© JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS
Lee Ann Gordon, left, Henry Abou-Dib, Cody Falcitelli, Justice Minister Ross Landry, Brandon MacFarlane, Emily Jefferies, Const. Ken MacDonald, Chyna Jefferies and Kennedy Gordon gathered at the NGRPS headquarters in New Glasgow yesterday to receive the cheque for $3,500 from the Justice Department for their youth troop’s activities.
NEW GLASGOW - The New Glasgow Regional Police Service Youth Troop has received a boost from the provincial department of justice.
Justice Minister Ross Landry presented a cheque for $3,500 to troop leader Const. Ken MacDonald of the NGRPS, RCMP officer Henry Abou-Dib, community and parent representative Lee Ann Gordon and five youth troop members.
This is the fourth year that the department of justice has provided funding for the youth troop.
Landry noted the program is a great tool for young people to build up their resume for future employment or enrollment in post-secondary education.
“By the time these youth are 18, they have a wealth of community service, including support for town and community events,” said Landry.
The youth troop is an organization for youth ages 13 to 18 and focuses on leadership, citizenship and a code of discipline, dress and deportment. Members receive training in various skills such as first aid, firearm safety and W.H.I.M.I.S.
“The youth in this program aren’t expected to join the New Glasgow Police or become a police officer,” said MacDonald. “It’s about giving them experiences and training that will benefit in them in the future.”
The funds given to the troop yesterday came from the justice department’s crime prevention initiatives budget. It will help to fund the Friday-Sunday gathering in of various police departments and their respective youth troops this April. To ensure the event is a success, planning is already underway.
“This will be a gathering of police officers and youth from across the country and potentially the US as well,” said MacDonald. “Many of the cadets stay in touch with the people they meet.”
Along with their training the youth are given the opportunity to advance within the organization including the ranks similar to that of army cadets. Members of the troop attend summer camps, parades and visit the police academy and forensic laboratory.
“For us and for all Nova Scotians, these are tax dollars well spent,” said Landry. “This is an inclusive organization that is community centred, a win-win.”
Kennedy Gordon, 16 has been in the youth troop for four years and participated in a cadet exchange to Florida where she learned how things work in that state.
“There are a lot of things to do and learn and there’s always new things going on,” she said. “The program helped me to get a job at Sobeys through community service and Ken as a reference.”
MacDonald predicts the gathering of youth troops and their instructors in April will see around 150 gather in Pictou County.
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