Like many aspiring police officers before him, Robert (Robbie) Dean Edgar-Morton knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in the RCMP.
“I grew up knowing that I wanted to be an RCMP officer,” he says. “It’s not really explainable, it’s just something I have known since I was young.”
Morton is a very familiar face to the residents of Bella Coola. Having been born and raised here, the 21 year-old recently completed three years of schooling in Criminology and Law Enforcement at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in preparation of his application to the RCMP.
Morton returned to Bella Coola for the summer to participate in the Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program (APTC). The program offers Canadian Aboriginal peoples aged 19 – 29 the opportunity to experience daily police work with the RCMP.
Morton attended a three-week training session at the RCMP Academy (Depot) in Regina, Saskatchewan, which included collaborative problem-solving skills, law enforcement techniques, public speaking and cultural diversity. Elements of physical fitness and drill are incorporated into the training, which promote teamwork and provide candidates with long-term strategies to meet their personal fitness goals.
After successful completion of the APTP course, candidates are posted to an RCMP detachment in or near their home community (Bella Coola in Morton’s case) where they work with police officers. Activities and duties depend on the need of the detachment but include crime prevention and community policing initiatives.
Morton has fully enjoyed working at the office in Bella Coola, and was greeted with a very positive reaction from his home community.
“The community has been really supportive,” said Morton. “But it did give everyone a shock when they saw me in uniform for the first time!”
After nearly three months of shadowing various constables in the Bella Coola office, Morton is ready to set his sights on his application to become a full-time member of the RCMP.
“This has been a great start to my chosen career,” said Morton. “Now I’m going to focus on becoming a full-time member of the RCMP.”