Ever since Vanessa Brouillette was six-years-old she has known her career path.
Her father was a military policeman and she made it known early to everyone would who listen this is what she wanted to become.
“In grade one when I was asked what I wanted to be I drew a police car,” said Brouillette, conceding her father was a big influence. “I’ve always wanted to help people. In high school I took law and that interested me even more.”
Brouillette is now 26-years-old and she is Innisfail’s newest RCMP constable, beginning her first posting here in January.
Her posting to Innisfail is also the first time she has been in Alberta, which is just fine for her because she enjoys new experiences.
She was born in Val-d'Or, Quebec, a mining city of more than 31,000 citizens. However, when she was young her family moved to Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, a suburban community of more than 25,000 citizens and part of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
And yes, that is the same place that lays claim to hockey superstar Sydney Crosby.
“To me that doesn’t mean that much. But my fiancé played hockey with him when he was a youth, and today he has a signed hockey jersey from him,” said Brouillette with a wide smile, adding her fiancé is currently an RCMP member with the Red Deer rural detachment.
After being raised in Cole Harbour she went to the big city next door in Halifax to attend St. Mary’s University, which was founded in 1802 and is the second oldest English-speaking and first Roman Catholic initiated university in Canada.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in criminology and psychology.
After graduating she then enlisted in the RCMP, completing the gruelling six-month training course at RCMP Academy, Depot Division, in Regina.
Brouillette arrives in Innisfail with plenty of wonder at experiencing the western Canadian culture for the first time.
“You really get to know the community. You work on a file from beginning to end and on a wide variety of cases.”
Her experience here fits with her overall ambition to experience as many different cultures as possible in her law enforcement career. She likes the ‘moving around” culture that is attached to being a RCMP police officer, and admits she hopes to be posted one day to Canada’s north to experience that region’s unique culture.
As for fine-tuning or finding her niche within the RCMP, there is plenty of time for that, said Brouillette.
“I’m just finding out now what is available. I eventually will want to go to a section, be it major crimes, drugs or traffic,” she said.
For now though the young police officer is just proud to serve Innisfail.
“It is a great experience, especially for a first posting,’ she said.
"In grade one when I was asked what I wanted to be I drew a police car. I've always wanted to help people. In high school I took law and that interested me even more."
Const. Vanessa Brouillette