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Police Talk with Sgt. Angie Tetley and Cst. Brennan Martin
Profiles of our guests in this episode of The Job Talk Podcast:
Sgt. Angie Tetley has been with the Calgary Police Service (CPS) for over 20 years. She recently joined the CPS Recruiting Unit as the outreach sergeant, where she is actively seeking new, qualified candidates to join the team.
Sgt. Tetley came to the Recruiting Unit from District 8, where she had spent the last six and a half years as a patrol sergeant.
Since joining the CPS, Sgt. Tetley has had many roles at CPS including:
• Frontline patrol in Districts 1, 2 and most recently District 8
• Duty staff sergeant experience
• Class instructor in recruit training
• Competition coordinator in Human Resources
• Operational planning in the Major Events and Emergency Management Section (MEEMS)
Sgt. Tetley is also the Director of Training for the Alberta Women in Public Safety organization and Chair of the newly formed Calgary Women in Policing an initiative to support women in the CPS. She also was the driving force in developing the first women’s rugby division at the World Police and Fire Games in 2011 and continues to play and coach rugby.
She is married to a Calgary firefighter and is extremely proud of her two strong, amazing and powerful rugby-playing teenage daughters.
After completing a bachelor of arts with a major in sociology – concentration in criminology and a minor in psychology – Const. Martin commenced his policing career in April 2003.
He recently joined the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Recruiting Unit as a recruiting and outreach officer, where he is responsible for communicating with experienced police officers across Canada to see if they
have an interest in joining the Calgary Police Service. Const. Martin is passionate about recruiting the very best Canadian talent for the CPS.
Const. Martin also co-facilitates the Run with a Recruiter (RWAR) program with Sgt. Angie Tetley. The purpose of RWAR is to provide an alternate medium to interested participants regarding the CPS application process, life as a recruit and full-time police officer. RWAR offers three weekly fitness sessions allowing the participant to gauge their fitness prior to application and connect with other police officers and participants. The community is the largest benefit of the program.
During his career at CPS, Const. Martin has worked in:
• Frontline patrol and general investigations
• Drug investigations, where in addition to being involved in the investigations, he also served as a court-qualified drug expert
• The Gang Suppression Team
• Beat teams, where he and his colleagues worked to establish relationships with Calgary’s vulnerable communities by patrolling on foot to help deter criminal activities including drug trafficking, prostitution, robbery, and all forms of violence and theft
Outside of work, Const. Martin likes to leave the city in the rear-view mirror, escaping to explore rural and country life with his wife and two children. In his spare time, he also serves as a volunteer hockey coach – an activity he’s been involved in for over
Police officers protect the public, detect and prevent crime and perform other activities directed at maintaining law and order. They are employed by municipal and federal governments and some provincial and regional governments.
The employment outlook will be good for Police officers.
Completion of secondary school is required.
Completion of a college program or university degree in law and security or in the social sciences is usually required.
A three- to six-month police training program is provided.
Physical agility, strength, fitness and vision requirements must be met, and psychological or other tests may also be required.
Experience as a constable and the completion of specialized courses are required for detectives and sergeants.
Check out our Career Crisis Interview Series:
Full Length Episode:
Complete Episode Transcript
Coming up next… 75 or 80% of our recruits now are career changers.
So they they’ve already has one career in their life.
So they’re in their mid to mid to late 30, sometimes even forties.
We’ve even had recruits in their fifties.
Welcome to the Job Talk Podcast, where we talk with people who love their jobs.
Our guests open up about their challenges, surprises and secrets to success in their industries.
Through conversation, we explore their careers, past work experiences and the education that got them to where they are now.
Today’s guests are Sergeant Angela Tetley and Constable Brennan Martin.
Here’s our Job Talk with two police officers.
I think if you were to ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up, a popular answer would be to become a police officer by becoming a police officer.
Did you guys fulfill a childhood dream? Thanks for having us.
First of all, by the way, we’re really excited to be here.
And honestly, no, I wasn’t one of those little girls that dreamed about it when I was young.
I didn’t really considered until I was in my early twenties.
And it’s kind of strange because my dad was actually a member of CPS before me, so I grew up my whole life as a policemen’s kid.
So but I didn’t really become inspired to become a police officer till I was in my early twenties actually.
So kind of different, I guess.
Brendan Before you.
And for myself, first off, thank you very much for having us both on.
We are, we’re both super passionate about the job and super passionate about sharing our experiences and we’re very, very pumped to be here.
So for myself, I’m the same as Ang.
I actually didn’t have that sort of mindset early on in life.
My dad spent a bunch of time in the military and he was gone a lot.
I knew for sure that I wasn’t going to be in the military because I lived it for like 18 years, had my room tossed and everything had to be perfect all the time.
Super thankful actually, for that.
Now, looking back on it, because it’s contributed to who I am today, but it didn’t happen to me until I went on a ride along when I was 19.
Okay, why don’t we jump right into it? Let’s let’s talk about the recruitment process.
So the person that’s sitting at home and is looking to become a police officer.
Can we talk about what the start is for that person? Yeah, absolutely.
Like Brennan said, we’re we’re very passionate about policing and we’re very excited and grateful to work for this organization.
And so I think the two of us as a team in recruiting are we’re kind of much to deal with sometimes in recruiting because we’re so excited all the time.
But the process is a long one.
It’s challenging and it honestly takes about 6 to 9 months even just to get through the process of applying to be a police officer.
And there’s reasons behind that, and that’s because we want to have the best people in this organization.
We want to take the time to really get to know who are applicants.
Are from all aspects of their life.
So in order to apply, everything’s done online.
You go to our website, joincalgarypolice.ca And that’s a step by step process.
You’re going to submit your application and a number of documents that goes with that.
You know, like stuff your education history, your work history, a really, really thorough personal disclosure form where you’re going to tell us all your deepest, darkest secrets to complete strangers, which is pretty uncomfortable for people a lot of the time.
But we need to know who you are.
So that honesty piece is going to come into play a lot in the application process.
We want to know who you are.
We want you to tell us everything in that personal disclosure form.
We don’t need perfect people, but we need honest people.
We need people that abide and live by our core values.
And in saying that it’s okay that you’ve made mistakes when you were when you were younger or in previous life or history, that’s totally fine.
We want to know that you’ve made mistakes, worked through them, learned from them, and moved on to become a better person.
So once you’ve completed your application online, you’re going to go through some of our testing.
The first process is going to be your written test or your app cap.
We are, and throughout the all of these processes, we have resources to help people make it and be successful.
So the written testing is first and we hold app cap workshops for people to help you study and help you prepare for this exam.
It’s actually only about a 50% pass rate, so it’s not something that people can just sign up and take it and expect to be successful.
It’s something you definitely have to prepare for.
And I know Brennon and I speak the same language when we say we want you to not don’t bother pushing the button until you are 100% prepared.
And that’s why we offer all of these resources to help people prepare right from the beginning.
So after the written test, you’re going to do your your physical readiness test and often called the fitness test.
This is something Brennan and I are very passionate about.
We again, offer those programs, a program called Run with a Recruiter, which is one of our programs where we bring people in from the public.
They come out and train with us today.
Both of our legs are like Jello right now because we had a super hard leg workout today after a big long run and I got chicken legs, so it’s not fair.
He really does. It’s crazy.
But so run with the recruiter is a great resource for some of our pre applicants to just come chat with police officers, ask those questions, ask those real questions, and we’ll give people real answers while at the same time preparing physically.
And again, we want people to be 100% prepared.
And so so the physical tests, the A prep is a Leisa or the beep test, the 20 meter shuttle run as well as the PRC, the pursuit restraint circuit, which simulates like a foot chase and a struggle with an offender.
So we need people to pass that portion as a minimum standard before they even move on to the in the process.
Once you’ve passed those two parts of the of the of the process, you’re going to get assigned a file manager and this is going to be sort of your guide throughout the rest of the process.
They’re going to do a one on one interview interview with you as well as a panel interview with you.
And we can get into the details if you want, Kim, about exactly what the panel interview is.
But basically what we want to know is we want you to provide us with examples in your life of when you met some of the competencies that we’re looking for, things like decisiveness and initiative, perseverance, stress, tolerance, valuing service and diversity.
We will and interpersonal skills.
We want to know who you are, and the concept is past behavior predicts future behavior.
