Located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Depot Division (pronounced Deh-poh, not Dee-poh) is probably one of the most famous police training academies in the world. As one of the oldest RCMP divisions, Depot has been training prospective policing recruits into fully fledged RCMP Members since 1885.
With that kind of reputation and longevity, this training academy has built several conventions and best practices that a recruit-turned-cadet might get to experience, so we did some digging to find out what the Depot experience looks like.
Here are nine things you might experience as a recruit at Depot, straight from insider sources:
Depot is home to the oldest building in Regina.
This storied institution isn’t just one of the oldest training grounds for police in the world, it’s also home to the historic chapel, the oldest building in Regina. Built in 1883, the chapel is famous for its beautiful stained-glass windows. Learn more about the chapel and its connection to the RCMP here.
You’ll become closer with your troop mates than you think.
At Depot, troops must work together. From sharing accommodations to undergoing regular inspections, cadets learn the importance of attention to detail, policy adherence, and proper hygiene—because teamwork makes the dream work! But that’s not all: as a cadet, you’ll take on a range of exciting duties, from being a Troop Commander to representing various skills. These responsibilities will sharpen your planning and organizing skills while fostering shared accountability for the team’s success. From our insider:
“I have so much respect for the cadets that come through training. There’s a lot of criticism about police work, but they are still showing up and putting in the work. They have an incredible attitude toward doing the job, and they want to help people. It was never easy to join, but now there’s a lot of negative media. They are all such good people with big hearts who are here to make a difference, and it shows from the first to the last day at Depot.”
Training, uniform, equipment, experience, customs, and traditions foster a sense of belonging among cadets at Depot. These shared elements unite them as an entity with a shared purpose while respecting individual differences.
Sticky Bun Thursday.
During training, every troop gets to go to the mess (food hall) once in the late morning on a random Thursday and get sticky buns together. Usually, instructors plan this during a particularly hard week of training, making this is a well-earned treat for the cadets.
There is a fitness testing component you must pass to graduate, and it’s not easy.
From the eight-kilometer timed run to combat rings, RCMP cadets are faced with grueling fitness testing throughout their training. Troops encourage each other along the way and sometimes the facilitators and instructors join in to make it extra competitive.
Depot’s facilities mimic a small town to make the training experience as authentic as possible.
With a huge campus, cadets have access to extensive facilities, including simulator training, firearms training, and driving training. There are even houses and a mall where the cadets can carry out training exercises that mimic real-life situations called in by real dispatchers.
Drill, also known as the “Dismounted Cavalry Drill” is a transformative part of training as an RCMP cadet at Depot. Cadets master foot drill, responding to commands, and executing precise movements. This builds self-control, composure, and resilience—vital skills for RCMP officers. Effective communication skills learned, and the routine of drill training brings stability and support, teaching cadets to handle challenges with a calm and focused mindset.
During training, cadets reach specific milestones and are recognized for their achievements.
Cadets celebrate milestones throughout their training journey, such as receiving marching orders, earning distinctive uniform components, and donning the iconic Stetson. Each milestone signifies increased competence and the accompanying responsibility. Cadets receive the Review Order uniform (also known as Red Serge) before graduation. This iconic attire isn’t just a symbol of authority, it’s also a source of pride and a sign that you belong to the incredible organization, even when things get tough.
You’ll leave with connections across Canada.
Depot builds lasting connections, and once you graduate and are posted to your first community, you’ll have troopmates living across the country. Take it from our insider source:
“I’m still close with my troopmates and we still talk. Being an instructor now, I probably have my past cadets checking in almost every day. Whether it’s asking each other questions or supporting each other after a hard day, I now have friends all over Canada; I could go to every province and know someone“.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming an RCMP Member and attending Depot, be sure to check out itstoughbut.ca to learn more.