Are you aspiring to become a law enforcement officer to protect individuals and institutions exposed to perils? Do you want to serve the general public and keep Ontarians fully safe and secure by becoming a police officer? If you answer yes to the above questions then read through to the end of this piece on how to become a police officer.
When you think about the ‘land of opportunities’ the first country that comes to your mind is the US. Of course, the US continues to be the first choice for most young men and women looking to kick-start their careers by bagging a lucrative job. However many people are not aware that Canada-US’s neighbor-also offers near-unlimited employment opportunities in every commercial or industrial sector.
If you research on the net with the keywords “top job positions in Canada” you’ll find the profession of a police officer on that list. While trying to gather information on how to be a police officer and reading posts and articles on how to become a police officer in Toronto, you’ll learn a lot. You’ll discover that a career as a law enforcement officer can be quite demanding both physically and mentally.
As you navigate through various websites that regularly update info on how to become a police officer in Ontario you’ll realize that you’ll need to fulfill several responsibilities. At the same time as an Ontarian police officer, you’ll have to exercise your authority prudently to win people’s trust. You’ll be also pleasantly surprised to find out that you don’t need a college or a university degree to become a law enforcement officer.
As per data released by the Ontarian government, police officers holding high school diplomas earned $245 more than their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees. The annual package of law enforcement officers who did not study beyond high school was $106,788 while graduate police officers earned $106,543 annually. Though you don’t need to be highly educated for becoming a cop in Ontario simply having a high school certificate doesn’t guarantee you a job either.
To accomplish your goal you’ll have to develop and sharpen interpersonal, community policing, and conflict management skills. And perhaps the best way to acquire and hone such skills is by registering for a police officer training program. Bear in mind that you’ll have to be in perfect shape physically and psychologically and also demonstrate problem-solving and lifestyle management skills to clear the stringent selection procedure.
Employment Outlook and Job Prospects for Police Officers in Ontario
The labor market situation and consequently the employment outlook for law enforcement officer or police officer positions in Ontario was “average” in recent years. This evaluation indicated that the odds or chances of finding employment in the security market especially as a police officer were good enough. The labor market outlook for law enforcement jobs, especially police officer openings also indicated that jobs were neither available aplenty nor scarce.
Salaries of police officer jobs (including community service officer-police) have also increased over the years but at a lesser rate in comparison to positions rated “above average”. Job Bank reports that an increasing number of superannuated employees coupled with the availability of more entry-level jobs will keep the security industry attractive for first-time jobseekers. Key labor market analytics and metrics like ‘employment growth’ and ‘job openings’ clearly indicate that the total number of vacancies fairly matched the jobseekers’ numbers for the period 2016-2018.
And for the 2019-2028 period new job vacancies (owing to replacement demand and expansion demand) for police officers (except commissioned) are estimated to be 24,500. A total of 24,800 fresh job applicants will be competing for these jobs. The parity in the demand and supply positions of labor observed in the last few years may persist for the 2019-2028 period as jobseeker and openings numbers are estimated to remain relatively comparable.
If you’re looking forward to working as a police officer after completing your cop training your odds of landing a job will vary based on where you wish to work in Canada. Job opportunities in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, Toronto, Ontario’s capital, and in other cities and towns including Ottawa the national capital look ‘fair’ in the next 3 years. The job outlook for police officers (except commissioned officers-NOC4311) in the Greater Toronto Area seemed fair for the period 2019-2021.
The following two aspects played a key role in contributing towards such an outlook:-
- A good proportion of job positions will become available for first-time job seekers as their erstwhile holders retire eventually
- Thousands of new vacancies will be created thanks to the expansion of the security (both public and private) industry
The province of Ontario houses some of the most extensive municipal policing service in Canada, especially Toronto, the largest municipality.
Here are some key facts about Police officers (except commissioned) in the Toronto region:
Following are some significant facts and figures relating to police officers (barring commissioned positions) in the Toronto municipality:-
- Nearly 83% of all police officers work in aboriginal, regional, municipal, local, and several other public sector divisions/departments
- About 10,000 individuals are engaged in this profession
- 7% of police officers are engaged in territorial and provincial public administration
- Approximately 10% of law enforcement officers in the federal government sector of public administration
The two most prospective regions for jobseekers in Ontario were Ottawa and Toronto with the maximum number of projected job vacancies. The total number of projected job vacancies for the period 2017-2021 was 4001-5,000 out of which 32% were new openings and 68% vacated positions.
Interesting Facts about Commissioned Police Officers in Ontario (NOC 0341)
Nature of Job
Commissioned police officers including police inspectors, chiefs of police, and chief superintendents of police organize, categorize, regulate and assess activities and administration of the police force. Typical policing activities comprise detection and reduction/prevention of crime, maintenance of law and order, assessing the performance of staff in the organizational hierarchy, and much more. Federal, provincial, municipal, territorial, and local governments are by and large the chief employers of commissioned police officers.