So we’re not going to ask you hypotheticals.
We’re not going to ask you what would you do in this situation? We’re going to say, tell us about a time in your life when and then you’re going to give us examples of something that you’ve done in your life that relates to policing after the interview process is going to be pretty much the only two stages are really the remaining stages are kind of out of your control.
It’s the psychological testing where we just need you to fall within a normal range in quotation marks.
But there’s really nothing you can do to prepare for that.
The next step is the polygraph.
And one of our core values, like I mentioned before, is honesty.
Again, nothing you can do to prepare for the polygraph test.
Just tell the truth.
Like we don’t want you to go online and Google how to beat a polygraph.
Like we’re actually going to ask you that question.
So don’t do it.
But we just need you to tell the truth.
And in saying that, we also understand that you’re human beings.
You’re not cyborgs or androids with perfect, photogenic memory.
So throughout this process, you know, you’ve filled out your personal disclosure form at the beginning, and we’ve asked you a number of questions.
If at some point in the process you’re driving down the street, you’re like, oh, oh my God, I totally forgot that.
I you know, I tried mushrooms at a party when I was 21 or whatever.
You just have to tell us.
Just add that additional disclosure.
And normally most of the time we’re going to be okay with it.
Again, we just want you to be honest.
So that’s where the polygraph comes in.
We’re going to ask you all about your personal disclosure form there after the polygraph.
It’s basically over to the selection panel where they will literally go through your entire application process from beginning to end, ask additional questions and really get oh, sorry, I forgot the background.
Me There’s also a backgrounding investigation typically done by retired police officers.
So we’re going to go we’re going to learn who you are at work.
We’re going to learn who you are at home.
We’re going to ask people how you treat others.
We want to know if you’re a man, how do you treat women? If you how do you treat members of the LGBTQ community? How do you treat people who are from different cultures? Do you tell, you know, insensitive jokes? Are you we want we’re going to check you out on your social media.
We want to know exactly who you are in all aspects of the light of your life so that we know that you’re going to meet our very, very high standards before we even take you to selection.
And then typically, once you get to selection, most of the time, once you’ve gotten to that point, we have a pretty good sense of who you are.
So you’re very likely going to be selected at that point.
But it happens sometimes.
There’s some questions that need to be fleshed out and then of course, you get that.
I’m pretty sure Brennan could say he remembers that moment when we all got that phone call.
I was a ski bum waitress in Fernie, and I remember getting the phone call saying, you know, congratulations, you’ve been hired by the Calgary Police Service.
And it’s just one of those like, I have goose bumps right now thinking about it because it’s just one of those moments that completely changes your life for the better.
And you’re kind of like, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe they took me.
It’s crazy, right? So anyways, that’s the process in a very quick nutshell.
That wasn’t quick. That wasn’t a quick.
Brennan What were you doing when you got that phone call saying that you were accepted? I was with my soon to be wife and I was at her place and I got the phone call and I was super pumped because like, Ang, and like anybody else in this process, you put all your energy and all of your willpower into this process and you want the very best outcome.
Unlike, Ang got on the first time I do a play a couple of times, and I’m glad that I didn’t get on when I did because I was quite young when I initially applied and had opportunities to grow and develop from there.
But you’re from the second that you put your application in, you’re you’re just on pins and needles to get through to the next stage and to sit there and wait and know that you’ve gone to selection and be waiting for that phone call.
It’s nerve wracking, it’s exciting, It’s quite a thrill, frankly.
It’s super pumped, super exciting and scary and scary.
Yeah, it’s a little scary, especially when you’ve been turned down once already.
You didn’t have that is 6 to 9 months for this process.
Is that longer than the actual training? Once you get into into the program, it’s about the same.
Yeah, but yeah, really good point.
It’s it’s 6 to 9 months for a couple of reasons, right.
Like sometimes we only have a certain number of people who are, for example, in our psychological services section.
So sometimes there’s a bit of a bottleneck to get people in to see the psych and do the psych testing.
Same thing with polygraph.
We only have one or two people that are able to handle the intake of the applicants.
So unfortunately, we get some of those bottlenecks there.
And there’s there, like Brennan said, there’s a lot of waiting around.
But yeah, recruit classes are around 25 to 27 weeks depending on stat holidays and stuff like that.
So around that six month timeline to complete recruit classes as well.
And one thing to consider to Kim is that we have applicants from across the country.
So in those particular situations we have to accommodate them and try and figure out what schedule best fits them, because frankly, we have all the advantages if you want to be a police officer.
So and and we’re extremely willing to go anywhere in the country to get them.
It’s very, very exciting.
Is there a perfect age for a recruit or does it all depend on the personality of that person? I actually love this question gets asked all the time.
The minimum age is 18.
You have to be 18 years of age.
And then in saying that, it would be quite unlikely for us to hire someone that young simply due to life experience and, you know, just what they’re going to bring to our organization.
However, in saying that we recently hired a 19 year old simply because this was a person who, you know, graduated high school early, got a job at a leadership position, at work, like traveled around like he had amazing life experience.
We couldn’t say no because he literally exceeded all of our expectations at a very young age.
The other question sort of on the flip side of that is what’s the maximum age? And that gets asked all the time because in all honesty, I think it says 75 or 80% of our recruits now are career changers.
So they they’ve already has one career in their life.
So they’re in their mid to mid-to-late thirties, sometimes even forties.
We’ve even had recruits in their fifties and all we really say on the recruiting side is we need you to be realistic, right? Work.
We’re going to work shift work.
Shift work is not easy.
In fact, it’s really hard.
And as we get older, shift work gets even harder.
So as long as you have a really good physical fitness, overall wellness, good nutrition, good sleep patterns, good sleep habits and a really strong support system at home, you can do it in your older age like in the higher age category, but we need you to be realistic because you’re very like going to be on patrol for minimum, you know, six, seven years to begin with before you can transition to a non shift work position if if you meet those qualifications even.
Right. So you said 75 to 80%.
I thought you were going to say the maximum age was 75. Yeah. Is there someone in there is someone in the in the application process right now, the sixties that were all like really like I couldn’t imagine I could have.
I was 24 when I started and I don’t know, I think it takes a lot of guts.
There’s a lot of women recently that, you know, sort of were interested in policing at a young age and then things happen.
They get married, they have babies, and they have put it off.
So a lot of women have been waiting for their kids to be a little bit older and are applying now.
We have a lot of really awesome women candidates who are, you know, have to work hard and but who are a little bit older that I think are going to be successful.
So I am going to talk to you about female police officers.
We’ll do that a little bit down the road.
Let’s let’s talk about the training and what’s what’s involved with that.
So you make it through the process.
What happens with training now? BRENNAN So the training lasts approximately 27 weeks Ang just spoke to the difficulty and the perseverance required to get through the application process so that that is 100% going to be a foundation and a building block for the next stage.
So every every obstacle that all these applicants and future police officers go through, they they are all terrific and awesome and wonderful life lessons because you’re going to simply build on that.
So anyway, after the application process, which can take 6 to 9 months, you going to be looking at about 27 weeks in classes, in classes, there’s going to be a lot of P.T.
So hence the reason why we want people to come in with at least a minimum standard of fitness.
There’s going to be some law, there’s going to be some driving, there’s going to be some shooting, there’s going to be scenario based learning.
There’s a lot of really amazing things that these recruits are going to go through and all of them will be new.
Nobody comes into the job for the most part as an experienced officer.
So everybody that comes in is going to have the same experience.
No one’s going to probably have known how to shoot before unless you lived on a farm and people are not going to be used to some of our our tactical driving and some of the tactics that we use.
So everything is new for everybody and that’s the wonderful thing about it.
Everybody’s going through this stuff as a first.
I think one thing to sort of add to that, Brennan, like I mentioned before, I was literally a ski bum waitress when I started recruit training and I was in classes actually with a number of guys who were in the military, like frontline infantry.
So I actually did have experience with firearms and and combat and stuff like that.
And by the time we were done training, I felt 100% confident in my skills and abilities and we were at the exact same level so that we’re so fortunate here at CPS.
We have unbelievable facilities, unbelievable training and and unbelievable instructors.
And so by the time you’re done recruit classes, you’ve we’ve put you through so many really scary scenarios and really life like situations that you really feel confident with your ability to handle yourself on the street, you know, even especially for women.
