Rookie cop begins on-the-job training

Nathan Liewicki
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Constable Shawn Mohle scribbles down some notes while talking on the phone, as Cst. Brittainy Clement holds on to Trigger along the 400 block of Caribou Street West on Monday. The loose German Shepherd was the first call Cst. Clement responded to as a police officer.

Constables Clement, Schwabe officially on duty with MJPS

Constable Brittainy Clement wasn’t sure how to operate her radio when she showed up to work Monday morning.

But she can be forgiven.

Monday was the police officer’s first day on the job with the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS), and the Times-Herald had the opportunity to ride along with Clement and Cst. Shawn Mohle for part of the morning.

“I'm just looking forward to finally being on the street and finally policing,” said Clement. “It has been a lifelong goal of mine.”

In August, she and Cst. Evan Schwabe were sworn in as the newest MJPS recruits. And after 18 weeks of training at the Saskatchewan Police College, the officers are officially on-the-job rookies.

But those 18 weeks weren’t always easy, Clement admitted.

“When you have miles to run and workouts to do, a criminal law exam that you're studying for and they throw more reports and other homework assignments at you, you just kind just want to stop, but you push through it.

“Some of the fitness classes, they just push you to your absolute max and you wonder what the hell you are doing there.”

But Clement survived and her six-month training began in earnest at 7 a.m. Monday.

Although the first few hours on the job weren’t overwhelming for her, Mohle – who Clement will spend her first week alongside before joining her field training officer – said policing tends to be a little overwhelming for new officers at first.

“She's going to shadow me to see what kind of information we take down and how we handle certain situations.”

However, police officers never face the same situation twice. That’s one thing Clement is somewhat nervous about.

“I'm nervous for the fact that policing is not black and white. There isn't a manual that tells you what to do and how to act in each situation,” she said. “You kind of just have to judge it for every call.”

Her first official call as a member of MJPS was a situation she wasn’t expecting.

Driving along the 400 block of Caribou Street West, Mohle and Clement noticed a large German Shepherd wandering the street. Mohle pulled the cruiser over and called out to the dog to see if it was friendly.

It was and so Mohle got out of the cruiser, as did Clement.

Fortunately, Trigger had a tag on him and Mohle was able to contact the owner, who quickly came by to pick up the pooch.

The call was brief and Trigger was not a threatening animal, but throughout the incident Mohle made sure Clement knew how to handle the situation, should she ever come across a similar one.

Gathering as much information about the dog was also important.

“As police officers we are information gatherers,” said Mohle.

For the time being, Clement will be an information gatherer as she learns all the ins and outs of becoming a police officer with every call in the Friendly City. 

“I like how you're going to be a better trained and well-rounded officer at the end (of your training) because you do go to all of the different calls,” Clement said. “You're not just on traffic, or just writing tickets. You get to see everything.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Saskatchewan Police College, Moose Jaw Police Service, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Friendly

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