Blue Line

News
RCMP academy enrolment in ‘shocking’ decline

Jun 12 2013

Enrolment in the RCMP's six-month basic-training academy has plummeted in recent years.

Figures recently tabled by the federal government show that 1,783 cadets enrolled at the RCMP Depot in Regina during the 2008-09 fiscal year. That number fell to 395 in 2012-13.

Liberal Sen. Colin Kenny, whose repeated questioning of the government prompted the release of the numbers, said the decline is "shocking" and that only one conclusion can be reached: The force is shrinking.


June 13, 2013
By Corrie Sloot

Jun 12 2013

Enrolment in the RCMP’s six-month basic-training academy has plummeted in recent years.

Figures recently tabled by the federal government show that 1,783 cadets enrolled at the RCMP Depot in Regina during the 2008-09 fiscal year. That number fell to 395 in 2012-13.

Liberal Sen. Colin Kenny, whose repeated questioning of the government prompted the release of the numbers, said the decline is “shocking” and that only one conclusion can be reached: The force is shrinking.

Advertisment

“I’m concerned about it. I’m concerned the RCMP is going down, not up,” he said. “That creates problems with backup, with morale.”

A spokesman for the force said the declining enrolment does not reflect a lack of interest in becoming a Mountie.

“The RCMP recruits new cadets based on organizational affordability, attrition, the resourcing demands identified by our municipal and provincial partners and our federal policing requirements,” Cpl. David Falls said in an email.

“Most recently, internal restructuring led to existing RCMP police officers being available internally to fill the vacancies in the field, therefore requiring (fewer) applicants.”

Falls said the RCMP recently converted “several hundred” positions in operational support and administration that had been held by regular members into civilian positions.

“This enabled the RCMP to fill vacancies with the members who previously held those jobs rather than new hires,” Falls said.

Still, figures provided by the force show that the total number of regular members has fallen from 19,347 in 2010 to 18,881 this year.

Since 2010, the numbers have fallen below 600, even though the training academy has a current maximum capacity of 1,100 at any given time.

The force’s attrition rate has remained relatively flat. It has lost an average of about 640 members each year over the past decade.

BY THE NUMBERS

Year Cadets enrolled

2002-03 1,004

2003-04 1,012

2004-05 968

2005-06 1,222

2006-07 1,508

2007-08 1,417

2008-09 1,783

2009-10 1,021

2010-11 581

2011-12 575

2012-13 395

(Ottawa Citizen)