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What To Take In College To Become A Police Officer

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Thank you for your interest in our local police services. Below is a comprehensive list of of the Police Services in Ontario. Once you click the link, you will be directed to the Police website.

Those interested in federal-wide policing can contact the RCMP for job opportunities. Please note that the RCMP does have a different Constable Selection Process and does not require the OACP Certificate in order to apply.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Section 83 of the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, stipulates a person appointed as a police officer must:

is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada

is at least 18 years of age

is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position, having regard to his or her own safety and the safety of members of the public

is of good character

has successfully completed, prescribed training by the Minister

In addition, you must

obtained a University Degree or a diploma from a college of applied arts and technology,

possess a valid driver’s licence with no more than six accumulated demerit-points, permitting you to drive an automobile in Ontario with full driving privileges

have current certification in Standard First Aid Level C CPR by the time the offer of employment is given

be able to pass a security clearance as well as background investigation, credit and reference checks.

This certificate is valid for 2 years. That includes all documents in Part A and the Part B, Part C testing.

Get Accepted & Paying Your Way

Admission requirements can vary widely depending on the type of program and institution offering it. Another consideration is how to pay for this education and training. During your application process, keep the following pointers in the back of your mind to help you get into the best program to meet your needs and goals as a future police officer.

Entrance requirements

Entry into various degree programs in law enforcement will all require some general points, such as completing an application, paying an application fee and presenting proof of high school graduation.

The associate degree program might require:

  • A personal statement
  • Transcripts from any other college courses taken

The bachelors degree might require additional information:

  • An essay
  • Transcripts from associate degree work
  • Completion of certain prerequisites
  • A resume of related experience

Application process & fees

Paying for Your Program

How much a training or educational program costs depends greatly upon the degree level you want to obtain. For instance, obtaining an associate degree will cost much less than a bachelors degree will. To learn more about financial aid options and how those will affect your financial bottom line, visit our online financial aid handbook:

Step 4

Benefits Of A Law Enforcement Degree

Aspiring police officers are required to have at least a high school diploma or GED in order to participate in a police academy program. In locations where its not required, a law enforcement degree can sometimes be beneficial to you in getting a leg up on the competition.

Some of the benefits of earning a degree include:

  • The potential opportunity to move up the ranks faster
  • The ability to explore to a specific career path.
  • The ability to explore other career options if police work isnt available

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How To Pay For Higher Education

If you dont have previous college education, completing your first two years of general education classes at a community college is much cheaper than paying tuition at a university. By the time you finish, youll have a better idea of what you want to get out of college and what to major in.

Police departments may have programs to reimburse tuition, books, and lab fees at accredited universities. Police officers can also receive financial aid for their education through grants and scholarships. Families of police officers may also be eligible to receive money for education through a variety of programs.

This article, originally published 10/31/2016, has been updated.

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  • Obtaining A Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement

    What Does it Take to Become a Police Officer?

    Honours bachelors degrees in law enforcement are most often earned in three to four years. Entrance requirements will vary by institution, but undergraduate programs typically require completion of high school or equivalent.

    Regardless of where you take your police studies degree, youll be expected to attend lectures , work on projects, write essays, and possibly take tests, quizzes, or exams. Provided you complete these challenges at or above the institutions standards, youll be awarded your degree.

    Remember: only licensed, fully-accredited universities can offer police studies degrees that your employer will recognize.

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    How To Become A Police Officer In Canada & Disqualifiers To Avoid

    Choosing a new career , can be an overwhelming process. Opportunities are endless in a country like Canada. Its not easy figuring out which direction to take in the first place.

    Canadian Business helps you narrow down your options with a list of The Top 25 Jobs in Canada. And were here to help you break down #14 on that list: police officer.

    Being a police officer comes with great responsibility, authority, and trust. Therefore strict standards are upheld in the selection process to ensure only the right candidates are hired. This process typically includes:

    • A written exam
    • Have no criminal convictions and no criminal charges pending

    In addition to the above list, each police force adds its own list of requirements.

    Those applying for the RCMP need to meet the following additional requirements:

    • Permanent resident applicants need to have resided in Canada for the last 10 years.
    • Be at least 19 years old
    • Possess a valid, unrestricted driver’s licence
    • Be able to spend 26 weeks at the RCMP Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan
    • Be willing to relocate anywhere within Canada
    • Not have any tattoos that depict or incite hate, harassment, or discrimination against individuals on the basis of the grounds listed in Canadian Human Rights Act, section 3.
    • Not wear any personal effects on the body that may interfere with the personal protective equipment.

