Edmonton police have started the country’s first mentorship academy to encourage women, Indigenous people and members of visible minority and diverse communities to join up.
The academy completed its first 12-week session on June 5 and plans to start another in August.
The academy selected 16 applicants for the pilot project, said Heather Smith, co-ordinator of the mentoring academy.
“Eight were women and eight were men … from a variety of backgrounds,” said Smith. “They were a diverse group.”
Applicants attended the academy three hours a week for 12 weeks.
“Basically, we put them through different sessions run by over 40 members of the Edmonton Police Service that have volunteered their time,” said Smith. “So leadership, lots of communications … interpersonal skills … public speaking. Pulling things out of the application process that have kind of hung up people in the past.”
Run with the recruiter whips applicants into shape
Students in the mentorship academy were required to attend weekly workout sessions called “Run with the Recruiter.”
It’s an old-school, boot-camp approach to help potential officers get in shape, with drills such as running stairs, jumping jacks, and burpees.
Elordie Ansay, 36, plans to attend the second mentorship academy in August.
His first application to EPS wasn’t successful. But the people at the academy saw something in him worth pursuing.
Ansay is from the Phillipines, where he trained as a teacher. Now he’s working two jobs, as a landscaper and a cashier.
He said he has always dreamed of being a police officer.
Since February, he has been getting into better shape by running with the recruiter twice a week.
“These police officers that I work out…