Up to 50 cadets could be in the auxiliary program at a time, giving cadets ‘the opportunity to work alongside police officers and our civilian staff to learn valuable skills, gain work experience and get first-hand insights into policing,’ the service’s website reads. Graduating class members of the Calgary Police Auxilliary Cadets program await their group photo at HMS Tecumseh Friday June 12, 2015.
Ted Rhodes / 00066089A
The Calgary Police Service has cancelled its auxiliary cadet program after six years following a labour dispute between the service and the cadets union.The Police Auxiliary Program started in 2013 and was designed to pair young adults interested in a law enforcement career with sworn CPS officers in a mentorship role. But the union claims that partnership devolved into cadets being given “supplemental work,” which raised concerns over safety, hours of work and working conditions.As many as 50 cadets could be in the program at a time, giving cadets “the opportunity to work alongside police officers and our civilian staff to learn valuable skills, gain work experience and get first-hand insights into policing,” the service’s website reads.“In April 2019, the program ended,” the service states. “While young adults can no longer learn about policing as an Auxiliary, there are still opportunities to gain insight into policing as a career.”D’Arcy Lanovaz, president of CUPE Local 38, which represented both auxiliary cadets and CPS public service advisors (PSA), said the program came to an end when expectations for cadets shifted in 2017.PSAs worked front desks at police district offices and were “responsible for providing service to members of the general public,” including investigating minor incidents and, on occasion, “arrest and release compliant subjects,” the service said in a statement.And while the service committed to using sworn officers to fill the vacated PSA positions “it turns out … cadets were being used for that work,” Lanovaz said.
Stephen Deng shakes hands with a man at the Calgary Police District 3 detachment Wednesday July 15, 2015. The former Sudanese refugee had recently graduated from the Calgary Police Auxiliary Cadet Program and now works at the detachment on front desk duties.
Ted Rhodes /
“We took CPS at face value. … It was clear to us that we had a significant problem with the cadet program on that front,” he said.While filing reports and paperwork may be part of being a police officer, Lanovaz said that’s not what cadets signed up for, adding “this was no longer a mentoring program, it was a job.”“Was it universally viewed as a mentorship program and a theatre into the CPS? No. It had devolved over the years,” Lanovaz said, into “supplemental work, which was never the intent.”Cadets had also raised “safety concerns, concerns around hours of work and working conditions,” as well as issues around “more pressure to be at work than at school.”Related
In 2017, Lanovaz said the union brought the cadets’ concerns to the service. He said the union asked CPS for “a full review” of the program before beginning a new collective bargaining agreement.“We had given a commitment to the city and CPS that, as it stands, we’re not ready to renew the letter of understanding … the CPS did not respond in any fashion through all of 2018, and it was only in 2019 for them to finally come forward.”When both parties sat down at the bargaining table in January, the cadet program was not renewed.“Frankly, nothing was done for a year when (CPS) clearly knew what our position was. We wanted to make sure that we were not ambiguous in any sense. We were very, very clear in the fall of 2017 that these were very real concerns and issues … we were disappointed, I will say that.”Calgary police did not respond to a Postmedia request for comment on this matter.Young adults interested in becoming a police officer or joining the Calgary Police Service can learn more by visiting join.calgarypolice.caRRumbolt@postmedia.comOn Twitter: @RCRumbolt