For 26 secondary students from 100 Mile House and Williams Lake the first five days of spring break 2021 were spent learning first-hand about being a police officer.
Housed at Lake City Secondary School’s Williams Lake Campus, students enrolled in the RCMP Youth Academy tackled exercises such as marching drills, learning the criminal code, understanding the history of the RCMP or memorizing the phonetic alphabet.
They also did training exercises, including calming down a domestic dispute complainant or de-escalating tensions at an impaired crash scene, for example.
The Grade 11 and 12 students from Lake City and Peter Skene Ogden secondary schools began the academy on Saturday, March 13, were on task from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, and graduated in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 17.
A collaboration with the Williams Lake RCMP and School District 27, the academy normally attracts students from other schools, but due to COVID-19 this year’s was limited to LCSS and PSO, said Dave Corbett, career programs co-ordinator with SD 27, noting the students stayed in school cohorts and wore masks.
“We started advertising for the program in December and then Cpl. Bentley Johannson and police dog Grimm visited every Grade 11 and Grade 12 class to help ‘PR’ it,” Corbett said.
Donations from the Rotary Club of Williams Lake, Williams Lake and District Credit Union and Williams Lake Community Policing helped cover costs, including meals.