An Invaluable Resource
Kelowna, This Is Who We Are
2019-09-05 09:42 PDT
I want to be the type of person who kids find approachable.
It was through her own positive interactions as a youth in Prince George, that Constable Lesley Smith decided she wanted to be a police officer. Cst. Smith met her own school resource officer when she entered high school. She found her to be kind, compassionate, and supportive. As a teenager, this left a lasting impression on her. Cst. Smith realized you could be both kind and enforce the law.
After attending the College of New Caledonia and studying Criminology, Cst. Smith went to Depot in February of 1997. Her first posting was at Penticton Detachment where she worked General Duty. While in Penticton, Cst. Smith was given many developmental opportunities including working on tasks with Major Crime, the Drug Unit, and Property Crime Unit. It was in Penticton when Cst. Smith was also given her first opportunity to work with kids.
I was recruited to be a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer after a senior officer at the detachment recognized how well I worked with kids. They saw that the kids responded positively to me because they viewed me as someone who they could trust and who was fair.
In 2002, Cst. Smith transferred to Langley where she worked in the Plain Clothes Street Enforcement Crew Unit, working closely with the Auto Theft Task Force and Drug Unit. Then in 2005, she transferred back home to Prince George. In Prince George she worked on the Crime Reduction Team where her team would identify and target prolific offenders in the community, wrote Warrants, and worked in Traffic Services. She also worked in Community Policing Section, where she was in charge of the School Resource volunteers. She did Media Relations for the Prince George detachment. In 2012 Cst. Smith was requested to fill the role of North District Media Relations Officer. The North District in BC is an area that covers 32 Detachments and geographically encompasses 72% of British Columbia.
Cst. Smith moved to Kelowna in 2016 where she was one of four School Resource Officers,
my area of specialty involved working with high risk youth and alternative school programs. In Prince George I had built a strong rapport with high risk youth, this experience was valuable. Cst. Smith had the tools and skillset necessary to relate to youth who might need a little bit extra attention,
it is so important to take the time to develop a trusting relationship with any student. As a result, they now seek me out with personal information knowing they can trust me to help them.
As a woman, Cst. Smith was able to talk to girls who might have been a bit more apprehensive about reporting personal crime. She was able to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment where they could share without feeling judgement.
School Resources Officers are invaluable to school districts. Fostering positive interactions and building trusting relationships which are meaningful go a long ways towards getting youth to make smart decisions. School Resource Officers provide presentations about the harmful effects of drugs, creating a positive digital footprint, social media, online safety, bullying, and cyberbullying. Often times, a School Resource Officer role will be that of education and prevention, but they also provide support to the school and students, as well as enforcement when needed.
When kids consider you a friend, they are more willing to open up to you, said Cst. Smith.
I want these kids to know they should surround themselves with positive people, learn from negative experiences and mistakes, and move forward. There is nothing holding you back from succeeding.
The RCMP is looking for individuals with unique background that bring these experiences to their job. If you are interested in a career with the RCMP please visit our Recruiting page for more information and how to apply: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/police-officer-careers.
Cst. Erika Dirsus
Media Relations Officer
E Division Pro Active Recruiting
14200 Green Timbers Way , Mailstop 1109, Surrey, BC V3T 6P3
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