Const. Pam Pike, one of the RNC officers who facilitated the session, was encouraged to see such a great turnout in Corner Brook after sessions in Burin and Bonavista earlier this week failed to generate any interest. Sessions held in St. John’s and in Carbonear last week were well attended,
“Several of those females (in Corner Brook) have already sent in their applications to the RNC and several others mentioned they are in the process of completing their applications for the deadline in November,” said Pike.
There are currently 412 RNC members in Newfoundland and Labrador and more than 100 of them, noted Pike, are eligible to retire in the next couple of years. Anyone who completes the RNC training program is guaranteed a job with the force upon graduation, she added.
“We need more people,” said Pike. “There is so much demand for other careers, so it is important we get out there and that people are aware the RNC is hiring and of the opportunities available within the police force.”
The RNC will hold another session at the College of the North Atlantic in Baie Verte today at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the RNC will be in Stephenville to offer those contemplating a career with the force a chance to do the physical fitness testing regimen that is part of the real training course. That will take place at the West Coast Training Centre from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Application packages and information on the recruiting process are available on the RNC website at www.rnc.gov.nl.ca or the nearest RNC detachment. They can also be obtained by contacting the RNC Recruiting Unit at 729-8729 or by email at email@example.com .