Like sometimes they have that question, you know, am I am I capable? Am I going to be able to handle myself like I’m kind of a big woman? But for people who are smaller, they maybe have that a little bit of self doubt.
But CPS is going to teach you the training and the tactics to be successful on on patrol for sure, which is if you only got your badge on that day.
Oh, my God.
So like I mentioned, my dad was a police officer, so I got my badge from my dad.
So it was like, wow.
Yeah, it was, Oh, I’m such a baby.
I’m in you my tunic, I’m in my full uniform, and I’m just like, bawling my eyes out cause the same thing for me, like, my dad was in the military for almost 30 years and I had him give me my badge as well.
Oh, you had your talk.
Give you also is awesome because like that that’s six months next to your previous experience, which was the application process.
That’s six months.
It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of effort, a lot of perseverance, a lot of resiliency, all the things that we’re looking for in a candidate now to be able to get through that and to feel that sense of pride when you get that badge.
I still remember that day when I when I got it.
I don’t think I stopped looking at it for the rest of the night.
It was such a wonderful and amazing experience because I know for a fact that my entire class and in addition to myself, we earned everything that we got there.
It was just it was an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment for sure.
Well, let’s let’s talk about what was your favorite part of training or parts to training? I remember it was so unique to me because like I had been, you know, I had never went to university.
I recommend people go to university, but I never did.
I actually was fighting with my dad because I, I wanted to go to university.
I thought I had to take criminal law or justice studies or something like that because I wanted to be a police officer.
My dad, who was a police officer, was said, No, take, take business, take marketing, take HR.
I’m like, You’re stupid, Dad, because I was 20, you know, in my twenties.
So I’m like, I’m just going to apply to the CPS and they’ll tell me what to take.
And just based on my life experience, they ended up hiring me.
So I hadn’t gone to school for many years.
So for me, being in the classroom setting was, was really fun.
And I remember laughing every single day, like laughing so hard.
My face hurt every single day because you’re just in this class of people who are so pumped to be there.
Everyone is so positive, so excited to start this new career.
And we got to do amazing things everyday.
Like I couldn’t believe that we were getting paid to learn how to shoot guns and learn how to fight and learn how to drive cars real fast and learn about all the amazing things, learn about different cultures, learn about how to use your communication skills to your advantage.
Like it’s I don’t know.
I think for me, maybe it’s just sort of sum that up is is this the camaraderie and the friendships that we made in classes? I thought that was amazing. So, so much fun.
I can totally appreciate that.
Angie was four classes senior to me, so that’s right around six months or so, Right. Ang I, you know, I don’t mind the classroom stuff, but that’s not what stimulates me like and says it was all about the fight and the shooting and the drive and all the hard skills, all the fun stuff that you get to do.
There’s actually even an element wait for this.
There’s an element in there where you’re starting to learn your tactics and your techniques and your high risk vehicle takedowns and you’re dealing with a person as the situation evolves.
They don’t tell you what’s going to happen.
Ultimately, they’re going to give you a mask, they’re going to give you a pistol.
And inside that sim pistol is are these little plastic rounds that have just a little bit of paint in them.
So you’re fully armed up.
You don’t know what situation is going to happen.
And the call unfolds in front of you and sometimes it’s a shoot or no shoot scenario.
Sometimes you have to use your verbal skills.
More often than not, that is the case because that’s our very, very best skill.
But the opportunity to drive around a track and to have to have these opportunities to be able to actually engage in real police activity, It was a blast.
I was completely fired up every single day. It was exciting.
Couldn’t sleep the night before, just wanted to get out of there.
But then we would be back in the classroom when we’d be learn something about traffic or something like that.
And like that was that was a complete snoozer for me. But, but the the entire experience as Ang said, I cannot tell you enough when you’ve rolled around like I had classmates like Ang you be rolling around with her.
And I can speak from experience because I’ve worked with her the rolling around with her.
You’re huffing and puffing a little bit might come out here and there.
But but because like, when you’re sweating together and you’re learning all these skills and you’re sore and you’re waking up the next day with all these bumps and bruises, you can’t help but build that strong camaraderie.
And those people that I went to, my classes that I went through classes with and Ang just said the same thing.
I still talk to them all the time. It’s it’s terrific.
We still talk about some of the stuff that we did, some of the stuff that hurt, some of the stuff that didn’t hurt the injuries that we hid because we thought that we were going to get kicked out of class.
Of course, we wouldn’t have.
Yeah, it was it was it was by far to that point, the best experience ever.
But we quickly learned after that did that and too was a building blocks of the next stage.
And I think Brennon and I are both kind of training nerds like we, we love training and we’re so fortunate where just because you’re done recruit classes doesn’t mean your training stops.
I think we could all benefit from more training.
We all want to train more, but the the stuff that we get at CPS is pretty amazing.
We’ve done some really cool, multiagency, large scale scenarios at the airport and Spruce Meadows and Callaway Park, you know, working with the fire department, working with the EMS, working with communications and and that continues throughout your career.
Like we I just did some training at Max Bell, just about like crowd control and stuff like that.
So that sort of training continues throughout your career, which is pretty we’re pretty fortunate for that.
That’s what you liked.
What stands out as some of the biggest challenges or and I hate to say it this way, but maybe there’s something in the training that you didn’t like so much.
Yeah, that’s super easy to answer and that’s the day you get sprayed with pepper spray.
It’s the worst day ever.
And I have this mane of long, thick hair.
So it’s a it’s a, it’s a it’s not just a like a an exercise in humiliation.
There’s actually a purpose to it. Right.
Like, we want to know you need to know psychologically that you can fight through a really, really challenging situation.
So they put you through a scenario where, you know, they’ll ask you just to do something like spell your name backwards or whatever, and inevitably you’re going to you’re going to look up and then they spray the pepper spray into the bottom of your eyes, and then you have to perform some sort of task, whether it’s reading a license plate or take an offender into custody or something like that, call for help on the radio or whatever.
But you do it, you do it, you get through.
It sucks. It sucks really, really badly.
And for myself, with this giant made of lions hair, I thought it was over.
We all went out for blizzards, went to Dairy Queen to get blizzards after, and we each got to and held these blizzards on our eyes.
So that says numb the pain.
But then we went home at the end of the day and of course have a shower and then you get it all over again because it’s all in your hair.
Did you guys decon in a big garbage can? Yeah, they garbage. Kind of disgusting.
And what happens if you were last? Yeah. That does nothing. Does nothing.
It’s full of contaminants, snot flares.
Yeah. All that stuff. Because everybody’s suffering.
So if, if you’re last in the shoot, you’re covered in more than just contaminants pre-COVID days.
I don’t know what they think you but we shared a bucket.
Yeah. Yeah we did. We did Tasered as well is there tasering that happens as well now which is worse.
Well I would Brennan and I are pre taser days so they will they actually introduce tasers after we were finished classes but yes that’s definitely part of classes now and I, I have a sick love of watching those videos of the people getting chase like it is.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but it is absolutely hilarious to speak to the Taser.
So I didn’t actually use one until much later on in my career.
I’ve always been really good with de-escalating situations just by talking to people because we got all the time in the world most of the time.
But there there was this one situation that came out and I was in a mall, and in this one, fella was 100% assault of who was trying to assault some security guards.
And then he tried to assault us. Ultimately, the negotiation options were gone because, well, he was coming at us.
And the thing that I really liked about it is that it ended a really violent situation and really quickly in it.
The person got taken into custody.
As soon as that Taser is off, all pain is gone.
So it is a super useful tool and I’m thankful that we have it.
You know, that leads me to this question.
I lie to people and tell them that I’m five foot six.
I’m probably more around five five and I’m getting shorter every day.
So was was there a height restriction ever to joining the the Calgary Police? Well, I remember my dad telling me in his day that there used to be a height restriction of five eight.
I cannot confirm that, to be honest.
But but I have heard that it used to be five eight, but that was way before our time, way before.
There is there’s no height restriction.
I will add to it because as a civilian, when I look at police, you guys are dealing with some pretty large individuals that are angry sometimes.
So imagining all of your training is all about de-escalating.
So it it doesn’t turn to violence.
So, you know, I just came from downtown and I worked there for about six and a half years.
I’ve attended probably three or 400 different protests.
