Becoming an RCMP officer was always something that interested Melanie Cambia. “I never really saw myself doing anything else,” says Cambia, who grew up in Montreal. “My mother is from Tracadie, N.B. and when I was young we used to visit Tracadie during the summer. I saw the RCMP and was very much interested in what policing was like in N.B.”
Melanie has been a police officer since she was 22 years old. She received her training in Regina, at a base called “Depot”.
When she graduated from high school, she applied for the police technology program, a degree needed in Quebec to become a police officer, and although Cambia didn't get accepted with her first try, she didn't give up. She returned to college to study sciences and after two years of college, she reapplied to the police technology course and got accepted.
While going through the course, Cambia applied to join the RCMP. “I did my 3 years of the Police Technology program, and after graduating I got accepted to the RCMP training academy in Regina Saskatchewan”. After her 6 months of training Cambia was posted in Oromocto, NB.
Cambia was always attracted to what she deemed as the responsibilities of an RCMP officer. “ Police officers are responsible for preserving the peace , upholding the law and providing quality service in partnership with our communities,” says Cambia. “Working with the RCMP offers a variety of dynamic and meaningful challenges, opportunities to be posted across Canada and a competitive salary and benefits package.”
Some of what Cambia was looking for in a career was diversity and ability to change path anytime. “At this point of my career I see that the RCMP will offer this to me as long as I am a qualified member.”
Cambia is posted in Fredericton in a recruiting position; she is the proactive recruiter for New Brunswick. Her duties and responsibilities in this position are to administer exams, assess suitability of applicants, interview applicants and promote the RCMP as a positive role in the communities. “I've always been interested in recruiting and I love my career. Talking to potential applicants and advising them about my experience is always a positive aspect of my job. Being the proactive recruiter in New Brunswick, my day is usually scheduled. I work on applicant files, interview applicants or travel around the province to administer a career presentation or an exam.”
Cambia did three and a half years as a general duty police officer. “As a general duty police officer, my day was always very different. I didn't know if I was going to be investigating a major crime, doing traffic control, doing paperwork or talking to youth at school. Although getting into recruiting was a nice change and it gave me a different experience, being on the road and patrolling the community was something that I loved and would like to go back to,” commented Cambia. “If you are someone that does not like to do the same thing every single day, maybe the RCMP is for you”.
Currently, just over 20 per cent of the force's sworn officers are women 1 . Cambia says, “as time passes, more females are coming into this career path. Everyone I have worked with has been excellent. The challenges I face by being a female police officer are within me. I sometimes think, am I strong enough, am I big enough, am I confident enough… but every time those questions come up, I try to push them away by having confidence in my actions and confidence in the knowledge that the RCMP has properly trained you to trust your instincts and react correctly to different situations.”
“I would always recommend young women to apply for the RCMP. Being an RCMP officer is very rewarding, you know that the work you do is helping someone and that makes it worth it.”
The key to success can be a different experience for each individual. As for Cambia, she describes it as
“Staying positive… determined… and confident, that would
be my key to success.
Do not give up on your dream even
when it seems like
it's very far away.”
The RCMP is the federal police force of Canada and provides services at the federal, provincial and municipal level. The RCMP employs three categories of employees to handle the wide scope of its responsibilities: Regular Members (Police Officers), Civilian Members and Public Service Employees.
If you are interested in a career with the RCMP you can contact the recruitment department or Melanie Cambia directly.
Cst. Melanie Cambia, gend.
Proactive Recruiter/ Recruteur proactif
RCMP/GRC "J" Division
Women in the RCMP:
1 http://bit.ly/MtWyFL (english only)