During the first week of March, J.L. Crowe partnered with the RCMP and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to provide an invaluable work experience for several students interested in pursuing a career in the fields of law and law enforcement.
It offered a powerful eye-opening experience for the students.
“I felt it was a really big reality check on how much work it actually was,” said student Justine Fiegler.
“With being a lawyer you don’t just stand there in a suit and use big words. There’s so much research and little things to look for.”
Tyler Holman added, “It’s a bit more than just slapping handcuffs on people and taking them away.”
The program was organized by Crowe’s Norm Marchi, CBSA Superintendent Kevin Kearney and Crime Prevention Officer Gordon Simms and took place from March 4 to March 8 with an additional date for a mock trial March 13.
Out of the four eight-hour days, two and a half days were spent in the classroom learning material such as procedures, laws and consequences.
Half of one day was then spent on a mock border situation involving an impaired driver.
“We chose this case because we wanted one where the RCMP and CBSA work together equally,” Kearney said.
The students ran through the entire situation from gathering evidence to submitting a report and then worked closely with lawyers, the judge and others involved in the court process before participating in the mock trial at the Rossland courthouse.
“It’s nothing like the TV shows,” student Isabella Crossman laughed, “Much more time and work involved.”
The decision among the students was unanimous, in that they firmly believed the program was well worth their time and they had a lot of fun doing it.
“The kids are already talking,” said Marchi.
“I’ve already got kids coming in saying, Can I do that next year? Can I do that next year?’”
The work experience program has been an ongoing project at Crowe for many years, with students heading up to Teck Cominco, the local fire department and the hospital, among other workplaces.
But this marks the first time in over a decade that the legal institutions have become involved.
Simms assures that after seeing the success this time around, the program will be returning in subsequent years.