And the ones over the last few years, all that kind of stuff.
And I can tell you for free that that those situations are very real and they and they happen all the time.
The only time that time is not on your side is if something exigent is occurring, which means it means that you have to act.
Now, if you’re engaged in conversation, you’ve got all day.
I’ve had I consider myself pretty fit.
So isn’t she’s super fit as well.
But that is never our first goal to the very, very best tool that any officer can develop when they get on the job as their communication skills.
Just the fact that you’re engaging a person alone will prevent them from doing anything.
Often the whole mind and body doesn’t react at the same time.
And if you have the time and space, which is pretty much all the time, then you use those skills.
You use self depreciation.
Like I’m a pasty old gents. I use that one all the time.
I went to the well more often than not, and at the end of it, some of these people that were very aggressive, they even had clenched fists and doing all the stuff, but they’re not really going to assault you in that moment.
They end up becoming calm.
You can often get compliance out of them and occasionally a few laughs and then they’re on their way.
I think, you know, in regards to the question about height, I think a lot of women in particular like that comes into mind a lot because women are typically shorter than the men, but the good thing about classes and even just the the readiness test is you can be successful.
You just have to use different tactics or different techniques, right? Like if you’re a short woman who weighs £110, you’re not going to be able to muscle the push pull machine or the handcuffs simulator.
You’re going to need to use your lower body.
You’re just going to need to use physics. Yeah, exactly.
So there’s there’s ways that you can prepare and there’s tactics and techniques that we’re going to teach you in in recruit classes.
Like I remember a lot of we had a couple of really small women in my class and one really, really short man, and we’re going to give you techniques and tactics to do that for sure.
We always use that NRP necessary, reasonable, proportionate for every situation, but sometimes the first and only tactic that’s going to work is going to be, you know, going hands on or E or even lethal force.
So we’re going to give you that those skills to make those decisions and the tactics to be able to be successful, even if you are small and don’t weigh very much for sure, this this job, Kim, it’s like a sport.
Anybody that begins a sport for the first time, whether it’s hockey and is all about the rugby, she’s involved in so many teams.
I love hockey, football, all that kind of stuff.
Nobody that ever begins a sport for the very first time is ever super proficient.
And it’s through repetitions, it’s through exercises, it’s through thought patterns, it’s through coaching is the reality.
And so through coaching and through repetition, you’re able to simulate possible scenarios.
And when you hit the street, you learn from other police officers, you learn what worked for them and what didn’t work through debriefs.
The bottom line is nobody knows this job in the very beginning and over time and through repetition, you can become very skilled, is in equal parts in-classroom, training and physical exercises.
Is it kind of equal or is one more dominant than the other? I think everyone wishes we had more training in our crew classes.
Yeah, I would say it’s pretty close to being 5050.
The term that’s often use in recruit classes is that drinking from a fire hose? Because like Brennan sort of alluded to at the beginning, there’s so much information that we have to literally vomit all over these recruits to start, you know, like there’s so much to learn physically as well as, you know, academically.
There’s a lot of classroom work that’s group projects, there’s community projects, there’s learning about diverse cultures, there’s learning how to treat, you know, people who are in marginalized groups.
We want it. We want everyone to be successful in that.
And then on top of that, when your brain is numb from writing exams, learning about traffic, learning about impaired driving, learning about writing reports, learning about the criminal code, or now you’re going to go to PT and they’re going to work you super hard and then you’re going to learn how to drive a car in an emergency manner.
Then you’re going to learn drought, drill and dress and deportment and firearms and everything.
So it’s I, I don’t want to speak out of turn is probably close to 50/50.
But with those with classroom and and the hard skills as a whole.
That said best job ever the best job ever where where else with all that stuff that Ang just outlined, do you get to do that kind of stuff and get paid for it and and get paid for? And this is just one of 155 different jobs that’s within CPS.
Best job ever, best experience ever.
The recruitment process is so long, 6 to 9 months that when you’re accepting your members for the class, you’ve gone through such an extensive research on that person.
What’s the success rate for people coming out of training? Is it must be high? It is.
It is fairly high, yeah. Do you agree with that? Now, sometimes we do get applicants or recruits that are back trooped and that’s typically due to injury.
So like Angie was saying, the physical component to the job, it’s it’s hard on the body and that’s why it’s so important to come in to classes fit that’s that’s a necessity.
So as a result sometimes there will be injuries and those recruits are simply not classed.
It’s it’s pretty rare that somebody doesn’t make it all the way through.
Now, it does happen, but it’s extremely rare.
More often than not, it’s the injury and they just get back to it and then eventually they’ll be on the road like like the rest of their class.
Before we get into discussing the actual job itself, is there anything else you guys want to add about the training? It’s well, actually there is best in the country.
I think the the resources that we have in this building and and and I can speak from because we’re both in our 21st year and when we first started, we were all downtown.
The office space was really small, the combatives rooms, they were a bit smaller and we had to actually go all over the city.
Here in Calgary, we have what I believe is to be the best facility in all of Canada and on the same campus.
And that’s what we have is we have a campus.
It’s just like going to college on the same campus.
We have all the investigative units, but also as a recruit, when you come here, you’re going to your classroom is going to be here, You’re going to do all of your P.T.
here, You’re going to do all your scenario based training here.
You only leave site for driving and for shooting.
This this building and the facilities that we have here, like we have like four or five gyms within this one facility that we’re at right now on campus.
And in course, in each district, there’s a gym as well.
But the resources that we have for training, I believe, are very likely best in the country.
I think just the one last thing there, Kim, is a lot of other agencies, you have to live on site when you’re going to recruit classes, but at the CPS, you go home at night, you go home every night to your family.
You can have dinner with your kids, you can tuck your kids into bed.
So you come to classes during the day and then you go home to your family at night.
And the whole time, like we mentioned before, we’re going to you’re going to start getting paid right away by the Calgary Police Service on day one of recruit training.
There’s other places in the country where you either have to pay to get your education as a police officer or it’s unpaid training.
So you’re you’re a member, you’re a hired employee by the CPS.
As soon as you get your offer, employment and selected, you’re measuring a lot of physical activity. Do you acknowledge that? Yeah, I think I don’t I couldn’t speak to exactly the numbers or the statistics or anything, but we have awards.
So when you are graduating recruit classes, they’ll be awards for traffic law, for criminal law, for physical training, for skills and procedures, for firearms, for all of those things.
So each of those units does keep track of the statistics and the and the results of every recruit.
And then the recruit with the best results will win awards at the end of recruit training.
So I don’t know the specific numbers, but but they actually have a few different measurements for fitness.
So the fitness is measured upon entry and then it’s continually assessed throughout the 27 weeks with the objective of improvement throughout.
How many awards did you win? Kind of like, you know, I want to I just you went to such a number, which to you and Kim.
Kim, I have to say I’m shocked.
I got any words in here at all because every time you ask a question, I and I’ve been on courses with her and I’ve been on workshops.
She sits in the very front the second any time some any time a question is asked although there might be some other opinions in the room.
Trust me when I tell you everybody has a say, but it’s second and third and fourth and so on.
It ain’t first. Okay. And you must be happy.
I brought it up then what were the time once again? I know.
I don’t know. I’m just totally invested with it.
I did like the criminal criminal law on the traffic awards.
There’s nothing wrong with being perfectly average and all they do both times.
Okay, You graduate, you get through training.
Let’s talk about the job.
Let’s talk about the job.
When you become a graduate, you are entering the Calgary City Police as a patrol officer, is that. Yes. Yeah, correct. So.
So when you’re at the very end of classes, you’re going to get an option to pick which district you want to work at.
And the city is divided into eight districts geographically.
So you may or may not get your top three choices of which district you want to work in.
But we take take things into consideration, like if you live in Okotoks, they’re probably not going to put you in the far north station.
They’re going to, you know, try to try to do their best to accommodate you where you would like to work.
But in the end it comes down to who where the manpower is needed the most.
So once you get assigned to your district, you’re going to get assigned a sergeant who’s going to be your supervisor, and you’ll be put on a patrol team and then you’ll be assigned an officer coach or a patrol training officer.
PTO So you’re going to go through to phases of PTO each about eight weeks long.
And this is it’s not just like kick you out on the street.
Good luck Over to you.
We’re going to help you make that transition from classroom to patrol because there’s so much learning in between.
