RCMP aboriginal summer student Shawn-Tai Stevens (left) with Const. Troy Derrick (right) outside the South Surrey community policing office.

Surrey Mounties welcome new aboriginal summer student

21-year-old enrolled in the RCMP’s Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program.

This past month, the Surrey RCMP welcomed a new summer student to its ranks.

Shawn-Tai Stevens is the detachment’s new aboriginal summer student and will be working out of the South Surrey community policing office until mid-September.

Over the next few months, as part of the RCMP’s Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program, Stevens will get an opportunity to get an inside look at the life of a police officer. Part of his duties will be assisting the detachment at various events and programs that contribute to safer and healthier aboriginal communities.

“The program basically gives aboriginal youth with an interest policing a chance to do meaningful work in their community alongside members of the RCMP,” says Acting Staff Sgt. Dan Gibbons, District Commander for the South Surrey office. “We’re really looking forward to having Shawn-Tai be a part of our team.”

Successful candidates in the program attend a three week training program at The RCMP training Academy (Depot) in Regina where they learn the basics of law enforcement and problem solving along with elements of physical fitness and drill.

Stevens, 21, from Coquitlam, recently completed his Law Enforcement Preparatory Certificate from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt. So far his experience in Surrey has been great.

“I like it, I like it all,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like it’s a job.”

He has helped officers run licence plates, assisted at traffic stops, and worked with Community Safety Officers speaking with local businesses and attending presentations for seniors in the community.

Stevens also joined RCMP officers from around the province to participate in the RCMP’s annual “Pulling Together Canoe Journey,” which occurred this year at the Sliammon First Nations reserve near Powell River, B.C. from July 2-9.

“It was quite a unique experience,” says Stevens of the two days and 21 kilometres he paddled. “I met many officers from around the province and shared some great memories with those on the trip.”

Surrey RCMP First Nations Liaison officer Const. Troy Derrick was also on the journey and believes the program will have its intended effect.

“We have a number of native bands in our community so having a student such as Shawn-Tai around will allow our detachment to achieve that extra outreach,” says Derrick.

Stevens has already been going through the application process and plans on becoming a regular member once he has finished the program.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll end up in Surrey,” he says with a smile.

For more information on the Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training program please visit the RCMP’s National website: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/recruiting-recrutement/aboriginal-autochtone/aboriginal-autochtone-cadet-eng.htm

Surrey North Delta Leader

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