Why the Gendarmerie Flirts with Youth and Accelerates its Recruitment

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Why the gendarmerie flirts with youth and accelerates its recruitment

SECURITY: More than 12,000 gendarmes will be recruited this year in France, including nearly half of deputy gendarmes. This position, open to candidates aged 17 to 25, now benefits from an accelerated recruitment procedure

  • Highly sought after, the post of deputy gendarme is reserved for young people and limited to a period of six years.
  • Candidates must be between 17 and 26 years old, without qualification.
  • School training is remunerated and lasts three months.

Most of them were entering a gendarmerie barracks for the first time. But they hope it won’t be the last. Twenty-five young people from the Pays-de-la-Loire took part this Monday, in Nantes, in the selection tests organized by the national gendarmerie. Objective: to become a deputy policeman , officially called “voluntary deputy police officer assistant judicial police officer” (GAGV AJPA). A little-known yet extremely sought-after position. Because of the 12,000 police recruitment projects identified this year throughout France, almost half concerned the status of deputy policeman.

“We have never recruited as much as at the moment, confirms Major Bernard Rivière, who heads the Nantes information and recruitment center (CIR) . There is a significant need for renewal due to the numerous retirements and, also, the announced increase in the workforce. “Seven mobile gendarmerie squadrons must, in particular, be created in view of the 2024 Olympic Games.

Three months between enrollment and school entry

To respond “more effectively to needs”, a new selection process has been implemented for a few weeks. All the tests are now computerized, the results are communicated the next day, and the winners are called to a “motivational interview” in a “quick time”. “It doesn’t take more than three to four months between registering for the tests and entering a training school,” explains Major Bernard Rivière. Before, it took at least six to eight months. This acceleration makes it possible to streamline the entire recruitment chain. It is also more comfortable for the candidate. »

“It’s a little stressful, but if you prepare for the tests, it’s not too hard,” considers Owen, 23, who has just been admitted to the interview. This master business manager student in Nantes has been aiming to be a policeman for “several years”. “I want to be useful, to serve my country and the population,” he justifies.

Gendarmes on patrol
Gendarmes in intervention (illustration). – P.Siccoli/Sipa

Ideal for “beginning a career in the gendarmerie”, the post of deputy gendarme is accessible to young people aged 17 to 25, with no qualification requirement. “The missions are similar to those of a non-commissioned officer: burglaries, accidents, roadside checks, violence, search for missing persons… The deputy gendarmes go on patrol, can arrest, and verbalize. They are always accompanied by an officer or non-commissioned officer in the field,” explains Major Rivière. Their operational equipment is also identical: firearm, bulletproof vest, tactical cover, electric pulse gun, and telephone connected to the internal data of the gendarmerie.

“What I like is the diversity of missions”

Remuneration is close to the Smic, but you have to add an activity bonus and furnished accommodation (without charges) in the barracks. The contract is for a limited period of six years. “Most deputy gendarmes attempt the non-commissioned officer competition within two years of their incorporation. So it’s a bottomless pit. We need several thousand recruits each year”, adds the director of the recruitment centre.

Accessible after passing the tests and a medical visit, the school training lasts three months and includes, in particular, learning intervention techniques, legal knowledge and sports training. It also has the advantage of being paid (860 euros per month) and providing accommodation and meals. “What I like about this job is the diversity of missions. We don’t always know what we are going to do with our day, we are never bored. I also really appreciate the contact with the population”, says Bastien, 22, former sports coach, who became an assistant gendarme in 2021. “For us, evolution is only a question of will. There are a lot of trades and possible specializations,” insists Major Bernard Rivière.

In Pays-de-la-Loire, one candidate out of two is admitted on average. About 500 had thus integrated training as deputy gendarmes last year. The majority of recruits are men but women are “increasing in number”.

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