Classroom is one thing and it’s giving you sort of the base.
But then once you’re on patrol, it’s a it’s a totally different world and you’ve just sort of received the very minimum, you know, baseline training to to be successful.
So your PTO is going to guide you.
You have two different ones.
We have a two different experiences.
You’re going to do a lot of observation.
You’re going to just watch a lot, you’re going to learn a lot, You’re going to be assessed on every call, every shift, every set, but not only by your PTO and but also by your your sergeant as well.
Because we want it.
We want people to be successful.
Right? Like, that’s the point.
We don’t want people to you know, we want to build up their confidence to be a police officer.
And the truth is, on day one minute one could be the big one, right? Like you could get out on the street. And it has and it has for sure.
So you could get onto the street and expect to have a nice leisurely shift where you, you know, learn about the district and go and get a tour of the gym or whatever.
And the big one comes in, you know, So we need our recruits to be ready immediately on day one, and we’re going to guide you.
You’re going to be like, you’re going to have someone assist you the whole time.
But like I say, it could happen right away.
And that’s why it’s so important that when you first come out to the street that you get as many reps as possible.
I talked about that before your patrol training officers there.
Their number one objective is to expose you to as many calls of along the full spectrum as possible so that when your patrol training officer time ends and I know I was super pumped to go out on the street by myself, then the door closed behind me.
I was like, Oh, I have to make my own decisions now.
So after that, it’s it’s in the officers interest to take as many and as calls call to call to call to call to call, because then you’re going to build up this toolbox full of experience that’s going to serve you, going forward.
Because the reality is the first five years is going to go by super fast, like you’re going to blink.
And it’s and it’s and it’s going to be over because you’re absorbing so much and there’s so much to learn.
And frankly, that’s what makes every day absolutely amazing because no, no two days come are the same.
Every day is different.
You’re on on one day you could be doing more social disorder than the next time.
You could be doing a bunch of domestics that involve violence.
No, two days are the same.
Every day is very, very interesting as as is the weather here in Calgary as well.
So but it’s it’s there there is no career like this where the first five years is going to go by fast and you’re going to be exposed to so much and are going to be absorbing so much, that time will literally fly by.
What did you love most about patrol Ang do you like to go first? Sure, I thought so, yeah.
I just came from I’ve actually just been in recruiting for about a year and a half now, so I just came for patrol in District eight and I don’t know, I think the camaraderie with your your team is pretty amazing.
You’re in the trenches, right? You’re the front line.
You’re the ones who are dealing with the with everything first and foremost.
So I think that sense of pride in the uniform we wear and and the team that we work with, I think that was really big for me.
I loved being a police officer, love, but I loved working patrol.
I loved being the first on scene.
I loved the team that I worked with.
I love being able to support each other and help each other and make our lives a little bit better because the last few years have been really tough to be a police officer.
And so we’ve been able to, you know, band together and support each other and help each other through, in my opinion, the most challenging few years and that I’ve ever experienced in policing.
I totally agree. Totally agree.
And I have to echo what Ang said.
So the camaraderie piece cannot be understated.
You’re going to be out in the worst weather, cold, heat, rain.
You’re going to be exposed to far more trauma than any human could possibly be exposed to.
And as a team, depending on the call for service, you’re either going to work together or like actually physically or you’re going to work together in trying to get through an investigation.
That camaraderie that you build up when you know you’re on hour 16 and you haven’t had anything to eat yet because of the calls that that sort of experience just brings people close together.
But I want to speak to what my favorite part of the job is.
So we all get on the job for the same reason.
Kim We all get the job because we want to help people.
And I had this idea in my mind of what it was going to look like, and I was about 15% right.
But the other 85% was, was so much more than I possibly could have hoped and Ang knows this stuff.
So I’m super big on helping people, especially the vulnerable population.
These are people that don’t have food, clothing, shelter, security, and they’re just trying to survive.
And addiction, Kim, nothing has hit this country like addiction in our 20 years.
It’s it’s it’s absolutely the biggest challenge that our entire country faces today, in my opinion.
So as a result and I worked downtown for the last six and a half years before I came here, like I said, I got to meet them all, especially the street level prostitutes and all the entire vulnerable on the male and on the female side.
And to experience their addiction.
So I really took it upon myself to try and get to know them all as much as I could.
And of course, on the police and they don’t want to talk to you because, one, they’ll be looked at as an informant, which they’re not.
I’m not trying to get information, but over the course of time and persistence and perseverance and they realize that you’re actually are there to help them, then you can help them.
Me in particular, I like trying to help some of the ladies get off the street, because as you can imagine, they live horrible lives, so they don’t have shelter often.
A lot of them have street husbands, but these aren’t loving men that they actually got married to one of the best case scenario.
So they only align themselves with those men for their own personal security.
So use your imagination.
They experience possible horror.
So I was extremely, extremely passionate about one, getting to know them, understanding all their stories because the traumas that they’ve experienced is not simple.
As I tried fentinal today, and all of a sudden I’m a I’m an addict.
That does happen.
But typically the lives that they have leading up to where they are at that point in time, normal people can’t possibly comprehend.
So I’m a big, big believer that when you have the opportunity to do something and when you can help somebody and that you can do better, that you should do better.
So I met as many as I could.
I got to know as many as I could.
Sometimes they were just hungry and you just buy them lunch and then some other times they would just want to sit there and have a cup of coffee with you and just tell you about their previous two weeks, because one day you could see them and they will look just like Ang, just like normal ish ish.
And then a week later you’ll see them and they’ll be in sweatpants, no shoes, just a T-shirt, bra and or nothing like that.
And they’re all dirty. And by the looks on their face, you can tell that there’s been some sort of physical confrontation.
They will never tell you anything.
So those are your opportunities to be like, okay, now what can we do for you? I always offered everybody the cup, Tell me exactly what you want and I’ll make that happen.
So that’s a really long answer to your question.
But the privilege to be able to actually help people when they’re in need and to be able to recognize it and to be able to use our experience to be able to reach out to them, to help them to get the resources that they need and ultimately shelter that hands down favorite part of the career without a doubt.
And like Brennan’s a pretty special person.
But honestly, the stories like that happen all the time where the fellows and the girls on patrol will these little these little things that happen that never get in the newspaper and never get reported, never get kudos for anything.
But it happens more often than not where someone will buy someone lunch or maybe give them up if they were shoplifting because their their baby needed diapers, you know, like they’ll maybe just take them grocery shop.
I’ve seen it because nobody’s there to witness it when it’s 2:00 in the morning and somebody needs help.
And the people that she’s talking about, they’ll go to the 24 hour or whatever to help these people.
And I’ve seen it time and time again.
I agree with you that, yeah, it happens all the time.
I’m going to say it.
This is going to sound really selfish after Brennan mentioned this story, but one of the other things I think for myself anyways, about patrol that I love the most is truly the work life balance.
Like we work, shift work and it’s brutal.
Like I, I hated working in 1900s.
I’m not good at it, but as I got older it was harder.
I didn’t enjoy working night shifts.
However, the schedule is conducive to the fact that I was able to coach both my girls.
Rugby teams play on two rugby teams myself because you actually get a ton of time off when you’re working, you’re working, but when you’re done, you’re done.
You don’t answer the phone.
On days off, you’re done.
Someone has come in to take your place and you have that really valuable life work life balance.
Like I would get 50 ski days in a year and, you know, go on my hunting regimen while you have a house.
I know, but you sleep in your bed. I know, but yeah, play playing coach rugby and get out of town.
And I like that’s all really important to me.
And I know, you know hockey and coaching Brennan’s kids is really important to him.
So I think the work life balance is really, really awesome.
It’s hard. It’s hard.
And I don’t want to, you know, brush over that at all.
But we do get lots of time off for sure.
Thank you for mentioning I was definitely going to ask about the work life balance and people should know that when they’re going into a career with the police.
I do have a question.
Brennan You touched on when you said this was only going to be 20 minutes.
I betcha we fooled you, didn’t we? Are we just going to get 20 minutes and we’re going to be good? What you probably learned by now is that I can go for an hour.
She can go for like 3 hours straight.
Yeah, we can do this all day.
Well, it’s like it’s a podcast, so we can go as long as it takes to get the information out there.
Copy. Go ahead.
You mentioned trauma.
What you guys are witnessing.
