RCMP Youth Academy attracts keen cohort from Williams Lake, 100 Mile House

Williams Lake RCMP Const. Nick Brown, left, leads students of the RCMP Youth Academy through a drill on Monday, March 15 at Lake City Secondary School’s Williams Lake Campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Williams Lake RCMP Const. Nick Brown, left, leads students of the RCMP Youth Academy through a drill on Monday, March 15 at Lake City Secondary School’s Williams Lake Campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
RCMP Youth Academy students participated in training sessions with police officers, including a staged impaired driving crash attended by Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members. (Dave Corbett photo)RCMP Youth Academy students participated in training sessions with police officers, including a staged impaired driving crash attended by Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members. (Dave Corbett photo)
RCMP Const. Nick Brown gives RCMP Youth Academy students a demonstration outside Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus. (Dave Corbett photo)RCMP Const. Nick Brown gives RCMP Youth Academy students a demonstration outside Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake Campus. (Dave Corbett photo)
RCMP Youth Academy students learn how to apply handcuffs from an RCMP officer. (Dave Corbett photo)RCMP Youth Academy students learn how to apply handcuffs from an RCMP officer. (Dave Corbett photo)
A RCMP Youth Academy student learns the art of using a radar gun. (Dave Corbett photo)A RCMP Youth Academy student learns the art of using a radar gun. (Dave Corbett photo)
RCMP Youth Academy students learned how to respond when attending an impaired driving crash. (Dave Corbett photo)RCMP Youth Academy students learned how to respond when attending an impaired driving crash. (Dave Corbett photo)
Cpl. Bentley Johannson goes over the evening’s training exercises on Monday, March 15, with students at the RCMP Youth Academy held at Lake City Secondary Williams Lake Campus the first five days of spring break. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Cpl. Bentley Johannson goes over the evening’s training exercises on Monday, March 15, with students at the RCMP Youth Academy held at Lake City Secondary Williams Lake Campus the first five days of spring break. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

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.

RCMP Cpl. Bentley Johannson co-ordinated the academy and said the students met the RCMP emergency helicopter from Prince George and members of the RCMP emergency response team at the airport Monday.

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.

Corbett said they try to hold the academy every second year.

After leading the students through their drills Monday evening, RCMP Const. Nick Brown praised their efforts.

“These are fantastic kids — their ability to learn and retain things absolutely blows me away,” he said.

Read more: Students from three school districts gain skills at RCMP Youth Academy



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