Police camp preps teens

A group of teens are getting real-life lessons in what an RCMP career looks like at a special camp that started this week at ADSS.

RCMP youth camp cadet Hunter Gackstatter, right, cuffs 'perp' Devin Cusson while cadet Laya Walker observes. The cadets, both from Nanaimo, were participating in a crime scenario at the RCMP's Central Island Youth Camp at Alberni District Senior Secondary, Friday evening (July 4, 2014)

RCMP youth camp cadet Hunter Gackstatter, right, cuffs 'perp' Devin Cusson while cadet Laya Walker observes. The cadets, both from Nanaimo, were participating in a crime scenario at the RCMP's Central Island Youth Camp at Alberni District Senior Secondary, Friday evening (July 4, 2014)

A group of teens are getting a real-life lesson in what a career in the RCMP will look like at a special camp that started this week.

Thirty-three teens from Port Alberni, Oceanside and Nanaimo are attending the Central Vancouver Island Police Youth Camp which runs in Port Alberni from July 4 to July 14, RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan said.

The 21 boys and 12 girls will be taking instruction from RCMP members at ADSS, where they began arriving on July 2.

The camp is an extension of an RCMP youth camp that was held in Port Alberni two years ago, Allan said.

The 2012 camp was a mini-depot and gave students interested in law-enforcement careers the chance to see what training conditions are like and get some hands-on experience with policing.

This year’s camp has grown out from the earlier one, something that is more beneficial for cadets.

“We’re going to be having our sections from West Coast Marine, ERT and police dog,” Allan said. “We want to expose cadets to as many aspects of policing as possible.”

Allan grew up in Ontario and there wasn’t such a camp where she lived. “If there was I’d have been all over it,” she said.

RCMP Constable Shelly Schedewitz grew up in a separate part of Ontario where police camps were held. “The Ontario Provincial Police had a camp for anyone over the age of 19 who was interested in attending,” she said.

The camp had a recruiting theme too but Schedewitz didn’t need to be enticed.

“I already knew what I wanted but the camp gave me better insight into it,” she said.

This year’s camp in Alberni has attracted 12 girls – more than half the number of cadets in the course. The number is encouraging but not surprising, Allan said.

“As a whole it is representative of the number of females in the police world,” she said.

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