By Cpl. Richard De Jong, Media Relations, North Vancouver RCMP
Diversity in police hiring practices brings with it the advantage of North Vancouver officers being able to break the language barrier in many interactions in its community.
Of the 130 RCMP officers posted to North Vancouver, almost 60 officers speak at least one additional language. In addition to the 20 French speaking officers, some of the languages spoken include Farsi, Arabic, Italian, Bulgarian, Russian, Cantonese, Croatian, Serbian, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, German, Swiss German, Greek, Gujarati, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portugese, Turkish and Kurdish.
One of the officers posted to North Vancouver, Cst. Myung Choi, was born in Korea and immigrated as a child to Paraguay before his family settled in Canada. Having been raised in three countries, he fluently speaks Korean, Spanish and English. I’m routinely called upon by other officers to assist in their investigations. Victims of crime are often comforted when they interact with a police officer who can speak their language, said Cst. Choi. As a General Duty member, Cst. Choi works on a team with 12 other officers who speak 11 different languages amongst them.
When an officer is unavailable, the RCMP has a structure in place that identifies officers in neighbouring detachments who speak foreign languages. When required, they can be called upon to assist with investigations outside of their detachment area.
Volunteers at the North Vancouver Community Policing office also reflect the cultural mosaic of the various communities it serves. Collectively, the volunteers speak French, Farsi, Arabic, Spanish, German, Russian, Korean, Punjabi, Hindi and Japanese.
The North Vancouver RCMP detachment is proud to celebrate its cultural diversity while recognizing the importance for police to have a respect and understanding for the diverse cultures we connect with, said Superintendent Chis Kennedy, Officer in Charge of the North Vancouver RCMP Detachment. Although our officers and volunteers are able to effectively carry out their duties without the ability to speak a second language, an officer with these skills is an asset to the detachment and our communities.
To become a Police Officer with the RCMP, you are required to be proficient in English and/or French. If you’re interested in career with the RCMP, please visit the RCMP Careers Website.