Helping out the police
Volunteer becomes auxiliary member of the RCMP

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Dec 03/99) - Fort Simpson has never had an auxiliary constable, until last week that is.

On Thursday morning, Troy Hardisty was sworn in during a well-attended ceremony at the RCMP detachment. He said he never expected that many people -- roughly 15 -- to be there.

"It was a good turnout," he said.

Superintendent Terry Elliott, officer in charge of criminal operations and based in Yellowknife, was on hand for the event.

He said the auxiliary program is a very important one to the police. One of the most important precepts of the RCMP is that they cannot work for the community without the co-operation of the community.

"More often than not, we do not understand your culture. Almost always, we do not understand your language. So it's very important to have Troy introduce members, especially new members, to the community," Elliott told the community members who showed up to witness the occasion.

Cpl. Steve Corcoran, acting detachment commander, said Hardisty's willingness to volunteer was openly welcomed.

"We are thrilled we're going to be having an auxiliary," said Corcoran.

Hardisty said Dan Quevillon, a former member of the Fort Simpson RCMP, made him aware of the auxiliary program.

"He mentioned to me that it would be good," he said. Also a volunteer firefighter, he added, "I just thought I'd see how the police worked."

Now he'll get that opportunity. When he's on duty, and in uniform, he will have full peace officer status, according to Cpl. Corcoran. That means he will have the power of arrest, he'll attend calls with regular constables, and he'll receive training in law, the use of a baton, pepper spray and a shotgun. He'll also be introduced to the RCMP's computer system and will book prisoners.

"He's almost doing the full job, other than he's not assigned as an investigator," Corcoran said.

In order to retain his auxiliary constable status, Hardisty must volunteer at least 200 hours on the job each year. That works out to approximately two eight hour shifts per month, Corcoran noted.

His first shift will likely come this weekend.

"I'm nervous and excited both," he said.