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More or Less: Chronicles capture RCMP cadet life

Opinion: As we celebrate National Police Week, it is important to recognize the role RCMP, as well as our city police, play in our lives.
Members of Troop 17, the first all female RCMP cadets, march at RCMP Depot on Sept. 16, 2009, in Regina, Sask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Troy Fleece

WEYBURN - Few images portray Canadiana like the red dress serge of the RCMP. A Mountie atop his trusty steed is a symbol that is recognized worldwide - the real life Dudley Do-Right.

With the Royal Canadian Mounted Police academy, commonly known as Depot, situated in Regina, most of us who grew up in southern Saskatchewan have visited the Depot and museum during school field trips.

Since 1885, this facility has provided training to thousands of cadets and continuing education to experienced officers.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to train as a cadet with the RCMP?

The Government of Canada website, RCMP Depot Division, is currently posting weekly updates, called The Cadet Chronicles. It follows the 26-week journey to becoming a Mountie, through the eyes of a cadet.

Each week’s post gives a glimpse into the present-day training through social media. You can follow The Cadet Chronicles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For anyone considering a career with the RCMP, this gives a great overview of what is involved in the training process.

As we celebrate National Police Week, it is important to recognize the role RCMP, as well as our city police, play in our lives.

This year’s theme, “Connected to our Communities” is especially fitting for our smaller communities, as the RCMP are often the only law inforcement in the rural areas. Community policing is at the heart of Police Week and RCMP officers and employees work hard to make the communities they serve safer.

In 2023, the RCMP will celebrate its 150th anniversary. Originally known as the North West Mounted Police, it was established in 1873 to maintain order in the new Canadian North-West Territories. It has seen many changes over the years.

According to the Government of Canada website, changes are being made to the RCMP’s strategy for modernizing the organization. Vision150 and Beyond is an “ambitious plan that lays out priorities, risks and timelines, built upon a series of key initiatives that will drive the necessary changes to support the organization so it can evolve its culture, address critical needs and become a modern, inclusive, and stronger organization”.

The initiatives are organized under five key themes: Ensure a safe, equitable workplace; address systemic racism; advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples; support modern policing; improve accountability, transparency and conduct.

The RCMP offers over 150 different career opportunities, and dozens of specialized units.

During the month of May, we have been honouring emergency personnel. Next time you see an officer, thank them for their service!