Young women from Gold River and Tahsis get exposure to RCMP tools and techniques

From mock crime scenes, pepper spray and police dogs, youths get insight into policing

From dispatching their own emergency call to investigating a mock crime scene and watching a take-down scenario, athletes from the Gold River Senior Secondary girls basketball team in School District 84 got to experience and learn about various roles and tools used by police officers to investigate and solve crimes.

On Jan. 27, 14 young women ages 13 to 17 years old from Gold River and Tahsis, accompanied by vice principal Jeff Rockwell as the teacher sponsor and support, participated in a youth training day at the BC RCMP’s Pacific Region Training Centre (PRTC) in Chilliwack, BC.

Their morning consisted of learning about the tools on police duty belts as well as other tools such as Oleoresin Capsicum (pepper) spray, batons and conductive energy weapons. Then they moved on to a Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) demo and had an opportunity to try some of the physical exercises themselves.

“We are so grateful for the RCMP for being able to accommodate such an incredible learning experience for these young women, some of whom rarely leave the island,” Gold River Mayor Brad Unger, who drove the bus for the girls after their original bus driver broke an ankle, said in a Nootka Sound RCMP press release. “The support of the community has also been amazing. A local mining company, Nyrstar, made an $800 donation and the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation has donated $2,000. The girls had also previously earned $1,500 in exchange for leaf raking at the Gold River Lodge. With all of this community support, their trip expenses have been covered, making this experience possible.”

In the afternoon, the young women were divided into investigative groups and they began with a mock emergency call into the 911 police dispatch centre. One group of students got to act in the role of a dispatcher and dispatch out their colleagues to a “shots fired” call for investigation.

Upon arriving at the mock crime scene, the students learned about how police officers clear the scene of any threats so they can proceed safely with investigating the crime scene. The young women learned about the responsibilities of police officers at a crime scene such as attempting to save a man’s life by administering first-aid and preserving evidence needed to further the investigation. They were also shown a demonstration on locating and seizing fingerprints left behind by suspects at a crime scene.

The final portion of the mock investigation included the search of a venue where a suspect responsible for the shooting was located and the students watched RCMP police officers conduct a high risk take down and arrest.

The students continued on outside where they met with Constable Carey from the Lower Mainland District Integrated Police Dog Service and his Police Service Dog Jedi who demonstrated the various commands police dogs respond to and how their services are used in assisting to track and locate a suspect. The young women also learned what different types of skillsets and portfolios different dogs have and what it takes to be part of such a specialized team.

The day came to an end with target practice with paint simunition rounds which was definitely a highlight for many of the students.

“These female athletes have been working hard to perform well on the court, in their classes and most importantly in our communities. It has been our pleasure to provide opportunities for experiences that may help them in shaping their future. If we are lucky some of them may even decide to join the RCMP and we would be proud to have them in our ranks,” said Cpl. Kimberly Rutherford of Nootka Sound RCMP Detachment and the basketball coach for the Gold River Senior Secondary School girls team.

– Submitted by Nootka Sound RCMP

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