They’re looking for a few good men and women to help combat crime.
The Kamloops RCMP auxiliary program is recruiting, but those with commitment issues should steer clear because the training and time demands are extensive.
Likely you’ve seen them directing traffic at the Blazers games.
But they do much more — and their efforts tally up to a huge contribution to community
safety, some 10,000 hours of volunteer time a year.
They may help out at an accident scene, collect evidence, do traffic control or crime prevention education.
Auxiliary coordinator Kevin Beaton calls it the ultimate volunteer program.
Each member is expected to put in 160 hours a year, which is huge when compared to the time other volunteer efforts require.
Sitting on the board of a society, for instance, might entail meeting once a month for two to three hours, another hour a month for a committee meeting, 20 hours a year for special events, plus an annual strategic planning session.
Let’s say just shy of 80 hours a year, half the time the Kamloops Auxiliary volunteers put in.
It starts with vetting and training. Candidates must apply with a resume at the RCMP detachment, meet with Beaton and then participate in a panel interview with one or two regular officers, another auxiliary officer and Beaton.
Depending how that goes, next comes a security clearance check and a two-hour interview with an officer.
Training starts in January and finishes in mid- to end-April, covering 10 modules that include basic knowledge of the criminal justice system, police responsibilities, use of force, legal issues like powers of arrest and search and seizure, first aid, professionalism, ethics, tactical communication, what it’s like to go on patrol with regular officers, emergency preparedness, traffic control and officer safety.
There’s a mid-term exam that requires a 70 per cent grade, ditto for the final exam run by the Justice Institute of B.C.
Once that’s complete, it’s into the field-training program — roughly eight shifts where some competency has to be demonstrated in the various areas.
So it’s not a volunteer experience for those who want to dabble.
Why do they do it?
Don Torry, who has been an auxiliary constable for 37 years, says real pleasure comes from helping someone out, particularly in a way that makes an difference to their health, like a car accident.
“If you’re there on hand, you can maybe save them a few more years,” he said.
On the flip side, there is also a certain satisfaction gained in taking criminals off the street, people “who think they don’t have to abide by the laws,” Torry says.
“You get a chance to catch one and put them in their place . . . they are not just enhancing their lifestyle but hurting others’.”
“To be able to stop some of that nonsense, it adds to your life quality.”
Beaton says this will probably be the last recruitment for a couple years.
So if you’re interested in helping keep our city safe, learning what law enforcement is all about and aren’t afraid of giving up some free time, drop by the detachment by Oct. 15.