2023-07-11 09:49 PDT
I’ve really felt incredibly welcomed by senior staff so this is a place I would highly recommend. In fact, I’m showing my buddies still in Ontario the mountains I get to wake up to everyday.
Whether it’s the British Columbia weather, the world class skiing or the interesting police work, officers from all over Canada are patching over from their police departments and becoming members of the RCMP.
Lately there has been a surge of municipal police officers that have decided to make a change in their career and join the RCMP, requesting to be posted in Kelowna. Before they can hit the streets within the RCMP they need to graduate from the Divisional EPO or Experienced Police Officer Program which is currently being hosted by the Kelowna RCMP.
The program is a divisional-based recruiting program that hires lateral officers from Municipal agencies, as well as, former RCMP officers. The BC RCMP deal with the entirety of the process at headquarters and complete the training locally at PRTC (Pacific Region Training Centre) in Chilliwack. The BC RCMP are the leading EPO program in the country having processed the most lateral hires in Canada in 2023.
One such officer that is currently going through the program is a transfer from an Eastern Canada police force and says it’s been a boyhood dream to wear the red serge.
When I was young my cousin joined the RCMP, so there was a picture on my fridge of him in his red serge and I always thought that was pretty cool. Despite my life taking me in a different direction, I still had that desire to become a Mountie.
For an officer patching over to the RCMP, the training is very similar to what they have already gone through before joining a municipal or provincial police service. Currently there are three officers training at the Kelowna detachment going through the e-learning portion before spending the rest of their on-hands training in Chilliwack at PRTC.
Much like the other police agencies, the RCMP has little intricacies that are little bit different, but it’s still policing, says Cst. Ian Lampshire who is patching over after spending time on the Lower Mainland.
Going through this program, it’s really all about learning what the intricacies are that make the RCMP what it is across the country. I’m enjoying this part of the program.
Lampshire says the program along with the people within the Kelowna detachment have been very welcoming,
The three of us in the program have been lucky to have had a very soft landing with good people here to help guide us. At the same time, they recognize that we have experiences in policing so they don’t necessarily feel like they need to hold our hand. We’ve lucked out coming to a place like Kelowna.
All three officers that are currently enrolled in the EPO program have a very similar theme when explaining why they are joining the RCMP; family and opportunity.
Cst. Aaron Kawano is patching over from a small municipal police agency in BC.
My wife got an excellent job in Kelowna, one she couldn’t pass up and we couldn’t do the 3-4 hour commute so we needed to find a place here. As far as opportunities within the RCMP, Kelowna is a big city so there are several different units here that you wouldn’t have in a small town, like Major Crime and ERT (Emergency Response Team), so in that regard it’s a great opportunity for myself and my family.
There are some great career changing opportunities at the detachment level, says the former Eastern Canada officer.
The way the structure works in my previous posting, is that detectives will do the whole gambit of bench mark offences including homicides or frauds but in Kelowna the units are subdivided so you can focus on one aspect of crime instead of a
jack-of-all-trade kind of policing. I like this better because after training, I could go into different units under one roof of the Kelowna detachment.
I’ve actually been living in Kelowna for the past five years, and commuting, says Lampshire.
With my kids here (in Kelowna), every move I’ve made was with purpose to eventually police here in Kelowna. I just wanted to make sure I could be around my kids more often and reduce the commuting.
Now that their families are settled into Kelowna, the officers can focus on finishing up and getting on the road helping their colleagues’ police the city.
Once hired, in addition to completing a number of on-line courses, Experienced Police Officers attend three weeks of orientation training at the Pacific Region Training Centre. After that is completed, the officers will be road ready, something that all three currently enrolled are looking forward to,
The sentiment from all three of us is that we are excited to be here and excited to get our training done so we can get out on the road to meet more people and to continue our careers in policing, says Lampshire.
The BC RCMP is always looking to recruit experienced officers and welcomes anyone thinking about patching over to begin a new chapter of their policing career.
I will say this, says the former Eastern Canada officer.
The command staff that I’ve met and the people of rank that have been part of our training have been amazing. I just don’t mean generically they are nice people, it’s been clear that they wanted us to come. I’ve been thanked so often for coming which I’ve never experienced before and not just from the people of rank but Constables on the road. I think the Kelowna RCMP has gone through an incredible transition with morale very high, so it seems like a fantastic place to work.
To learn more about the EPO Program click here.
Ryan SencarKelowna RCMP
1190 Richter St, Kelowna, British Columbia V1Y 6V7
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