If you are dedicated to helping your community, defending its residents, and upholding law and order, a career in law enforcement or policing is ideal for you. There aren’t many jobs that are as rewarding and inspiring as those in public service. Fortunately, there is a large variety of jobs you can fulfil if you decide to study for a policing degree. There is something for everyone interested in helping others and this guide can help you decide which path to choose.
In the Police Force
When you acquire a degree in policing, you’ll have access to a range of professional options. You can combine your real-world skills and experience with a larger understanding of justice, investigative methodology, critical thinking abilities, and problem-solving to better serve citizens and develop your career.
A profession in policing can lead to numerous positions within the police force including inspector, sergeant major, staff sergeant, detective, police constable, chief of police, or commissioner. Community relations, media relations, canine operations, and other fields offer further opportunities. You can also apply for work at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
One of the joys of working in policing is that no two days are the same! You might be in a squad car, on the street, in the station, or in court. It can be physically taxing and even dangerous at times but working with communities and keeping the public safe can be highly gratifying. A policing degree through Wilfrid Laurier University can prepare you for law enforcement leadership jobs or post-police professions in allied industries. It can give you the foundation and qualifications you’ll need to achieve your objectives and stand out from the crowd.
With a degree in policing, you may help keep correctional facilities, convicts, other officers, corrections employees, and the community safe. Correctional officials oversee keeping offenders away from the general population once the police have done their work of arresting them and gathering evidence to convict them.
A correctional officer can work in state prisons, municipal jails, and federal correctional facilities, and they may guard those who are awaiting trial or sentencing as well as those who are currently serving their sentences. They are responsible for conducting cell and inmate searches, preventing disputes between inmates and police, and keeping records of inmate behaviours and occurrences. Other responsibilities include everything from rehabilitation to escorting offenders to appointments at local hospitals for medical care and everything in between.
You could also work as a probation officer or in a provincial or federal penitentiary facility. A parole officer is in charge of keeping track of ex-offenders after they’ve been released from prison. Their job is to assist these people in reintegrating into society by rebuilding their lives and becoming a part of the solution.
They are responsible for recommending probation terms to courts, interacting with probationers and their families to ensure that probation terms are followed, and producing and presenting progress reports. Probation officials also assist probationers in finding required resources, such as jobs, training, counselling, and treatment programs.
A crime scene investigator, or crime scene technician, is a police officer that collects and manages evidence at crime scenes. Officers who appreciate investigative work may want to pursue a career in this division of the police force. Some investigators operate in forensic labs, performing testing procedures, while others concentrate on crime scene investigation.
Alternatively, you may wish to work as a private detective to investigate and solve crimes, uncover misconduct, and assist others one-on-one with customers. Although individuals must receive a license to practice as private investigators, this profession has certain similarities to police work and sometimes collaborates with law enforcement. They are responsible for conducting background checks, surveillance, interviewing people for information, and searching online, public, and court records. They might be hired by corporations, law companies, or private persons to conduct investigations or aid with court disputes.
For insurance companies, the government, banks, and other organisations, fraud investigators investigate suspected fraudulent behaviour, build cases, and assist in the prosecution of criminals. This position may require extra schooling, certification as a fraud investigator or examiner, and licensure, depending on the employer or locality.
A great career for someone interested in animal conservation, natural resources and enjoys the outdoors is a conservation officer. A conservation officer is responsible for enforcing natural resource laws, which includes investigating and prosecuting violators under provincial and federal legislation.
A conservation officer can also inspect any fish or game, firearms or ammunition, structures, vehicles, boats, other watercraft and even aircraft. They frequently educate communities and businesses about forest fire prevention, preventing the spread of exotic species, safe boating procedures, and hunting and fishing regulations.
A Career in Border Control Services
You could also follow a career in the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to monitor incoming goods, products, and people to keep the borders and Canadian citizens secure. Border service officers have the authority to detain those who pose a threat to safety or security, as well as to deport people who are judged ineligible on terrorist or criminal grounds. These officers are stationed at land border crossings, airports, ports of entry, railway stations, federal courts, mail, and other immigration and duty posts.
A security guard is a job that focuses on the private side of law enforcement. You may be responsible for preventing theft and vandalism, maintaining order, controlling access, and ensuring that regulations are obeyed on business grounds and during events like concerts and festivals.
Former police officers can easily move into this position to continue serving and protecting people while preventing criminal activity. Checking guest credentials, monitoring surveillance cameras, guarding areas during emergencies, and detaining suspects who engage in criminal activity are among their responsibilities. If there is any criminal activity on the premises, security personnel will notify and liaise with local law police.
An adjunct professor is in charge of teaching students at a post-secondary institution. Adjunct professors are usually part-time instructors. Former law enforcement officers can move into these types of positions to teach criminal justice or related classes. A master’s degree is normally required for this position, and individuals may choose to pursue additional teaching training. They are responsible for creating lesson plans and course materials, giving lectures, assigning coursework, and evaluating examinations and essays, among other things.
As a police officer, you can maintain law and order within communities, or as a security guard, you can keep facilities and people secure. Border control officers defend their country on a worldwide scale, while correctional officers keep offenders behind bars and seek to rehabilitate them. Whatever law enforcement career appeals to you, each one is as gratifying as it is challenging, but the choice is yours as to how you wish to serve and protect.