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New Outlook officer getting a feel for riverside community

Rural area brings a different environment from Canada's Atlantic coastline.
Cst. William Hynes started with the Outlook RCMP in December, following through on a lifelong ambition. Photo: Derek Ruttle/The Outlook

OUTLOOK - The town of Outlook out here in rural Saskatchewan is more than likely a far cry from the probable hustle and bustle of Halifax, Nova Scotia out on Canada's Atlantic Coast.

For Cst. William Hynes, the newest arrival at the Outlook RCMP detachment who's been here since mid-December, the call to enter the force came from his family.

"It goes way back for me," said Hynes, sitting down with this reporter. "I suppose it was in Grade 8 when I kind of realized I wanted to do this. My mother inspired me, as she wanted to be a police officer, but she never ended up doing it. That's one of the things she regretted, not pursuing that as a career, and I learned from her as it inspired me. My grandfather was also serving, as he was in the Navy, but both of them wanted to be in the RCMP and give it a shot, so here I am now!"

Cst. Hynes is adjusting to the job, adapting to the new hours from those in his previous work.

"This is my first posting," he said. "There isn't too much to adjust to, but the only thing that's kind of wonky for me is my schedule. It changes so much. Before becoming an officer, I was a rope tech, and my hours were pretty set in stone, whereas with this, it's shift work and so it changes basically every shift. It throws me for a loop sometimes because I'll either come in two hours early or forget that I started my shift 30 minutes ago!"

The nice thing he likes about the job is that no one day is the same.

"Every day is indeed different, which is kind of the nice thing about it, as well," he said. "You can try and make a routine, but you never really know what will pop up. Most days are different, plus there's a lot of choice and freedoms."

That said, there are certainly challenges of the job, especially in the times we live in today. Hynes said being on top of information that people are looking for and ensuring that resources are available can bring difficulty, but it's all part of the job.

"Since I'm so new and on the younger side, being expected to solve every problem can be challenging," he said. "That's just entirely the job, but you have to know a lot of resources and things that you can reach out to in order to have all your ducks in a row, and that can be hard sometimes."

One of the benefits that he likes about the job is the flexibility that any given day can bring. If you're not finding yourself too busy with one task, you can always get out into the community to see where else you can be effective.

"There's quite a bit of freedom with it," said William. "If you're not getting calls and you wanted to go do traffic for the day, you can go do that. We also have a file that we have here, and it takes up a lot of our attention right now, but it's something that no one's breathing down our neck about it. That contributes to the flexibility about it, which is nice."

As someone who has pursued this kind of profession from a young age, the job is mostly living up to William's expectations. The only thing he'd like to see is things getting busier, as his arrival in December just before the holidays didn't exactly welcome him with a flurry of activity. Of course, as anyone else who calls Outlook and the surrounding Lake Diefenbaker region home will attest, that increase in activity is something Cst. Hynes will definitely see by the time the warm weather returns in the spring.

"For the most part, I'd say it's what I expected, but maybe not everything," he said. "This is a small town, so there's not the most going on around here all the time. When I first got here, it was right at Christmas time, so it was freezing, quiet, and no one wanted to go outside. Things can be a little slower, but apparently in the summer, things will pick up quite a bit because we also cover Elbow, so there's a lot of tourism involved."

In William's eyes, what makes the RCMP attractive as a career option are the possibilities and the chance to go further and advance your knowledge. There's really no staying still if that isn't what you want, and the opportunities to grow your skills are virtually endless.

"For me, it's the flexibility of it," he said. "There are so many different avenues that you can pursue as a career. For instance, I'm doing general duty right now, and everybody does general duty as their first posting. But if you wanted to specialize in any unit, you can specialize in any unit that you want. If you want to be a dog handler, you can do that, as it's a popular one. If you wanted to go with the Marines, you can go and be in the Marine Unit. There's Major Crime, Investigative Finger Printing Identification, there are just so many different sectors. So if you ever get 'bored' or you want to spice it up, there are so many different options you can choose from, which is what draws me into it, in a way. This is a long-term career, other than my old job as a rope tech. There's just a lot of choice here."

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