Government of New Brunswick

Executive Council Office

Success Story
The evidence is clear – Michelle Martin has an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career

Michelle Martin graduated with a BBA from UNB after growing up and graduating from high school in a small town. “In rural New Brunswick, the RCMP is always part of the community,” said Michelle. She added as well that friends of her parents were in the RCMP too.

Michelle joined the RCMP when she was 29 years old at a time when women were just starting to be accepted into the force. “The non-traditional angle of the RCMP challenged me,” said Michelle.

“I knew I could do the job, but I didn’t really know what to expect of the work environment,” Michelle said. “I had no idea what it would be like, working with so many men.”

Even her basic training was with a troop of women. “Reality set in at my first posting,” said Michelle. “I was a woman and a francophone, and a new recruit in rural Alberta.”

“Sometimes there were hard lessons to learn,” said Michelle of her first experience. There were a lot of challenges in her new setting. Michelle found herself struggling with how to be herself, and yet still fit in with the others. “Sometimes you try too hard to fit in with norms and it doesn’t work – once you realize who you really are, it becomes a lot easier,” said Michelle.

“Looking back, I realize I went through a lot, but I strongly believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” said Michelle. “I am the person I am today because of those early experiences.”

Today Michelle is a proud RCMP Inspector responsible for major crime, and is the highest ranking woman RCMP officer in New Brunswick.

“I manage units that handle the bigger files, like homicides, behavioural science, forensic science and police dogs, and provide specialized expertise in a variety of areas, like internet child pornography,” explains Michelle.

Somehow, she finds time in her busy schedule to coach others as well. Michelle is also currently busy with coaching a young non-commissioned officer to enter into the officer development plan. “It’s very challenging to manage all the work, all the interests, while trying to manage what’s coming down the pipe,” said Michelle. “But I feel the rewards are well worth it.”

After 23 years in the force, she still loves it. “When you get into a position where you can influence the direction of things, and focus energy on things you feel are important – you have the opportunity to make change.”

Michelle noted that public service is not the place to be if you want to get rich, but there’s more to it than just money. “I’ve traveled all over the country, worked in different provinces, and had exciting jobs like serving as a VIP bodyguard to the Prime Minister,” said Michelle. “If I had it to do over, I would do everything the same, and if I had a daughter, I’d encourage her to join too.”

“There are rough times, but those are everywhere,” advised Michelle who has chosen to celebrate the rewards rather than focus on the challenges. “I feel so blessed to have had these great opportunities.”

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