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Police college dismisses Moose Jaw recruit for not ‘meeting standards’

One of the Moose Jaw Police Service’s four recruits has washed out of Saskatchewan Police College, although who that is and the exact reason for the dismissal have not been released.

One of the Moose Jaw Police Service’s four recruits has washed out of Saskatchewan Police College, although who that is and the exact reason for the dismissal have not been released.

The police service swore in recruits Sarah Kristy, Dustin Caplette-Tarrant, Gradyn Childerhose and Calee Sawyer during a ceremony on July 16. They were then sent to police college for an expected 20 weeks. 

At some point recently, rumours swirled that one of the recruits had been released. The Moose Jaw Express reached out to the police service to confirm the rumours and the alleged action that precipitated the firing. However, a police spokesman said the issue would be discussed during the Oct. 19 Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

The Police Act regulations lay out a really stringent process for recruiting and engaging individuals, and that includes physical tests, cognitive tests, background checks, integrity checks (and) there’s a polygraph test. It’s really quite a robust system,” Police Chief Rick Bourassa told commissioners during their meeting. 

There is also an internal system where the police service interviews its recruits and puts them through the paces, he continued. Many applicants apply, but most of them do not make it and are screened out. 

The successful applicants are sent to police college to train and develop the necessary skills while being continuously evaluated. The police service is in constant contact with evaluators to learn how the recruits are performing. 

“In this case, one of the members just wasn’t meeting standards, so it was a decision we’ve made in the past, that it was just time to end that and move on,” Bourassa said, noting the recruit was released on Oct. 6. “So we will be running a police officer short for a while, and we’re back into the selection process again.

“We’ll just keep the board informed as that moves forward.”

There is a process described in The Police Act about how police forces must give notice when firing a member, he continued. The Moose Jaw Police Service followed that process in this situation. 

The cost to train a recruit is about $10,000, but there is a higher cost if a situation is not handled properly, the police chief said. After all, the public expects police to meet the highest standards possible. 

“As hard as these things are … I’m just really pleased. I commend all of you in the police services to have a high bar because we need to demonstrate that high level of integrity and standards,” said Commissioner Mary Lee Booth. “So, it’s a good move.” 

The board then voted to receive and file Bourassa’s report.

The next Board of Police Commissioners meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 9.