The RCMP is inviting young people from all over Saskatchewan, including the Lloydminster area, to work with them on issues facing youth across the province.
Last year, the Saskatchewan RCMP circulated a survey to people ages 12-17, asking them about the biggest issues facing them. In turn, the provincial detachment in Regina received 3,750 responses in total. Among the top five issues that youths mentioned, according to police, were drugs, alcohol, dangerous driving, bullying and vaping. Seventy per cent of young people who took the survey reported positive interactions with the RCMP.
This survey lead to the creation of the Saskatchewan RCMP Youth Advisory Committee. Central District Community Program Officer Laili Yazdani says the goal of the program is to increase and enhance youth engagement.
“We are really hoping to support youth-led initiatives so that the youth feel supported in implementing different projects and initiatives that will have a positive impact on their community.”
The plans for the pilot year is to bring in 100 youth to the program. This will be done in nine different detachments, comprised of La Ronge, Pelican Narrows, Melfort, La Loche, Meadow Lake, North Battleford, Warman, Moosomin and Southey. They’re also inviting more ten more youth from around the rest of Saskatchewan, including the Lloydminster area, to become part of the program as well. This youth will work with their community’s officers to begin to make their projects and plans a reality.
Yazdani adds that they also hope the youth members will bring new ideas about how to promote events such as Pink Shirt Day, National Addictions Awareness Week, Pride Month, Indigenous People’s Day and World Suicide Prevention Day, among others.
“I think it’s really going to depend on the youth, and what they feel is important to them locally, but we are trying to see what we can do with social media, to kind of link these issues, and raise some awareness with the youth provincially as well.”
Youth Advisory Committee members are expected to volunteer a minimum of six hours a month for one school year. They’ll also participate in weekly meetings, monthly virtual meetings and an annual camp with youth and mentors. Afterwards, youth members will receive a volunteer certificate, which the RCMP says they can use for future employment and post-secondary applications.
Youth interested in joining the program are encouraged to email the RCMP F Division so they can get started on an application. These applications need to be in by August 10th, 2020.