Const. Darryl McDonald shows students from Royal Bay and Belmont secondary schools one of the weapons used by the Emergency Response Team at the West Shore RCMP detachment. (Rick Stiebel/News staff)

Students schooled on West Shore RCMP

Presentations cover different elements of policing

Rick Stiebel/News staff

Students from Royal Bay and Belmont secondary schools got an up close and personal look at what goes on inside the West Shore RCMP detachment.

The detachment acknowledged Take Your Kids to Work Day on Nov. 14 by providing eight students with an in-depth examination of policing that included numerous presentations by different officers who shared their expertise on some of the different sections that make up the West Shore detachment.

“It’s a variation on Take your Kids to Work Day,” explained Cpl. Sean French, head of community policing. “It’s a great opportunity to expose students to the work we do here.”

Const. Matt Baker, the detachment’s media relations officer, spoke about the wide range of training and opportunities involved in police work. He explained his role in presenting information to the public, the importance of ensuring the media gets the information it needs, and how social media has impacted the way news and information are delivered. Using a motor vehicle incident as an example, Baker asked the students what they would want to know. Answers from several students included requests for details on how it happened, the time and location and whether there were any injuries.

Const. Darryl McDonald started a presentation on the Emergency Response Team with a short video that depicted a range of scenarios the team is trained to deal with. Abil Nurgalien, a Grade 9 student at Royal Bay, said the video was intense and provided a good look at the work the team does in realistic settings.

McDonald also walked the students through the equipment used by the ERT, including protective vests, tear gas, and a variety of weapons. The heavier vest used by ERT members offer more protection than regular duty vests, but “it still feels like you’ve been hit with a baseball bat,” he noted.

Other hands-on presentations included a look at the work Ident team does, as well as the dive team and the canine unit.

Leanne Harrington, a career education teacher at Royal Bay Secondary, said by using Take Your Kids to Work Day in a manner that provides a detailed an examination of a specific career, the detachment provided a “fantastic opportunity” for the students. “Some of the students have expressed an interest in a policing career,” she added. “This makes it more relevant.”

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