You’re under a ton of stress.
Could you speak to some of the program programs and support that’s available to you as police officers? Love to.
And if you could fill in the holes when I’m done.
So first off, I’m a big believer in mental health and Ang is as well.
And the nexus between Fitness and mental health.
It served both of us, honestly, for the sports that we enjoy and for overall health and wellness.
But the bottom line, Kim, is that and I can apologize because I forget where I read the stat, so I can’t source it, but the average person will experience two traumatic events in their life.
Maybe that’s grandma that passed away in her bed or they’ll come home and a different member of the family perhaps made the decision to commit suicide.
So that’s two.
So the police as a police officer on average, and that’s not like your your high fliers, they will experience over 750 moments and calls of trauma.
So here at the Calgary Police Service, I am so proud to say that our mental health or our psychology department, what we call them psych psychological therapy.
There you go.
Gold stars, as Angie likes to say, it’s it’s it’s outstanding.
First and foremost, if you require anything for your families that is going to be there for you, but for yourself as the officer that’s received and absorb trauma.
And you heard me speak earlier about getting to know all the vulnerable in the community and learning all their stories.
One of the spinoff side effects that I 100% didn’t anticipate was that I was going to absorb all their traumas and they’re horrible. So our psych services department, it’s literally a phone call.
You you call, you leave a voicemail, then somebody will call you back and then they will speak to you regarding your concern.
And a whole bunch of different options could be made available to you.
All the services are free, whether it’s for you or your family.
And in some situations, Kim officers and aunts can speak to this because she’s an incident commander on the street.
She did a bunch of years out there doing that kind of stuff.
Sometimes the officers are going to experience horrible trauma.
So think of it this way, Kim.
All the bad stuff that you’ve seen on TV, 100% that exists, the reason why that exists on TV is because the police experience that in real life.
So eventually some of these calls may get to the officer.
So we are super fortunate to have what is called a reintegration program.
Originally, it came out of Edmonton and then we received the training here.
Sergeant Mike Huskins is the leader for that particular unit and he provides a whole bunch of services.
One of which is called prolonged exposure therapy.
So say, for example, you went to a scene and it was like a multiple homicide and a suicide type call.
So that stuff happens.
So as you can imagine, normal human beings are not meant to absorb this type of stuff.
So you’re going to come in and you’re going to see what you’re going to see.
But what what you don’t anticipate because police officers know we’re going to go to bad calls.
You don’t anticipate seeing people’s reactions to the stuff.
You don’t anticipate the smell.
So the smell is is the is the is the is the the memory piece.
So when you go to these types of calls, all these different pieces of indicia you’re going to absorb.
So if, for example, there’s a problem and you’re actually having a hard time dealing with it, you can actually use our psych services and liaise with our reintegration team.
And they they can do what’s called prolonged exposure therapy, where they can slowly expose you to that, that story.
And the idea behind that is and it being prolonged exposure is you start out at the very, very beginning of the stories that over time that through exposure and with a being prolonged, that your reaction to it will not be the same as it was when you first started experiencing the traumatic reaction.
Did I miss anything Ang? No, I just I think the other thing we’ve run in a number of programs like Road to Mental Readiness and a whole bunch of resources and services, peer support, a chaplaincy program.
We have a number of, you know, even just medical doctors on site here at our headquarters.
And I think the big thing is the stigma that has often gone gone along with mental health or needing to take kind of take a knee when things have gotten too bad.
I think that that we’ve really crossed a barrier with that where, you know, there’s no longer that like I’m a big, tough cop, nothing bothers me, you know, that it really doesn’t happen anymore.
And we all I think we’re getting better and better.
There’s we definitely have room to improve always, of course.
But I think we’ve gotten a lot at recognizing when someone needs to take a knee and supporting them when they do not only supporting the officer, but also supporting their family, whether it’s mental health or otherwise.
We band around each other to support each other and the organization does as well.
So I think that’s the reintegration program is a massive success for us and it’s all thanks to thanks to Mike Huskins for sure.
He’s just amazing and he’s helped countless people come back to work after experiencing trauma or PTSD, come back to work in a healthy way, in a meaningful way, and and to be able to be part of the team again when they’ve been like, I don’t know if this is the right word, but when they’re broken, they’ve been absolutely broken and they have to go off work for for psychological reasons.
And Mike’s been able, through the reintegration program to bring them back and not only do that successfully, but do it in a way that others support them.
And they’re not there’s no finger pointing, There’s no other guy’s a wimp.
It’s it’s we’re supporting each other to get well and to stay well, I can actually add to that.
And so I just finished the second of two courses.
That was facilitated by Sergeant Mike Huskins and Abby and Squirrel and the amount of police officers that were in that training session was amazing.
We actually had to use an auditorium.
So 100% and just right, the culture surrounding mental health has completely changed.
There are plenty of police officers out there that want to help other police officers because trauma is actually an injury.
So it’s not something that it’s a feeling or anything like that.
It’s an injury that the officer sustained, whether it’s over accumulation.
So you attended whole bunch of stuff like that, 750 stuff I was telling you about.
Kim Or perhaps it’s one particular incident that the officers having a hard time with the culture has changed.
I’m super passionate about sharing that message because at the end of the day that camaraderie exists and we want to help each other.
We want to help the community, but we also want to help each other.
I’m grateful that we live in a time where the mental well-being on everybody in society.
You’re not asked to tough things out.
I can I can say, Kim, that Mike Huskins, because I’m aware of some of the stuff that he and his team, Abby and the rest of his team have worked on.
He’s 100% changed lives.
So these are saved lives, saved lives.
So unfortunately, there are rates of police officer suicide.
I don’t know what they are, but they exist for a reason because the officers were under such a burden that they made the decision that they made.
So the program was so successful in Edmonton that it came out here to Edmonton. And I can say for a fact, because I’ve talked to talk to Mike about various different files, not names, but situations, and 100% he saved lives.
This isn’t something where it’s just like, okay, let’s just give the person some time to come back, go back to work and then do their thing.
He has 100% change lives.
Yeah, I can’t think of another career that offers the diversity and what you guys do.
I’m hoping we can talk a little bit about some of the other roles that you’ve had during your time with the Calgary.
Yeah, we’ll try not to go on about an hour talking about that, but I’m just curious to know the diversity.
Some of them don’t.
Don’t look at me. You need to talk to her.
That’s just a warning.
We’ll try to keep it short in a little bit.
But also along with the different roles and the diversity and what you can do if you become a police officer.
There’s a lot of continuing education available to you.
You’re constantly learning.
Yeah, we do a lot of training and like I say, I think we could always do more.
We offer a lot of in-house training at our Chief Corporate Learning Center, whether it’s just, you know, through your recruit classes, but then throughout your career, additional investigative training, undercover techniques, surveillance techniques, all sorts of you know, there’s so that we that we offer the our members we there is an opportunity to take additional external education as well like it’s pretty challenging to do that when you’re working patrol you have to have some pretty significant time management skills to be able to do some additional university or post-secondary education when while you’re working patrol, it’s it’s quite challenging, but there is a little bit of support with with the organization as well for for people that want to you know continue to educate themselves for sure.
Can we talk about what other roles you guys have have performed while being a member of the Calgary City Police? Yeah, sure.
Like Brennan and I both.
And on, you know, around that 20 year vintage.
So I can honestly say so patrol is obviously everyone does it.
I worked in District one and district two and District eight and on patrol.
I got married and had both my babies while I was a CPS member.
So when I moved into the major events and emergency management team where I was in charge of organizing large scale events, whether they were planned or unplanned, you know, things like stampede or or, you know, Lilac Fest, stuff like that.
But then, you know, if there was a anti-police rally or some sort of protest, we would also be in charge of the or of organizing the operational plans for that.
I actually got to work in the CCLC or the Chief CrossFit Learning Center, where I taught recruit classes for a short time.
Now that was a wicked experience.
I absolutely loved working there.
I even worked in H.R.
a little bit where when an officer wants to transfer into a specialty unit where you hold competition so you don’t just sort of walk, walk onto the job, you have to apply and compete against your peers for positions.
So I was I was facilitating those those internal competitions.
Then I got promoted and I went back to eighth District where I ran a team on patrol down down in that district and came to recruiting after that.
