By Becky Zimmer
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
SASKATCHEWAN-Following last year’s youth engagement survey, the Saskatchewan RCMP are now looking for youth to join their first youth advisory committees.
A combined 100 young people will be a part of nine individual detachment committees, including La Ronge, Pelican Narrows, Melfort, La Loche, and Meadow Lake in the north part of the province; and Warman, North Battleford, Moosomin and Southey for the south and central parts of the province. An additional 25 youth will make up a province-wide committee, said Laili Yazdani, the RCMP’s community program officer.
“We’re really looking to work with youth and see what we can do to hear what’s really important to them in terms of youth crime and victim issues and how we can work with youth to address these issues together.”
Having proper representation is going to be huge for these committees, Yazdani said, as they want youth from all walks of life having a voice on these committees.
Tammy Patterson, the officer in charge of crime prevention and crime reduction, said having a variety of youth will be the biggest sign of success for the committee. The committees are going to give young people a chance to engage with the RCMP, and opening those lines of communication between the RCMP and young people who are
LGBTQ+, Aboriginal, or any other groups that are under-represented in their communities is going to be an opportunity that the RCMP needs to capitalize on, Patterson said.
Forming connections is going to be another key goal for these committees, Yazdani said, as the committees will work on what can be done at a community level as well as connecting all the committees from across the province with each other. Following the first year, it is going to be a matter of what the RCMP and the committees can do better, she said.
“At the end of the day, it is really about supporting youth-led activities and initiatives to address issues and it provides an opportunity for youth as well to take the lead on having a voice saying what they think would matter in their community and to youth.”
With this being the first year of the committee, Yazdani said it is going to be a year of seeing what can be done and where the committee is going to go.
“We’re gonna have to wait and see. It’s gonna really depend on a lot of factors; it depends on the youth that we’re engaging with, building those relationships and communication and seeing what we can do together.”
While those are the goals for the RCMP, Patterson said they are happy to provide volunteer and work experience for young people to put on their resumes.
For more information, request an application, or submit an application, email RCMP.FCommunityServices-FServicescommunautaires.GRC?rcmp-grc.gc.ca, laili.yazdani?rcmp-grc.gc.ca, or one of the nine local detachments.
Detachments have been flexible with their deadlines to accommodate students going back to school, Yazdani said.
Becky Zimmer is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter . The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.