    The Vancouver Police Department asks that their applicants meet the following additional requirements:

    Law Enforcement Degree In Public Safety Leadership

    Another valid degree to consider is one in law enforcement and public safety leadership. This type of degree is relatively new since it was crafted for those seeking to be stronger leaders in their field. Its not offered by very many universities, which does impact how affordable obtaining said degree will be, but it can still advance your career.

    Not only will this degree deepen knowledge pertaining to law enforcement, but it will also educate students on the principles of planning and project management in order to effectively manage police resources and protect the public.

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    Police Officer Training Courses

    As a police officer, you need to have a high school diploma to apply. To have an advantage when applying to the police force, many applicants have a college diploma or university degree.|Many college and universities in Canada offer an array of programs that would suit the diverse work of a police officer.|Criminal justice|Public safety|Sociology|Criminology|Psychology|Law|Social science etc.|Once completed, you must complete a police training program. In this program, you are taught federal, provincial, and local laws. This is usually offered by the Canadian Police Academy and can take a few years to achieve.

    Completing The Police Academy

    How to Become a Police Officer

    When you have successfully completed the hiring process, you are a few steps closer to becoming a police officer but you still have two more phases to go through. The first one is the Police Academy. There you will undergo a lot of physical and theoretical training and learn how to use guns and apprehend criminals. You will receive knowledge about different laws and law enforcement procedures as well as acquire practical skills in driving, first aid, etc.

    Not all candidates who enter the Academy finish their studies. You may be rejected due to bad performance, while some candidates give up themselves as they find it too difficult to complete.

    The duration of the training in the Police Academy varies for the different agencies. It usually takes about 13 to 19 weeks on average but can last up to six months.

    Note that it is possible to complete the Police Academy prior to applying for a police officer. Getting POST certified is one of the secrets to getting quickly hired as a police officer so, you can investigate this option as well.

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    Toronto Police Officer Application Process

    The process outlined below belongs to the Toronto Police Service. Most police agencies in Ontario follow a similar process.

  • Obtain an OACP Certificate of Results from
  • Complete medical exams for hearing and vision tests.
  • Start an ongoing fitness log logs from the most current two-weeks may be requested at any time.
  • Submit a Toronto Police Service online application
  • Pre-Screening
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Conditional Offer of Employment
  • Applicants can be declined at any stage in the application process. The most suitable candidates in the application pool are selected amongst those who pass every stage.

    Once you have been selected, you advance to recruit training. In the Toronto Police Service application process, you are sent to the Ontario Police College for recruit training. Recruits need to pass this program in order to become a police officer.

    Benefits Of Earning A Policing Degree

    While a policing degree is not required to become a law enforcement official, a policing degree from Laurier helps enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in this field.

    Graduates with a bachelors degree in policing will have an advantage when pursuing leadership positions and promotions. In addition to becoming a police officer, some of the top job opportunities for graduates include emergency management specialist, crime analyst and security director.

    Additionally, the earning potential is higher for graduates with an online degree in policing. Higher education can translate into higher wages than a high school or college diploma alone. Earning a bachelor’s degree can earn you over 30 percent higher earnings than high school graduates.

    In terms of salaries in Canada, a police officer earns an average of $93,000 per year. The average security director salary in Canada is $99,000. And a detective sergeant can earn in excess of $121,000 annually.

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    Pass The Post Exam & Become A Police Officer

    In order to work as a police officer, aspiring applicants must pass the Peace Officer Standards and Training or Police Officer Standards and Training exam. Commonly known as the POST exam, this is required for each state except Hawaii . Each state has subtle differences in their testing procedure, requirements, and the test itself, so its important to do in-depth research on the test your particular state requires.

    Examsfor police officers include not only the POST written examination which includes an evaluation of grammar, reading comprehension, andwriting but other points as well, such as physical agility,medical health, psychological fitness, background review, and an oralinterview. Some states might add other requirements, such as apolygraph test. Once these tests are satisfactorily passed, graduatesare ready to work as police officers. The procedure it takes to getfrom passing the tests to wearing the badge depends on the state andin some cases, the department itself.