BRENNAN Well, for myself, so Ang and I had completely different careers and that’s what actually makes the CPS and policing so awesome.
There are so many different things.
Like I said before, there’s over 155 different roles.
So I like Angie. I started out on the road.
I was there for about six and a half years after that.
Well, actually during that I took the undercover course and the surveillance course with the mindset that I was going to do some undercover drug work.
But during that process, I was exposed to drug production investigation, so I got super pumped about that.
So we investigated grow ops, meth labs, fentanyl tablet, in labs, ecstasy, GHB labs, all, all that kind of stuff.
We got to learn the chemistry behind all that.
I even got to go on some expert courses and I actually learned how to make some of that stuff is pretty cool.
Actually. I learned how to make all of it. Total Breaking Bad.
I’d kill myself first, like for sure.
Like I’m not that competent.
But it was.
It was it was a lot of fun to actually learn the chemical steps required to make some of this stuff.
After that, I went to the gang team for about a cup of coffee just about a year and. Then after that I went downtown for another six and a half, seven years.
I was on the beat, so I was out there walking around, being in the back alleys at two in the morning on a winter night or whichever that was.
Our job was to get out there and be seen and and find crime and in progress on foot, and also to be able to connect with the community was really awesome. And then after that, I reached out to Ang coming up to recruiting and there was nobody else available, so she had to take me.
Yeah, and I’ve been up here now a year in February, so about 15, 16 months now, and I’ve enjoyed my entire career.
Kim It’s been outrageous and I can honestly say that every time that I was in that spot, I was like, This is the best job ever. I want to stay here forever.
And then when I went to the next spot is the same thing, and that is that in and of itself is what makes policing awesome and different, is that you have many careers within a career and there are so many different options that you can do to keep your interests.
You will always be working towards something.
And we often tell our participants with the Run with Recruiter program that there is no getting there.
This is a lifelong journey.
It’s an adventure.
Sometimes it’s it’s like getting onto that roller coaster.
You’re going to be in the front.
You can have a four point harness on, but you know one part, you’re going go through some water.
That is be another part that’s going to blow snow at you and all that kind of stuff.
There’s lots of ups and downs, lots of learning moments, a lot of challenging moments, a lot of amazing moments.
And there’s no job like this.
And that’s what makes policing different, is you can experience everything multiple lives within one life, really.
And your email signature has something called Alberta Women in Public Safety.
Could you talk a little bit about that? And are female numbers coming up as police officers? Yeah, there’s actually some really exciting things happening when it comes to women in policing and public safety.
I am a member of the Alberta Women in Public Safety, which is a group of women who across the province from different agencies, whether it’s police or sheriffs or corrections or by law transit, Fish and wildlife.
And we’ve created this group or people before me have created this group where we can support each other, go to training, have, you know, learn from each other, find mentors and attend events with each other.
We’re planning this big conference right now, which is causing me a lot of stress.
But but it’s going to be amazing.
And it’s I’m so grateful to be part of this group of women who are who’ve been doing this before me and learning from them.
And it actually inspired me to to start a Calgary Women in Policing group, which is brand brand new.
We literally just started we have we’ve had one event so far just posted a couple of weeks ago.
So it’s brand brand new to the CPS.
And again, this is a group of women who are going to work together, sworn civilian, and everyone is welcome.
We’re going to host social events, we’re going to do training, we’re going to do mentorship we’re going to do volunteerism and giving back to the community, just as a group of women supporting each other, lifting each other up, not only personally, but professionally.
Allie So we’re we’re working together to create something really cool and unique that’s we can make it whatever we want, right? So it’s not necessarily exclusive.
Like men can come to our events.
It’s not, it’s not a girls only club kind of a thing, but we’re going to focus on the events that are there and topics that are important to us as women.
So I’m super excited to to get started with that.
Again, an amazing group of women who are all ready to put in the work, not only just be part of the group, but ready to put in the work and and support each other through it.
And I will say just a shameless plug.
We have the women’s recruiting boot camp coming up at the end of May.
The applications are now closed, but if anyone’s listening, we will be doing another one in the fall.
And this is going to be an opportunity for women pre application to really experience the physical aspects of policing as a woman in CPS.
So sometimes women struggle with the physical readiness, whether it’s the testing or even through recruit classes.
So we want to give them an opportunity to come to Western’s.
They’re going to run the for a prep, like do the actual fitness test.
We’re going to run them through some really challenging scenarios.
We’re going to do like almost a mini stress test with our skills unit.
They’ll have an opportunity to spend the whole day with us, have those real conversations with current CPS, female members, and really get a sense of what it’s like to be a woman police officer in Calgary.
So it’s going to be the first.
We’ve done some women’s conferences before. This one’s going to be very, very physical, though, so I’m pretty pumped about it.
I guess I’ll we’ll see how it goes.
This one in May. But we had over 100 applicants.
We can only take 36.
So we’re doing the selections for that coming up.
And then we’ll have 36 people come to West winds and participate in the weekend.
It’ll be amazing a pumped I think our hour to answer your question Sorry I didn’t really answer it, but I think we have about a 2020 to 25% women on the job for front line for four sworn members.
We have a lot of we have obviously have a huge demographic of civilian members, too, that work at the CPS that are super important and do a lot of amazing work for us and a lot of women are civilian members that work for CPS, but sworn in, I’m pretty sure it’s around 20 to 25%.
And you’re seeing you’re seeing more female applicants as well on here.
Yeah, for sure.
Like, the thing is, is we’re looking for the best people.
Like, it doesn’t matter to us, you know, we just want the best people to join the CPS.
And sometimes the best people are women, right? So we want the best people to be sitting in the car beside us when we’re when we’re on patrol.
And that doesn’t matter if they’re men or women.
And we just find that women have been successful in recruit classes.
So we’re looking for the best of them.
Kim, can you imagine being in the car with and the dream is a dream.
She lets you know who the alpha is right away.
I’ll tell you, I only have a couple more questions for you.
Let her buck – one one of them being, What are some misconceptions out there about police officers? I think one of the messages that Brennan and I are trying to get across because we’re it being in recruiting, we’re very in the public a lot.
We’re whether we’re doing information sessions or doing podcasts or interviews on the news or on social media, we’re in the public a lot and we really want to.
The misconception that police officers are robots, right? Like we’re just humans.
We’re just like you.
We have families, we have feelings, we have problems, we have things that we care about, and we’re just normal human beings.
So sometimes we’re often seen and stereotyped simply because of the uniform that we wear and what our job is.
And the truth is we’re all very different.
We all bring very unique experiences and thoughts and, you know, things to this to this organization that makes us a really strong organization.
So we run it and I really go out of our way to be real with people, to make mistakes, to sometimes not say the right thing.
We like to have a beer on the weekend, just like everybody else twisted.
the realities of life as a recruit and life as a police officer.
and life as a police officer.
The bonuses far outweigh any of the difficult moments.
Yeah, there’s bad times, but we want to be real with people.
We want to explain to them, you know what the job includes.
And for a lot of people it’s an awakening for them and they still want to pursue their goal.
And for some others, they’re like, not this isn’t for me.
And that’s okay.
Ultimately, it’s a discovery process, but it is absolutely critical that we explain the realities of what life is like as a police officer, the awesomeness of it, because there are so many amazing elements to this job that even and couldn’t cover it all off here in the next 2 hours.
How often this is a misconception that parents might do, but how often does this happen to you where a parent will say to their child, you better be good, or I’m going to have this person arrest you that has that happen to you? Oh, in public, Yeah. I don’t like it when they do that.
No, I don’t either.
I don’t like it when they do that.
So the reason being is, is that we are we are to be trusted and we’re we’re we are there to be helpful when people need help.
We don’t ever want to be viewed as a tool for punishment when the reality is that is not the case.
Our job is 100% all day, every day to serve every officer that has put on this uniform has the same agenda to go out and to serve and to be a help.
So personally, I whenever those moments happen, I laugh a little and I try to laugh it off a little bit.
But then I always explain to the child exactly what I just said.
We are always here to help you.
We are not.
We are the good guys.
Yeah, we’re the good guys.
Like that’s we want real life people that get to go to real life problems and solve.
Yeah, well, kids look up to you like professional athletes in the same way.
I think so.
I have never made that mistake with my kids.
I But I’ve heard people do that.
