RCMP to address understaffing
They are tasked with protecting rural areas, outskirts of municipalities and Indigenous communities, but there seems to be a shortage of RCMP members in Saskatchewan.
The Moose Jaw RCMP is one of those understaffed detachments. They have two vacancies right now.
“We had two potential candidates that were going to come, however one of them was able to get into the promotional process,” said Sgt. Tim Schwartz of the Moose Jaw RCMP. “That cancelled their transfer here and that caused those two vacancies to remain.”
One new member is to be transferred from Ontario, Schwartz said, and they are just waiting for him to sell his house.
Assiniboia’s RCMP detachment is also undermanned. They have one position open.
“We should have five constables but we have four, and I’m not aware of us getting that position filled anytime soon,” said Sgt. Donald Duplissea of the Assiniboia RCMP. “I haven’t been involved in any of those discussions.”
Schwartz said constables might leave detachments for a number of reasons, whether it’s to join a municipal police Now we’re finding a lot more members’ partners and spouses are working outside the RCMP. The mobility for families is becoming difficult. Sgt. Tim Schwartz, Moose Jaw RCMP force for more money or a desire to stay in town. Unlike officers in the Moose Jaw Police Service or Regina Police Service, the RCMP is not structured to allow a member to spend their entire 25- or 35year career in the same detachment.
“Now we’re finding a lot more members’ partners and spouses are working outside the RCMP. The mobility for families is becoming difficult,” Schwartz added. “People want to find some stability in their life and that’s a factor.”
Duplissea started working in Assiniboia on July 31. He worked in Ontario, British Columbia and three communities in the Northwest Territories. This is his first experience in Saskatchewan.
“For me it’s been enjoyable. I love to travel. I love to see new people. I love new adventures,” he said. “Some folks may want to stay in one area. I enjoy the abil-
ity to move. I didn’t realize how beautiful southern Saskatchewan was until I moved here.”
He said constables typically stay at detachments for three years but can stay for as long as five. There are some variables that come into play as some officers may be called up to fill a position.
“If I applied for a staff sergeant’s position and was the successful candidate, I could be gone within a year,” he said.
In Moose Jaw, Schwartz had a constable who had served here for five years leave recently and another leave in May. He said the RCMP is short on resources.
“They’ve been proactive in recruiting to try to reach individuals that have an interest in policing. There have been some changes to the application process to try to help streamline the process as well,” he said. “However there are still security clearances and a process that does take time.”
Cpl. Ryan Robertson is part of the ‘F’ Division’s proactive recruiting unit. He attends career fairs with colleges and organizations, speaking with students interested in a future with the RCMP.
“We provide them with information as far as to what the RCMP offers as a career and the entire application process as well,” he said. “What they need to apply, what the application process looks like and then what happens when they go to training and beyond.”
During the week, he visits towns once or twice a day to talk to students and host presentations about what training is like and potential opportunities. He said the students who have expressed interest in joining the ranks want to stay in the province.
“If you are from the province of Saskatchewan and wanted to stay for your first posting in the province of Saskatchewan, we can guarantee that,” Robertson said.
That being said, there are no guarantees about where in the province new members would be posted. Applicants are paid $13,000 and assured a job when they graduate.
“Anybody that’s 18 years of age can apply to join provided that they’ll be 19 when they graduate training. Training is 26 weeks long,” said Robertson.
Starting them early. Cpl. Ryan Robertson is part of the F Division’s proactive recruiting unit spoke with children at St. Mary’s school recently.