OPP recruiter

Despite no one showing up to an Mentoring for Aboriginal People (MAP) program session Monday evening at the Seven Generations Educational Institute, OPP recruiter Sgt. Darryl Wilson will be back in the area next spring to try and recruit more First Nations men and women.
“I think there was some confusion. I was supposed to do this at a later date and there was a last-minute change,” Sgt. Wilson said as he waited around for anyone to show up.
“If people don’t want to hear about it, it’s the best we can do,” he sighed.
But Sgt. Wilson added he’s sure some aboriginal interest in policing is here, making his visit worthwhile.
“Last year, we had 18 people in Fort Frances come,” he noted. “And I know from that, one person from the Fort Frances area that’s going through the program on his way to being a constable, and I’m pleased with that.”
Sgt. Wilson headed off to a similar session in Sioux Lookout yesterday and then was scheduled to wrap up his tour in Thunder Bay today. A session in Kenora back in September only saw two people show up.
The MAP program is a training and information session designed to assist aboriginal people interested in a career in policing.
“My goal is to hire more aboriginal people, to focus on telling them what policing is all about and what’s expected from the OPP,” noted Sgt. Wilson.
Besides having Sgt. Wilson provide an overview of the OPP hiring process, volunteer teachers Denise Clendenning and Sean Taggart were on hand to provide instruction on math and English that are components of the constable selection process, making the MAP program different than the standard recruiting sessions held annually at the Civic Centre.
“I want any applicants to get a refresher course on how to study, use of good grammar, and math skills,” remarked Sgt. Wilson.
“I think a lot of people need to brush up on those skills. They come into use on the job.”
Sgt. Wilson, who is based out of the OPP recruiting office in Thunder Bay, created the MAP program and started promoting it last year.
“It’s definitely unique to the northwest,” he noted. “In the region, we get a respectable number of applicants as it is.
“But it’s the goal of the OPP to make sure there’s more aboriginal officers in the rank to get a balanced perspective on the communities we serve,” he added.
Sgt. Wilson said the MAP program isn’t used elsewhere in the province simply because it’s not needed.
“It’s really about population. In London [another of the OPP’s recruiting centres], they’re dealing with hundreds of applicants without a program like this,” he noted.