Edmonton police mark 10 years of recruitment run program aimed at getting people interested in policing

A popular recruitment run put on by the Edmonton Police Service has reached a special milestone.

Thursday morning marked the 10th anniversary of the EPS Run with Recruiters (RWR) program. RWR started out in 2012 when two students tagged along on a run with EPS recruiting staff. The students wanted to learn more about becoming police officers.

The students found the run provided a great opportunity to connect with the officers and learn about the career potential, as well as the fitness level needed for the job.

“The runs were physically challenging and gave me the desire to better myself physically and mentally,” said Const. Joshua Hiebert.

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Hiebert was one of the two students who took part in the first run a decade ago. He’s now entering his seventh year with the EPS.

“I didn’t know any police officers personally, and the EPS recruiter was the first officer I could have an honest conversation with. I was able to learn more about various aspects of the job that I was too nervous or never had time to ask about in other settings,” Hiebert said.

Now, RWR workouts are held four to five times per week. About 120 people took part in Thursday’s workout, which took place very early in the morning at the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre.

Peter Ogunde is in the EPS application process. He has taken part in several RWR workouts and was at Thursday’s session.

“Run with Recruiters has been a sense of belonging to me, accountability, just endurance,” he explained. “It’s a really important phase in the application process because this is a place you come to meet all the recruitment staff, you can ask all kinds of questions.”

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Sweating after a hard workout, Ogunde said doing burpees is his favourite part of the exercise.

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“That’s the one thing that everyone — I would say dislikes — but when we get to it, we just get on with it. It’s one of the favourite workouts,” he said with a laugh.

“It’s been a fun experience. It’s not the same activities every week, which is a good thing. That makes you push yourself beyond the limit.”

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the EPS Run with Recruiters (RWR) program. Global News

Sgt. Em Chan with the EPS recruit selections said there’s definitely a recruitment goal at the RWR workouts, but it’s also just for anyone who is contemplating a potential career in policing.

“For those who are in the process or about to apply, it’s great that we have staff here that are there to take the mystery out of the recruiting process,” Chan said.

While Chan was speaking with Global News, potential officers were taking part in a beep test in the background. Also known as a shuttle run, it’s an annual fitness test that EPS members go through, as well as a minimum standard within all police agencies in Alberta.

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“This is a typical part of our Run with Recruiter events but then afterwards we’ll break into other forms of high-intensity training,” Chan said.

“It allows the applicant to have a gauge of where they are for fitness standards when they’re contemplating an application to the EPS.”

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Since 2012, more than 5,000 people have taken part in nearly 1,000 RWR workouts, according to the EPS. The workout can involve anything from long runs and circuit training to other cardio activities and strength conditioning.

Ten years and nearly 1,000 runs later, the EPS said RWR continues to help people from all backgrounds pursue careers in policing.

“The RWR program focused on mentorship in 2012 and the same is true today,” EPS recruiting Sgt. David Kabyn said. “We’re here to help potential applicants pursue a policing career and it starts with a connection in an encouraging environment.

“We set them up for success by pushing their limits and building their confidence, so it’s rewarding to see them achieve their goals.”

The EPS said of the 259 recruits hired in the last three years, about 80 per cent took part in the RWR program.

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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the EPS Run with Recruiters (RWR) program. Global News

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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the EPS Run with Recruiters (RWR) program. Global News

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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the EPS Run with Recruiters (RWR) program. Global News

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Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the EPS Run with Recruiters (RWR) program. Global News

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