    Step 6

    How Do I Become A Toronto Police Officer

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    The following points outline the process for becoming a police constable with the Toronto Police Service

    • Obtain an OACP Certificate of Results from www.OACPCertificate.ca
    • Complete medical forms with appropriate physicians for hearing and vision standards
    • Complete an ongoing fitness log logs from the most current two-weeks may be requested at any time
    • Submit Toronto Police Service online application
    • Pre-Screening
    • Complete the Leger 20m Shuttle Run, obtaining a minimum of Level 7
    • Pre-Background Questionnaire and written Local Focus Interview
    • Blended Interview and Local Focus Interview )
    • Complete the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory
    • Background Investigation
    • Psychological Assessment
    • Successfully complete the Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police test, as well as the Leger 20m Shuttle Run, obtaining Level 7
    • Conditional Offer of Employment Pending Medical Examination
    • Cadet-in-Training at the Ontario Police College

    Please be advised that the process for becoming a Police Constable is competitive and as such, an applicant may be declined at any stage of the process.

    If you have any questions regarding the above information, please contact a member of the recruiting section.

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    What Degree Do You Need To Be A Cop

    If youve come to the decision that college is probably a wise decision for realizing your law enforcement career ambitions, the next question to ask is what degree you need. Most police officer job listings dont specify a college major or subject of study, but they may specify a level of education required for candidates to be considered.

    Potential Disqualifiers For A Policing Career In Canada

    When preparing yourself for a policing career, you need to be aware of what will disqualify you from the police application process. As far as the written, physical, and medical exams, the requirements are fairly consistent across all agencies.

    Language Disqualifier: You need to be fluent in either English or French including being able to speak, read, and understand one of these languages.

    Physical Disqualifier: You cannot be in poor physical condition. Failure to successfully complete the physical examination in the minimum time frame is an automatic disqualification.

    Test particulars can vary from one police agency to the next. However, all tests simulate critical incidents that police officers are exposed to. For example. the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation , used by the RCMP, consists of three sections:

  • Running 6 laps around a 350-meter obstacle course where you are required to climb stairs and jump over hurdles
  • Pushing and pulling a 70lb weight
  • Carrying 80lbs over a 15-meter distance.
  • Psychological Disqualifiers: A candidate can be disqualified if they do not meet the minimum psychological examination requirements.

    Work Environment Disqualifiers: Police departments require you to work shift work which includes nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays as policing takes place 24 hours per day. If you are unwilling to accommodate this type of work schedule, you will be disqualified from the process.

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    Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement

    A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.

    Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:

    Police Ethics

    Police Officer Job Growth

    POLICE: Education Requirements

    Police officers are a vital component to maintaining a peaceful society. While still subject to cost cutting like any other private sector industry, the demand for police officers remains relatively steady for the foreseeable future. For more detailed job growth information, please see the below chart.

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    Education Requirements For Police Officers

    Aspiring police officers have the possibility to choose whether to start their career right after high school, provided the agency they want to work for allows it, or to proceed with their education and get a degree prior to joining the law enforcement forces. The education requirements for becoming a police officer vary by state and by department generally, agencies require a high school diploma or an equivalent for entry-level positions but as of lately, most departments include in their requirements an associates or bachelors degree. In addition to that, if you have the desire to grow in your career and move to a federal law enforcement agency at some point, it is better to first invest some time in education and then apply for a law enforcement position.

    Police officers who want to work in more specialized divisions or are looking forward to advancing in their career, should be able to offer at least a bachelors degree in a law enforcement-related discipline and possibly a masters degree. The level of education also can affect the salary an officer receives. The good news is that you can start your career as a police officer and then proceed with getting a degree either as a part-time student or online.

    Regardless of the approach you are going to choose, here is roughly how much time you need to get a law enforcement degree that can help you with your career:

    Applying To And Attending The Police Academy

    Once youve met the age and schooling requirements for your state, you will need to pass a background and drug test. Additionally, aspiring cops must take a written exam and pass a physical agility assessment. While the written part of the test assesses factors like reading comprehension and vocabulary, the physical test includes components such as running, doing push-ups, and performing sit-ups. The goal is to assess flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength, among other factors. Some states also require applicants to pass a psychological exam prior to being admitted to the program.

    After youre accepted to the police academy, you will undergo training in a variety of areas. Along with topics like firearm usage and self-defense, prospective officers learn about first aid, conflict management, and emergency driving techniques.

    While the average program takes around six months to complete, requirements vary by state, and some police training programs last longer or shorter. During this time, you can expect to spend around eight hours a day training to be a cop.

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