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New Edmonton Police Officers Celebrate Public Graduation

Five canine teams are also graduates who recently completed their canine master training course

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The Edmonton Police Service held its first public celebration of a class of graduating constable recruits after a two-year hiatus on Friday afternoon.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, public gatherings such as graduations have been suspended. But the police department continued to train recruits under strict security and risk-mitigation protocols.

With the restrictions lifted, 30 officers — 27 men and three women — who make up RTC 153, along with an EPS-trained Lakeshore Regional Police Department officer, celebrated their graduation at City Hall.

const. Tiffany Papirny, one of the graduates, said going to the public celebration was very rewarding.

“Since we started classes during the pandemic, we didn’t know if we were going to have a graduate. So to be able to have a graduate and be first class after the pandemic is pretty special for us,” she said.

“I love these people, the bonds I’ve built in class are unreal, and I don’t think I can honestly say I’ve ever worked in a job where I made such close friendships so quickly.”

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A former speech-language assistant with Edmonton Catholic Schools, Papirny said she was very happy with her decision to change careers and looks forward to continuing her career.

“I wanted a career that offered a bit of diversity in the sense that I could grow my career, and EPS offers so many different opportunities, so that really drew me to EPS,” she said.

Five canine teams who recently completed their canine handler training course also graduated, with four EPS police service dogs: PSD Bagheera, PSD Duco, PSD Fesi and PSD Lex, as well as one from the Camrose Police Department.

RTC 153 graduates come from several countries, including Canada, Tunisia, the Philippines, China, India, Belgium, Mexico, Romania, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, and are fluent in 16 other languages than English.

They also have a range of experiences and skills, with backgrounds in law enforcement, corrections, military, emergency response, trades, business, engineering, and various sciences.

With files by Ian Kucerak

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