More people apply to become Mounties under new rules

More people apply to become Mounties under new rules

There are early signs that changes to the RCMP's application process are leading to a big bump in recruits.

The police force changed its application requirements six months ago with the aim of simplifying the process and making more people eligible to apply.

Now, recruits don't have to be Canadian citizens, they can put off taking the physical fitness test until they've been accepted at the RCMP's training division and university graduates no longer have to take the national police force's entrance exam.

According to a memo sent to staff in British Columbia from Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens and obtained by CBC News, applications have increased 270 per cent since changes were introduced in May.

"Since the recent changes, that have allowed the pre-posting of cadets at time of application to Western divisions of their choice, applications have increased to 1,100 per month from 300," Callens wrote.

One of the changes made in May was to allow applicants from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. to request to be posted back to their home province once they'd graduated from the training centre.

Callens said the RCMP's training academy — called Depot Division — will ramp up to 40 troops next year, which is its full capacity. This year the target was 34 troops of 32 cadets each.

"This will assist us in addressing the vacancy pattern," Callens wrote.

CBC News repeatedly asked the RCMP for an interview or more information about the effect of the new application process on recruitment. While the Mounties eventually acknowledged receiving the requests, a spokesperson said, "It is too early at this stage to comment."