Serving as an RCMP Auxiliary Constable is a monumental commitment that takes volunteering to a different level.
After successfully completing 160 hours of extensive training, West Shore RCMP Auxiliary Constables must serve 160 hours a year of volunteer service at the detachment. The training involves completing courses developed by the Justice Institute of B.C., with assistance from the RCMP and municipal police forces.
“It’s a long, arduous process that requires a huge commitment,” said Cole Brewer, Auxiliary Constable Program co-ordinator for the past 18 months. “The security clearance requirements alone are much more involved than for the regular volunteers we have at the detachment.”
Main elements recruits learn about include use-of-force training, the criminal justice system, responsibilities under federal, provincial and municipal legislation, professionalism, ethics and discretion.
Assisting regular members with operational ridealongs, special community events like Rock the Shores, traffic control and helping facilitate such programs as Lock it or Lose it are some of the tasks Auxiliary Constables perform.
While regular members may leave or be transferred or promoted to a different detachment, the community benefits in many ways from the kind of continuity Auxiliary Constables provide, Brewer said.
“They come from all walks of life, backgrounds and different professions,” he said.
West Shore RCMP has one Auxiliary Constable who has served for 23 years and several others who are approaching the 20-year mark. “Their experience from the work they do and their knowledge of the community are great assets as well.”
The eight new auxiliaries who graduated recently will serve the community well, Brewer added. “This group will provide a consistent link to the community.”
One of those grads, Esquimalt resident Jevan Deigh, 23, hopes the experience he gains will provide first-hand experience and insight into a career in policing. He sees the program as an excellent opportunity to give back to the community.
“The training was pretty in-depth,” he said. “It required a 110-per-cent commitment and you got out of it what you put in.”
Although he had some use-of-force training in past with the security firm he works with, Deigh said this was much more involved. The two exams he had to complete also required “a lot of study.”
Deigh has completed four operational ridealongs so far as part of his 160-hour commitment. “The ridealongs were definitely more than I expected. My respect for what the regular members do has gone up big-time as a result.”
Other West Shore RCMP Auxiliary Constable grads at the March 13 ceremony at E Division Headquarters in Victoria were Grayson Kerr, Benjamin Leah, Robin Reichl, James Wingfield, Nicholas Brame, Melissa Sands and Khanh Traan.
– Rick Stiebel
(Editor’s note: Rick Stiebel is an employee of West Shore RCMP)