Nine communities are participating in a Saskatchewan RCMP pilot project aimed at working with youth to address root causes of crime.
RCMP detachments in North Battleford, Meadow Lake, La Ronge, La Loche, Melfort, Moosomin, Pelican Narrows, Warman and Southey are participating in the project designed to increase and enhance police engagement with youth between the ages of 12 to 17.
F Division RCMP Community Program Officer Laili Yazdani said the newly created Youth Advisory Committee will work with 100 youth at the nine detachments.
“The goal is to increase and enhance RCMP engagement with youth so they feel their voices are valued and they are contributing to effective change.”
Last year the Saskatchewan RCMP conducted a youth survey at detachments across the province. They had 3,750 responses from youth between the ages of 12 to 17 who identified issues affecting them. Seventy per cent of the comments expressed an interest in having positive interactions with the RCMP.
Youth who want to work with the RCMP to address crime and victim issues they identified, such as drugs, bullying, alcohol, vaping and poor driving, can submit an application to the police to be part of the Youth Advisory Committee.
Youth members will also help promote awareness events such as Pink Shirt Day and National Addictions Awareness Week. They will be expected to volunteer at least six hours a month for one school year. In addition, they will be required to participate in weekly meetings, monthly virtual meetings and an annual camp with youth and mentors.
At the end of the year the youth members will receive a volunteer certificate they can use for employment and post-secondary applications.
Onion Lake RCMP are also working towards building better relationships with youth. Last month the Onion Lake RCMP and Onion Lake Cree Nation joined forces to release gang awareness prevention resources.
The Gang Awareness and Prevention (GAP) project was developed and implemented by an RCMP Community Program officer in consultation with the community including chief, council, elders, youth, parents, former gang members and service providers.
To request an application form for the Youth Advisory Committee, youth are asked to email their request and submit their completed application to the F Division Community Services at RCMP.FCommunityServices-FServicescommunautaires.GRC@rcmp.gc.ca