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Mounties seek new blood

BY KEITH LACEY The timing has never been better if you have ever dreamed of working for one of the most prestigious police services in the world. Const.

The timing has never been better if you have ever dreamed of working for one of the most prestigious police services in the world.

Const. Lynn Evans of the Sudbury RCMP detachment held a recruiting information session Tuesday at Cambrian College, to encourage people to apply to become a Mountie.

After detailing the rigorous application process, Evans showed a 45-minute video outlining the insanely demanding physical, intellectual and emotional
challenges required to graduate from the national training centre in Regina. Recruits must graduate to be considered for employment.

But this didn't dissuade any of the 20 potential recruits in attendance. They all held their hands high indicating they would apply when the first stage
of testing begins with an aptitude test next Wednesday at the College.

Hundreds of officers are expected to retire in the next five years, and the RCMP is currently recruiting replacements.

"Right now we're in the process of holding more and more of these recruitment sessions...because there's a very big hiring process ongoing," said Evans. "In the next few years, there will be hundreds of vacant positions."

Out of 8,000 applicants who qualified to attend the national training centre over the last couple of years, only 1,000 make it to graduation, said Evans.

The RCMP has 16,000 front-line officers and 6,000 civilian employees. They provide policing to hundreds of small communities throughout Canada.

The RCMP presence is far less in Ontario and Quebec as those two provinces have their own provincial police services, said Evans. In those two provinces, RCMP officers concentrate solely on federal matters and work mainly undercover.

Anyone from this area considering applying must be willing to travel and expect to spend at least three years outside of Ontario, she said.

Opportunities to work in special units such as underwater recovery and tactical units are readily available for ambitious recruits who seek out additional training once hired, she said.

Canadian citizens must be at least 18 with a Grade 12 diploma and a valid driver's licence to apply, she said.

Testing can last up to 18 months for those who graduate from the cadet college.

The first-stage aptitude test set for Nov. 16 takes up to four hours to complete and is followed by a one-hour personality test, all featuring multiple choice questions,

Recruits must pass an intense Physical Ability Requirement Evaluation (PARE) to qualify for cadet training, she said.

Selected recruits are given a one-on-one interview that can last up to four hours, which measures such personality traits as ability to learn quickly, mental toughness, leadership, oral communication skills and dealing with pressure, she said.

"It's unlike any other interview you will ever be subjected to...there's a 50 percent failure rate," Evans said.

If the recruits make the grade, they face a six-month stint at the national academy, one of the most difficult and rigorous tests of physical and emotional endurance and toughness of any police training course in the world, she said.

Anyone wanting more information about a life in the RCMP is asked to contact Evans at 671-0645, ext. 231.