"I would encourage anyone who wants to do this. It is challenging and non-traditional. You should stay fit and stay focused on your goals."
Just over 25 years ago, the first female constables graduated from the RCMP's training academy.
Sylvie Nault is a general duty constable for the RCMP. She responds to 911and service calls from the public. Constables do pretty much anything… from dealing with barking dogs to armed robberies.
After graduating from high school, Sylvie went to University. She is only a few courses short of degrees in Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Criminology. While the RCMP only requires prospective recruits to have only a high school diploma, a post-secondary schooling would help your chances of being recruited.
To become a police officer, you attend a mandatory information session. Next, there is a written test. If you score well, the next step is the PARE test for physical fitness. Then an interview with someone in recruiting. If you go on to the background check and are accepted, there are 22 weeks of intensive training.
There are a number of rewards with this job. Sylvie says, "I would have to honestly say when you bring someone to justice…its cliché, but it's hoping that you've made a difference. Plus, in the job, you have a lot of freedom…you're part of a team but you still work independently."
Did you know? There are currently 2,045 women serving in the RCMP…14% of "The Force".
The number of women in the force is increasing rapidly. For example, the next five recruits that will be arriving in Sylvie's detachment are all women. RCMP start off as constables and then go to Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, and then Inspector. Many officers that leave the force become investigators or security advisors in the private sector.
The starting salary for a police officer in the RCMP is around $33,500, with a raise at six months. After two years of service, the salary goes up to $55,000. Further increases come through promotion.
The next time you see flashing lights in your rear view mirror, you may also see RCMP Constable Sylvie Nault.
When Sylvie told her Grade 3 teacher that she wanted to become a Mountie when she grew up, the teacher told her that only boys could do that! Needless to say, Sylvie - and many other women - proved to her teacher that things have changed. Today, Sylvie works as a general duty constable, answering 911 calls for everything from a barking dog complaint to armed robberies. And she only wears that red Mountie tunic on special occasions.
Education: Only a few courses short of THREE university degrees in Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Criminology
Hobbies: Karate, judo, soccer