Police officers (except commissioned) (NOC 4311)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Police officers protect the public’s safety, make sure that federal, provincial and municipal laws are followed, and prevent and investigate crime.

This career group includes military police and railway police.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a police officer is like.

Police officers in B.C. work for police departments (PDs) that serve specific cities such as the Vancouver PD or Victoria PD. They also work for B.C. Transit Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which is run by the federal government. The RCMP provides contract policing to cities and towns that don’t have their own police force. In addition, they provide contract policing for the Province of B.C.

Common job titles
  • investigator, CSIS
  • police detective / investigator
  • police investigator
  • police officer, canine team
  • police officer, community relations
  • police officer, desk / duty officer

Duties

Police officers:

  • Patrol communities to keep the public safe, maintain order and enforce laws and regulations
  • Investigate crimes and accidents
  • Look for, find and manage evidence
  • Interview witnesses, people suspected of criminal activity and others involved in the activities they are investigating
  • Take notes and write reports
  • Provide testimony in courts of law
  • Arrest criminal suspects
  • Provide support and help to victims and witnesses of crimes, accidents and natural disasters
  • Create and participate in crime prevention, public information and safety programs
  • May oversee and co-ordinate the work of other police officers

Work environment

Police officers work in indoor and outdoor settings and may have to deal with a range of weather conditions. They may spend their shifts in patrol cars, in an office setting at a police detachment or at different types of crime and accident scenes. Police work can be dangerous and has the potential for injuries.

Insights from industry

The ability to remain calm during highly stressful situations is crucial for a person with this job. Police officers regularly interact with members of the public, including those accused of crimes and victims of crimes. For many people, contact with a police officer may come during an upsetting, scary or tragic time in their life and they may react with anger, fear or even act violently. Good communication skills and empathy are needed since police officers deal with many people each day.

Police officers often work in culturally diverse neighbourhoods and communities and it’s important for them to understand different cultures and ways of life. In addition, being able to speak a second language is a valuable skill.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Police officers can progress in this career or work in specialized policing fields if they have the required work experience and have completed specialized courses.

Additional resources