Government program helps students learn about policing

By Joel Charron

There are a couple of new faces floating around the Amherstburg Police Station this summer.

General Amherst student Taylar Boswell and St. Thomas of Villanova student Nicole Acrey are getting a first-hand look at policing as a potential career thanks to a provincial grant funded through the Ministry of Children and Social Services, known as Youth in Policing Initiative, otherwise known as the “YIPI” program.

Sr. Const Joan Lovell said the grant will cover the student’s wages during the summer. Both Boswell and Acrey will make $10.70 per hour.

L to R: Sr. Const. Joan Lovell, Taylar Boswell, Nicole Acrey and Chief Tim Berthiaume

“It’s a government grant. It is for at risk youth. To be eligible, they had to be recommended by their school’s guidance department,” said Lovell.

The purpose of YIPI is to develop a relationship with the police department, a relationship that Lovell hopes will continue after the girls return to school in the fall.

The two girls will do work similar to what co-op students do including a few extras. They will also do patrols on the park, filing and other office work, assisting Lovell with Crime Prevention through environmental Design assessments and many other things around the station.

The two potential future police officers have already handed out “Lock it or Lose it” pamphlets in parking lots. They will also be assisting the police with special events.

“I think it’s an awesome program. The provincial program is going to put money into our community so we can give at risk kids an opportunity,” explained Lovell.

Acrey and Boswell will be working 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. five days a week, however their schedules could change if weekend work is required. The two also had to get a police clearance, as well as, take the Oath of Secrecy because of the nature of work they will do doing.

Chief Tim Berthiaume said he was asked to participate in the YIPI program last year but thought it was best to hold off because of transition of the chief’s office between himself a retiring chief Roger Hollingworth. This year he said he was more than willing to take part.

“I’m excited about the program. I’m hoping to do this every year,” said Berthiaume. “This program allows the police to provide another service to the community without a an additional cost to the police station.”

Boswell and Acrey are both excited to be working at the police station this summer. Both students are hoping to join the police force when they get older. Boswell said she enjoys the behind the scenes aspect of what a cop is all about. Acrey said she enjoys protecting people.

One response to “Government program helps students learn about policing”

  1. Mr. Cranky says:

    I think the best way to learn about policing for youth in Amherstburg is to go shoplift at Walmart.