- Chief inspector-police
- Chief detective- police
- Assistant chief inspector
- Anti-gambling section inspector- police
- Chief of police
- Chief superintendent police
- Detective inspector- police
- Deputy chief of police
- Planning, directing, controlling, and appraising the activities of a law enforcement divisions or police force
- Supervising investigations and making sure protocols and SOP (standard operating procedures) are strictly followed
- Evaluating subordinates’ performance and approving transfers, promotions, and corrective/penal actions
- Designing and putting into effect rules and regulations, policies, and guidelines for the police force
Eligibility Conditions for Employment
- Bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, police foundations, business administration, or social sciences
- High-school diploma
- Ontario secondary school diploma (OSSD)
- Police record evaluation, first aid training, physical and mental proficiency testing certifications will be needed
- Experience of working as a police officer for a few years also necessary
Noteworthy Features of the Profession
- Data, people, and things
- Environmental factors or conditions
- Physical activities
How to Become a Police Officer in Ontario: Basic Eligibility Criteria?
Those looking to apply for a job in the law enforcement sector in Ontario will be happy to learn that almost all new jobseekers will find employment in 2022. Employment and Social Development Canada made this forecast which was reported by Canadian Business. The largest law enforcement organization in Canada and also one of the most influential, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) is committed to upholding law and order in Toronto Municipality.
Most of the police agencies and organizations across Ontario including TPS offer near-infinite career development opportunities for employed and potential officers. Nevertheless, if you’re planning to apply for a job in TPS or any other policing agency in Ontario keep in mind that the extremely rigorous and competitive recruitment process. However, you’ll enjoy a competitive edge over most candidates if you have a B.A. degree in ‘Criminology and Policing’ or ‘Policing’.
Before you set the ball rolling for applying for a law enforcement job ensure that you meet the following criteria:-
- Have attained the age of 18
- You’re in perfect shape both physically and mentally
- Read, write, and speak English and/or French fluently
- Excellent track record in driving
- Is a Canadian citizen or hold permanent resident status
- Have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification
- Fulfill the mandatory visual and auditory standards
- Hold a valid CPR “C”/first aid certificate
- Have no criminal charges that are sub-judice i.e. a trial is still pending in a court of law
The Toronto Police Service, besides the above requirements, requires applicants to also meet the following criteria:-
- Get an O.A.C.P. certificate from www.OACPCertificate.ca
- Submit the TPS application online
- Complete the latest fitness logs (logs from the most recent couple of weeks)
- Have documentary proof of 20/40 (uncorrected) vision with standard color acuity
- Successfully clear hearing standards as stipulated by O.A.C.P.
- Should pass background, reference, and credit checks as well as security clearance
- A legal driving license with accumulated demerit not exceeding six points
- Written LFI (local focus interview) and pre-background Questionnaire (PBQ)
- Should clear the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory)
- Must obtain at least Level 7 in the Leger 20m Shuttle Run
- Psychological Assessment
- Should have been a cadet-in training at the Ontario Police College
Busting Myths Associated with a Police Officer Career
TPS makes it amply clear that the entire process of becoming a constable or a police officer is intensely competitive. The tough hiring process implies that a candidate or interviewee could face rejection at any phase of the selection procedure. Hence many aspirants nurse the idea that a career in law enforcement may not be a viable option for them.
Many young men and women willing to join the police force feel they’ll be turned down because of the following erroneous beliefs:-
- I don’t have criminology or policing degree (having a high school diploma is the standard academic criterion)
- I’m not very tall (unlike most other countries, height is not an essential criterion in Canada)
- I’m not young enough (though you need to be at least 18 years old there is no maximum age limit to work as a constable)
- I’ve to be fluent in both English and French (you just need to be fluent in either French or English)
- I’m not a natural-born Canadian (you can apply if you hold a valid ‘permanent resident status’ document)
How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in Ontario?
You must be wondering “How long does it take to become a police officer in Ontario?” Honestly speaking, the recruitment procedure does not have a fixed period. The duration of the induction or orientation process depends to a great extent on how quickly you can complete the different stages of the application process. Additionally, the police agency or department you’re applying to could also have a bearing on the time it takes to process your application.
Nevertheless, you can safely assume that it might take about 6-7 months for your application to be processed and approved. Get in touch with the police agency you are applying to have a concrete idea of how long the processing might take.
Working as a Law Enforcement Officer in Ontario
Your chief responsibilities as a police officer will be to maintain law and order, prevent and/or check crime, and ensure public safety.
In Ontario, police officers are subject to a declaration of principles that governs them. All new police officers must be aware of their responsibilities and authorities that are derived from the current Police Services Act (and the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, which will come into effect on January 1, 2021), including the authority it permits for municipalities to possess and provide police services in Ontario.
How earnestly and effectively you carry out your duties as a constable can go a long way in making everybody feel safer. Right from day one, you start working the effectiveness and earnestness you fulfill your responsibilities will influence your long-term career goals. On the other hand, making progress in your career will depend considerably on striking a good rapport with your community.
Once you assume charge, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to make the most of the professional skills you’ve acquired for maintaining law and order and preventing crime. You’ll get the chance to conduct raids in areas where contraband goods and illegal drugs have been stashed away, conduct homicide investigations, deal with organized crime, and so on. At the same time, you’ll have to keep in mind that you’ll need to work within the bounds of federal, provincial, and municipal regulations and principles.