Merritt RCMP recognized for work as volunteers

'It's kind of a group effort that we're doing, and it works well'

Kamloops Daily News
January 30, 2013 01:00 AM

In the world of policing, the work isn't of the kind that always brings the men and women of the RCMP the recognition they deserve.

But officers with Merritt detachment have had their volunteer work acknowledged with a $5,000 donation to a youth-support program.

"It's kind of a group effort that we're doing, and it works well," Const. Tracy Dunsmore said Wednesday.

For the last couple of years, RCMP has taught an introduction to law enforcement course at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Dunsmore and Const. Kelly Bartch are among the officers who act as instructors.

The Mounties teach students note and statement taking among other basic police skills, she said. Lectures last about three hours a week, with a couple of hours of preparation time.

"It's about four to five hours of commitment," said Dunsmore.

Instructors are paid but because Dunsmore and company are with the RCMP, the officers' time is volunteered. Given this has continued for three years, NVIT administration decided to give something back.

"They said, 'Let's make a donation on your behalf,'" said Dunsmore. "You guys pick the charity and we'll make a donation."

The officers chose the Smart Step Program, a non-profit organization in Merritt dedicated to delivering programs and services to youth.

"It's kind of a leadership program and a lot of the youth have been in it for years and have worked their way up into leadership roles," said Dunsmore, adding Smart Step includes sports and graffiti clean up.

"It's a really good youth organization."

Dunsmore and Bartch do most of the teaching, but other officers fill in when the day job keeps them late.

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