The Vermilion RCMP has welcomed new member, Constable Olivia Skillings.
Originally from a rural community outside Woodstock, Ontario–Skillings is at ease in Vermilion, and even helped out on a farm when she was very young.
“When I found out my post and that it was a rural area, I was a lot less apprehensive,” said Skillings.
“I came here with a very open mind because policing is different everywhere you go. You still have the same duties and responsibilities but depending on your location, calls can be very different.”
For example, she never previously thought about who would deal with cattle out on the road but has received a call for it.
Skillings feels privileged to be serving in Vermilion because being a small detachment, she said it provides a good learning opportunity for her.
Having joined the force nearly two months ago, it exposes her to calls that in a larger centre would be looked after by a specialty unit.
She wanted to experience something outside Ontario because all she saw there was provincial and municipal police. When she was in high school, she really enjoyed a law class but didn’t know what area of the system she would fit into.
To expose her to the different avenues she could go down, she studied community and justice services at Canadore College, which was an umbrella course encapsulating the system as a whole.
From there, she knew she wanted to go into policing, but still wanted her degree. She completed a bridge program at Nipissing University, obtaining her degree in the Honours Criminal Justice Program.
She was scheduled to graduate from her six-month training at Depot Division in May, but due to COVID-19, they were shut down and it was postponed to September. Skillings now wants to experience the community and invest some time in Vermilion.
“Becoming adjusted both learning the job and developing community bonds takes longer than putting your foot in the door and jumping out,” said Skillings.
“I like that it is a small community – coming to know familiar faces very quickly whether business owners or locals, people seem to be really supportive of RCMP. Members of the detachment have also helped me adjust really well to living and working here.”
She found one of the disadvantages coming in the winter during a pandemic, there is fewer opportunities to get involved.
She had a lot of fun getting to see the mountains for the first time a couple weeks ago. She also goes to the market every few weeks and thoroughly enjoyed the Flint Farm Honey she purchased.
Skillings played competitive fastball growing up and hopes to find a rec team to join next summer. She enjoys being outside and has visited the Provincial Park a few times. She also enjoys running and likes to bake, regularly bringing some of her goodies into share with her coworkers.