3 Significant Benefits of Police Foundations Training
Most of us recognize how important the preservation of order is in our society. It's what allows us to confidently carry out our lives. We depend on the honourable work performed by professionals who've dedicated their careers to protecting us and upholding Canada's values.
To be sure, their jobs can be full of excitement. But we sometimes forget that many of them have chosen this line of work because it often comes with additional advantages. Here are three examples of what training in this field can lead to:
1. A Big Variety of Job Possibilities
Few vocational sectors are as diverse as this one. Getting trained in the fundamentals of law enforcement enables you to explore more potential employment options than you might imagine. It provides a good introduction or starting point for several career areas such as:
- Provincial or municipal policing—Working as a police officer for a city or province and performing many duties related to public safety like patrolling streets, securing crime and accident scenes, and providing assistance to victims during emergencies
- National policing—Contributing to the efforts of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in enforcing laws and protecting the public across all of Canada
- Campus policing—Safeguarding college or university students as well as school property
- Private and corporate security—Guarding individuals, groups, or companies against illegal acts like assault, theft, and vandalism
- Retail loss prevention—Using surveillance and other security measures to detect and guard against shoplifting
- Prison security—Maintaining order between inmates within a detention or correctional facility
- Private investigations—Finding useful information related to issues like civil disputes, criminal fraud, or missing persons
- Bylaw enforcement—Spotting breaches of municipal or provincial regulations and imposing penalties if necessary
- Border security—Enforcing immigration and customs laws
- Conservation enforcement—Protecting natural resources such as fish and wildlife by upholding national or provincial regulations
2. Good Pay for a Short Education
In many cases, a year or less is all that's required to learn many valuable fundamentals. Of course, the specific career you decide on—and the employer you end up working for—has a lot to do with the training requirements you'll need to fulfill. Even so, the amount of time spent learning the job is usually relatively short compared to some other occupations with similar ranges of pay.
For example, take a look at what you can make in some of the most common careers within the field. (The first number represents the median hourly wage for all of Canada in 2013-2014. The second number represents what many of the highest earners made.)*
- Police officers—$37.50 / $48.99
- Correctional service officers—$30.00 / $36.06
- Customs officers—$28.21 / $38.46
- Bylaw enforcement officers—$26.36 / $37.50
- Private investigators and corporate security officers—$19.75 / $35.90
- Security guards—$15.00 / $23.00
You should know that some provinces (such as Ontario) require professionals like security guards and private investigators to obtain a special license. But you can often meet the necessary education requirements by completing a program like the ones on this page.
A Note About Becoming a Police Officer
A lot of this country's law enforcement services (including the RCMP) have their own selection criteria and special training in police foundations. Ontario, for instance, has the Constable Selection System, which is used by most of its police departments. But, throughout Canada, the process for new recruits is usually straightforward and includes steps such as:
- Showing that you meet certain basic prerequisites such as being at least 18 years old, having a clean driving record, having at least a high school diploma or equivalent, and being of good moral character
- Obtaining certification in Standard First Aid and CPR
- Demonstrating a high level of physical fitness and good psychological health
- Passing background checks
- Undergoing special schooling at a police college or academy, followed by in-the-field mentoring
Before applying to a police service, many people find it helpful to take courses in criminal justice or to complete programs like those featured above. It gives them a valuable boost of confidence and a good idea of what to expect in their training. Plus, it can help them stand out throughout the selection process.
3. A Positive Career Outlook
Law enforcement is a booming field in Canada. In fact, in 2015 it was reported that the nation employs over 68,000 police officers.**
But policing isn't the only area that's thriving. The use of security guards has also been rising throughout the country—to the point where their numbers are at least double those of police officers.
Plus, thousands of civilian professionals work alongside police. Bylaw enforcement officers, dispatchers, and others number more than 28,300.** And the field has also seen increased employment of people who specialize in many other areas like forensics and information technology.
* Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on July 20, 2016.
** Statistics Canada, website last visited on July 20, 2016.