As the Carlyle detachment of the RCMP heads into 2018, high on their list will be the recruitment of new members to help fill the staffing shortages currently plaguing them.
"Some are due to medical reasons, and others are just due to a lack of resources across the country, individuals that want to be police officers," explained Sergeant Darren Simons, "We're hoping this year that we'll be able to recruit enough people to fill those vacancies."
He noted that other locations see situations where members have to take maternity or paternity leave, and there's nobody to back-fill those positions. Injuries can also prove a problem, as individuals are often relegated to administration duties while they recover, leaving empty spots on the operational side.
"It's across the RCMP right now, and I know that some of the other police agencies are also suffering from the same issues. Added to that, we have some vacancies because we don't have enough people that are willing to become police officers nowadays. I'm not sure why they don't want to, but we do have a shortage," stated Simons.
For Carlyle's RCMP, their best resource is their members, who regularly try to encourage those they meet to consider the force as a career. While the strongest competition is the occupations in the southeast with more money, Simons said that it's 'a career like no other.'
"You get to travel if you wish to, but you don't have to move as much as we did in the past. You don't have to be bilingual, and you don't have to have a university degree. You have to be 19 when you graduate, but other than that it's pretty wide open what we're looking for. Life experience is the biggest thing that I think we need to see before they join."
"For me for example, I teach breath test courses and the approved screening device. I used to teach on our tactical troop, which is our riot troop. I do a lot of VIP duties on the side. There's lots of opportunities where you can just veer off from what you're doing to do something else for a challenge," he added.