Becoming Police Officer

     I respect police officers; I always have and always will. I have always looked
up to and wanted to become part of the RCMP. The position of representing the
law would bring out my pride to large extents that not even I could imagine.

Police officers help to protect citizens and their property, maintain public
peace, prevent and detect crime. They apprehend those who break the law, process
court requirements, handle traffic problems, enforce regulations, and act as
agents of social change within the community to promote safer neighborhoods. In
their daily work, police officers perform many duties ranging from enforcing the
law and apprehending criminals, to controlling traffic and arbitrating domestic
disputes. Police work does not always involve a physical act of protection or
the apprehension of a lawbreaker. It also involves activities such as crime
prevention activities, helping victims of crime, working with community groups
to identify and solve policing problems of mutual concern. To add to that police
officers will participate in forensic investigations, administrative work (lots
and lots of paper work), and court appearances. Police officers make a "well
above average" salary. Just a starting salary for a diploma program graduate
averages about $19,000 a year (in 1998). However, according to the 1996 census,
most Albertans in the "Police officers (Except Commissioned)" occupational
group earned from $50,000 to $60,000 a year. These figures include special rates
of pay for statutory holidays, overtime and court appearances during off duty
hours, and pay differential for evening and night duty. Many Police Officers may
work a regular five-day, forty – hour week or a compacted (four–day) work
week with twelve-hour shifts. Since police protection is a necessity one hundred
percent of the time, there are better shifts to work than there are others.

Officers will work in and outdoors, in all kinds of weather, and may be required
to stand or walk for hours at a time. They may even have to ride in their care
for an entire shift. At times, they have to use force and may have to be
required to lift twenty-five kilograms in an emergency situation. A police
officer is usually under constant strain. Normally working in dangerous
situations (normally life threatening). They deal with domestic and public
disputes, arresting lawbreakers or pursuing speeding motorists. To fill such a
position you need some good personal characteristics. It would include honesty,
integrity, good judgement, patients, intelligence, good observation skills and
basic good humor are essential in this occupation. A police officer also needs
to be physically fit, emotionally stable and responsible, able to work with all
kinds of people in a variety of situations, able to use their own initiative
with minimum supervision, and should be very good at working as part of a team.

Because that is exactly what the RCMP is all about. A team effort in trying to
protect the people. The requirements involved in becoming part of the team can
vary. If you compare what you need to become a police officer to anything else
that requires an education it seems minimal. This surprised me when I first read
up on it. The basic requirements include a high school diploma or a related
post- secondary diploma (or have no stated minimum education requirement).

Someone trying to become part of the RCMP would also need some good character
references. In addition, they will need Canadian citizenship or lawful
admittance to Canada for permanent residence. This person also requires good
typing skills, valid driver’s license, and a valid first aid and
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificates. The minimum application age
varies from 18 to 21 years depending on the particular police service. However,
the average age of new recruits is generally 26 to 27 years of age. Related
post-secondary education, the ability to speak a second language and knowledge
of Alberta’s multi-cultural and volunteer communities are definite assets. It
would prove to be true after all this intense training and getting educated on
the matter that being a cop is truly earned by an individual. It would have to
be in somebody’s heart to become part of the RCMP. The desire would have to be
a number one priority because you have to commit your life (literally) to this
career choice. It takes the right kind of person to fulfill the shoes of a
police officer. I’m glad it isn’t easy to become part of the team that
controls the law. Because it needs to be "select" individuals to take on
this role.


All my resources were from my own knowledge or the Internet. ALBERTA LEARNING