Nunavut youth train like police

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Four Nunavut teenagers have a better idea of what it’s like to be a police officer after spending five days training at the RCMP Depot in Regina.

Pond Inlet’s Jillian Kyak was sore every day from Aug. 6-10.

Why?

“A lot of running. A lot of push-ups and a lot of workouts,” said Kyak, adding that the trainees had to be up at 6 a.m. each morning.

Being physically fit is helpful for self-defence, which is something else the youth were taught. Kyak, 17, admitted that she was intimidated at first but became more confident as she practised taking her partner to the ground and putting on handcuffs.

“I kind of got used to it,” she said.

The honorary cadets also marched in formation while performing drills, went through driver simulations and learned how to react in various policing scenarios.

From left, Jillian Kyak of Pond Inlet, Howie Ulayuk of Iglulik and Ben Ishulutak of Pangnirtung were three of four Nunavut youth who trained at the RCMP Depot in Regina in August. Also participating in the training was Andrew Pearce of Iqaluit. Photo courtesy of Howie Ulayuk.
From left, Jillian Kyak of Pond Inlet, Howie Ulayuk of Iglulik and Ben Ishulutak of Pangnirtung were three of four Nunavut youth who trained at the RCMP Depot in Regina in August. Also participating in the training was Andrew Pearce of Iqaluit. Photo courtesy of Howie Ulayuk.

Howie Ulayuk, 16, of Iglulik said he enjoyed learning the fundamentals of safely handling firearms. The experience at Depot has led him to decide that he wants to become a police officer, he said.

For Iqaluit’s Andrew Pearce, the training only reinforced his desire to wear the Mounties’ uniform one day.

“A career with the RCMP is what I want. This career has been a dream/goal since the age of four,” Pearce stated. “I can’t believe that police officers learn so much at Depot in such a short amount of time. The amount of stuff that I learned in a week was so much.”

For those attending Depot as adult recruits, the training lasts six months.

Kyak is contemplating a future in policing but her focus now is on her first year of studies at the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program in Ottawa.

Ben Ishulutak of Pangnirtung also took part in the training.

The successful candidates were selected based on their academic achievement and their interest in policing, according to the RCMP.

For Nunavut’s ‘V’ Division of the RCMP, it’s an opportunity to spark an early interest in law enforcement. Nunavut’s commanding officer, Michael Jeffrey, recently said he wants to see more Nunavummiut become qualified to join the force as there are only four Inuit police officers out of 128 Mounties in the territory.

The police force is currently hiring. Inquiries can be made through ‘V’ Division headquarters in Iqaluit.