James Fennema signs his cadet training agreement before he heads off to the Regina Depot to train to become an RCMP officer.

James Fennema signs his cadet training agreement before he heads off to the Regina Depot to train to become an RCMP officer.

Young Houston man joins training troop at RCMP Depot

James Fennema says it's the lifestyle he wants to live, as he heads off to Regina to train for six months and then join the RCMP.

One of Houston’s young men is training for the next six months to join the RCMP.

James Fennema, previous parts-counter person at Nadina Truck Service, joins his 24-person cadet troop today, May 29, at the RCMP Depot in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Fennema says he is nervous for the six months training but looking forward to a change.

“It’s the lifestyle I want to live,” Fennema said, explaining why he is going into the RCMP.

“I like the idea of becoming a cop,” he said, adding that he has friends in the RCMP and he did a few ride alongs with them.

“Just seeing what they do in their day to day work, I liked what I saw,” Fennema said, adding that he likes the physical aspect and the importance of staying in shape, as well as the way RCMP deal with people.

Fennema says he applied to the RCMP in 2009 and 2011 and now, two years later, finished the application process which RCMP Sgt. Rose says takes anywhere from six months to several years depending on various factors, such as amount of international travel.

Fennema says applying involved an information session with a test the same day, forms to fill out, an interview, a polygraph and a background check.

He says he also had to run a PARE (Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation), which was an obstacle course he had to run in under 4:45.

Sgt. Rose says under three minutes is considered superior and Fennema ran it in 3:10, but that will make it harder on him at Depot because they expect him to improve substantially.

Asked if he is exercising to get ready for Depot, Fennema says he doing some running and a few other things.

“I’m a pretty active guy,” he said, adding that he plays hockey and goes to the gym and goes for  runs.

Fennema says he took part in an aboriginal summer student program in 2011, went to the Regina Depot that May for a three-week basic overview training, and then worked with the Houston RCMP until August 2011.

As a summer student, Fennema says he was a ride along and got to help in a few situations.

“It made my mind up for the job,” he said.

Fennema says when he is through Depot, he hopes to get posted in northern B.C.

“I like the north,” he said, adding that he’d love to get a post within a few hours of Houston.

His Mom, Diane Fennema, says that she and her husband are glad that James is going into the RCMP.

“It’s nice to see your kids go on and do things that they want. It’s hard to let them go but we’re proud of James,” she said.

“We’re glad he’s doing what he’s doing.”