In the middle of July, I got to do something that every Canadian should do – I witnessed the most recent class of RCMP cadets graduate from “Depot Division” in Regina.
We see RCMP officers all the time – they are a regular fixture on our Canadian streets and highways. It is hard to imagine how the men and women we see every day started their career. What inspired them, or gave them motivation.
Most of us don’t know that many cadets did not see their families for six months before graduating. We don’t know that some officers left good jobs to become police officers because it was their dream or they wanted to make a difference. Others have generations of officers before them, whose legacy they are following. Many don’t know that these new officers even sacrifice the ability to ever work close to home, because they rarely get posted where they’ve spent all their life.
I was reminded what a hero a RCMP officer is while waiting at the hotel. A little boy and girl from Winnipeg were talking to me about seeing the “officer in red” in the lobby earlier in the day. When I told them I knew the officer and that he was a brand new constable they were shocked and amazed.
When he returned from his graduation banquet, I explained what happened and he told me to go see if they were still awake. The little girl was wide awake and couldn’t wait to have her picture taken with him. There was no way we could wake her little brother. What surprised me was that the next morning, my friend got dressed in full serge again and went back to meet the little boy before they checked out.
When I asked my friend why he did that he replied “Because that is what I swore I would do. There is more to being a police officer then catching the bad guy and that is also to encourage children to follow their dreams no matter how old they are – look at me, I am 40 and a miner for twenty-years – now I am a constable.”
We should all be proud of these men and women and thank them. When they swore to serve and protect, they sacrificed many things and they continue to sacrifice as they strive to maintain a safe society for the rest of us.
Photo by Marianne Curtis
The most recent graduating class of RCMP recruits parade at “Depot Division” in Regina before family and friends.