The music is pounding and the energy is surprisingly high for 6:30 a.m., but it’s just a regular Friday in MacEwan University’s gym where around 60 students from the Department of Public Safety and Justice Studies gather each week to spend an hour working out with Edmonton Police Service (EPS) members – most of whom are MacEwan Police and Investigations alumni.
Together, they run, climb stairs, do circuit training, and even play dodgeball, all in an effort to prepare and learn about the fitness testing standards involved in becoming a police officer. But the Run With Recruiters program, which has happened weekly throughout the Fall and Winter semesters for the past three years, is about more than fitness.
“Applicants who take part tend to do better in the hiring process, as they have not only had an opportunity to become more fit, but also a venue to become more informed about the process itself,” says Constable Jody Ponto with the EPS Recruitment Section. “But one of the biggest benefits is mentorship.”
That mentorship, along with the teamwork and comradery are things first-year Police and Investigations student Montana Kootenay appreciates about Run with Recruiters.
“It’s really group-oriented and it’s great to have someone push you a little bit harder than you would push yourself,” he says. “It gives you a little extra drive and motivation. And, it’s really awesome to see all of these officers be so approachable and give so much of their time.”
One of those officers, Constable Brian Alm (Police and Security ‘06), was on his way to his own workout when he happened to see Run with Recruiters happening in the MacEwan gym and volunteered to participate.
“I really love being a part of this,” Brian says. “These students push me every Friday and I can see myself in a lot of them. I know that 10 years ago I really appreciated being able to talk to people who were actually in policing, and if I can be a resource to them I take great value in that.”
Run with Recruiters will start again in the fall.
Run with Recruiters in action
Constable Brian Alm (Police and Security ‘06) and Constable Joshua Maeda (Police and Security ‘11) get ready for their Friday morning workout with MacEwan students.
Constable Jody Ponto preps students for the day’s workout.
EPS members, including several MacEwan University alumni, join students in their Friday morning workouts.
Students kick off their 20-metre shuttle run, also known as a beep test, that is part of the Fitness Testing Standards to become a police officer.