Yeah, well, what we want parents to think that that their kid, when they’re scared, can come to us and we’re going to help them not be afraid to speak with us.
Yeah, Yeah, exactly.
I have a question about the friendly rivalry with other first responders.
Is that a thing? Yes, 100% it is, but it’s totally friendly.
We are always battling up north.
Obviously, Edmonton’s in the playoffs this year.
And to be honest, how many first round draft picks do you need to be able to get into the playoffs? But that’s a whole nother situation.
But like for first year, there’s that friendly rivalry with other agencies, with with other services as well.
Like we go back and forth between the other agencies in Alberta, whether it be Edmonton, Lethbridge Medicine Hat or what have you, but also within the other services, you know, for EMS or for fire, we go back and forth all the time, frankly, that that camaraderie just builds the relationship even stronger because often we’re going to go to a scene where all three of us are going to be there and often more than one unit out of each respective agency.
So the opportunity to build that friendly rivalry, we go back and forth.
That’s that’s super important.
And when we get to the scene, we can now put that aside and to be able to deal with the problem.
But you could probably speak more to Ang Well, I’m married to a firefighter, so.
So we bust each other’s chops all the time at our house.
That on whose job is better to do? Your shifts line up.
Do you ever see your.
We’re we’re quite lucky.
Our kids are older so they work on a 24 hour schedule.
So they do like 24 hour on two days off, 24 on four days off.
So for sure the schedules line up, but it’s sort of ships in the night sometimes for sure.
But just like Brennan said, like we bust each other’s chops.
Definitely about about our jobs and who who the real heroes are and stuff like that.
But the truth is, we’re all on the same team and even even policing agencies, right? Like we Calgary and Edmonton, obviously Battle of Alberta in all senses.
But I’ll tell you right now, the recruiting team in Calgary and the recruiting team in Edmonton, we we connect with each other all the time.
We help each other all the time.
We steal each other’s ideas and share ideas and we give each other exactly what we need because we are all on the same team 100%.
We may have a different flash on our shoulders, but we’re all brothers and sisters. Definitely.
It’s a it’s a sibling Rivalry is exactly, exactly.
I’m based in Edmonton, but I will ask you guys this question anyways.
What is the Calgary Advantage? What makes let’s go live and waiting for you to ask that question.
Oh, my God, Brandon’s been vibrating like that.
What what makes Calgary different from other police services and agents? So we’re going to probably go back and forth here just like a tennis match.
So and as I miss some you can I look to you and you can pop in. So one thing we can say without certainty or with with certainty is that the job is the same no matter where you go.
So whether you’re in Edmonton or here or Ontario, B.C., the job’s the same, the same obstacles remain, the same awesome opportunities.
The job is not different. What matters is the where.
So here in Calgary to say first the thing that we didn’t realize that we were enjoying as was the fact that the cost of living cost of housing is radically different than some of the larger urban centers like in the Lower Mainland and in Ontario.
So we’ve heard from some of our brothers and sisters in Ontario that their commute times are quite long, like they can be up to a couple of hours one way each day because they can’t afford to live near their agency that they’re that they’re currently working out.
So with the Calgary Advantage, we we offer affordable housing, we offer affordable lifestyle, we offer a far better commute time.
Our facilities are outstanding by our jumps here and all the resources and all the courses and all the things that are available to you are outstanding.
Each officer that comes here for some agencies that are larger, they’re going to offer the same thing.
But we have over 155 different vocations within this job, in addition to frontline police officer to experiment with throughout your career, there’s so many more things.
Yeah, I think the big thing for for me and my family is the proximity to the mountains, right? Already we spend a lot of time.
You almost take it for granted that we get to see the beautiful Rocky Mountains every day from all sides of the city.
They’re just constantly on the on the horizon for us, and they’re just an hour and a bit away so we can get to the mountains very, very quickly, very easily.
Like I mentioned, I, I think I got 30 ski days in this year when I was on patrol.
I was getting 45, 50 ski days.
And so being in the mountains is huge for us.
We have amazing wildlife populations.
Are world class fishing.
The river runs right through the city and people travel from all over the world to fish in the Bow River or to ski in our beautiful mountains.
We the the outdoor lifestyle that we offer here in the city.
We have hundreds and hundreds of kilometers of bike trails right inside the city.
We have a ski hill in the city.
We have a world class Olympic facility.
Winsport that is available to the public at all times.
We have multiple recreational facilities throughout the city too.
Of course, the latest is the building of our new arena, obviously long overdue, but that’s going to be a pretty amazing structure.
And and center right in our downtown.
And I mean, like Kim, I’m going to say it, we’re the home of the Calgary Stampede, right? It’s the best party in the country, Right? I’ve lived here almost my whole life.
And I’m one of those nerds that just I love Stampede.
It’s one of the best times. Like, it’s so wild.
People come from all over the world and, you know, you take them out to a stampede breakfast where they’re going to get pancakes and sausages and bacon and and whatever in the morning.
And they’re looking for the the the till.
They’re looking where they have to pay for this breakfast.
And when they find out that you don’t pay for stampede breakfast, that’s just how we roll here in Calgary that blows their mind the the Calgarian hospitality that we have here that we welcome people from all over to the stampede and people like the the richest, you know, CEOs of the biggest companies downtown, they they ditch their suits and they grab their shoddy belt buckles and their terrible hats, and they’re cowboys for ten days.
Right? So I think that’s one of the it’s a major in the city, you know, the rodeos, the chuckwagon, the parades.
It’s an unbelievable event that really brings the city together.
It’s a weird experience, but I love it.
I’m a total stampede.
And it’s it’s crazy on top of all that.
And we have quick and easy access to B.C.
So the whole B.C. life.
So I’m a montana boy myself.
I love Montana.
If if you’ve seen that show, Yellowstone with Kevin Costner.
Oh, yeah, 100%.
Like for real. That’s exactly what it’s like.
But in real, in the first person, it’s way better.
They have a lake that’s almost 90 miles long.
70 miles of it is on the American side.
It is emerald green water.
25 years ago, it wasn’t very well known.
Now there’s a lot more Canadians down there.
It’s the second day that you go through Fernie and then you’re going to be heading down towards the border.
It literally goes up ten degrees and it’s it is so much fun and there are sand dunes everywhere.
It’s absolutely amazing.
The other thing that I really like is the bedroom communities Kim. So in Calgary if you want to stay in Calgary, that’s perfect.
There’s the rich diversity that we have.
We have a festival for everything.
And often there’s, there’s, there’s overlap on the weekends because we have so amazing, so many amazing festivals.
Name your name, your country of origin.
There’s a festival for it. It’s amazing.
But me and myself, I grew up small town, so I prefer to leave work in Calgary.
And after five years I actually moved to one of the bedroom communities.
So I live just south of the city and my commute time every single day up to the northeast here is 38 minutes.
It’s very quick.
The great thing is, is that all of the bedroom communities, they’re all on opposite sides of the city.
So I’m on the south.
On the north side, there’s Airdrie on the east side, there’s Chester here.
On the west side, there is Cochrane.
I actually was looking at Cochrane because much like and I love the mountain life, if you like, paddleboard, riding, skiing, fishing, camping, hiking, whatever your thing is, it’s all available to you, like right now because like Water Montana quite a bit.
I decided to go with the southern option, but even from my place right now, I can be in the mountains in less than an hour.
The the options that are available to you by being a police officer in Calgary are limitless.
I was born in Edmonton and I will confess to you that I was driving through Calgary last summer and I actually said to my wife, You know what? This is a beautiful city.
We’re pretty lucky. Yeah, we are.
We’re all fortunate, actually.
We’re very fortunate to be in Alberta.
Yeah, we’re very fortunate to be in Canada and to live their lives that we have and to have the opportunities that we have for our families and for ourselves.
Well, I don’t this to all public servants, but I definitely say this to police and first responders.
Thank you so much for your service and thank you so much for coming on the podcast today to talk about your career.
I really appreciate it.
It is a privilege. Thank you. Kim. Yeah, we had a blast.
Thank you for having us.
And if anyone ever wants to get a hold of us, please go to our website.
join.calgarypolice.ca You can email us and one of us will respond to you for sure.
So if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime and fill out an application.
join.calgarypolice.ca – starts here.
We are hiring. Let’s go.
To learn more, Our podcast music was created by our friend Mike Malone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.