John Voisey has wanted to be a police officer ever since he was a little kid growing up in Whale Cove. Now the recent high school graduate is hoping fulfill his dream with his best friend at his side.
Voisey and Stanley Adjuk Jr. are both planning to go to Iqaluit in January to start their basic training for the RCMP. If they complete the program they will advance to a six-month basic training course in Regina, Sask. later in the year.
“Ever since I was younger I always wanted to become a cop,” said Voisey. “I wasn't so serious about it at first but as I started ageing and growing older I thought this was for me and it's what I should be doing.”
Since graduating last fall the two best friends have been saving up money while working in Whale Cove. Voisey got a job as a substitute teacher, which he kept until the end of the school year, while Adjuk has been working cargo at the airport.
While both Voisey and Adjuk said Const. Joe Fraser, who has been a longtime member of the RCMP in Whale Cove, helped influence them in their decision to join the force.
“I never knew who he was at first but then he told me he's here for work and I asked him questions,” said Voisey. “It's been a long roller coaster ride and he's helped me.”
Adjuk said he was considering becoming a commercial pilot until a chance encounter with Fraser last fall.
“At first I thought of going to flight school and getting my pilot's licence. Before graduating I thought of that as my only career option,” he said. “Then one day I was working at the airport and an RCMP officer asked me what I was going to do with my life. I told him (and he) told me I should look into (policing).”
As compelling as Fraser was, ultimately it was Voisey who convinced Adjuk to try and join the RCMP with him. Voisey and Adjuk see the police force as a way of challenging themselves while serving the community.
“I just feel like I need to give something back,” said Voisey.
While they both have their own reasons for joining, Adjuk said getting the chance to go through training with Voisey was definitely a motivator.
“We're best friends – we've know each other since we were in pre-school – and we both like the RCMP,” he said.
In order to prepare they are in the process of studying for entrance exams for the force. For the past few months Voisey and Adjuk have been studying together.
“We were supposed to do the exam last month but me and Junior didn't feel like we were quite ready so we postponed it.”
Fraser has even helped them with their preparations.
“Through all this he's been helping me and John,” said Adjuk.
Both Adjuk and Voisey said they are currently trying to mentally prepare themselves for the rigours of a life of policing.
“You're carrying a gun and you're trying to protect so you have to be cautious. But I try not to let the dangerous parts go to my head,” said Voisey.
Voisey realizes it is unlikely they would be placed in the same community if they were both successful in joining the force. But having his best friend going through the same process would be mean a lot to him.
“You gotta move sometime and I feel like I got to get out and see a different place. I think that's one thing is we're trying to be cops together because it's hard to move away from a small town. It's going to be good having him around.”