Occupation Investigation on becoming a 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