How to Become a Police Officer in Ottawa

How to Become a Police Officer in Ottawa
How to Become a Police Officer in Ottawa

If you are considering a career as a police officer in or around Ottawa, your first step is to enroll in an educational curriculum that will properly prepare you for this demanding line of work. The completion of Wilfrid Laurier University's Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing program lays the foundation for a rewarding career as a police officer. Part of the beauty of this program is that it is delivered 100% online. It is perfect for those with busy schedules and numerous personal and professional obligations. You can access educational materials online 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Steps to Becoming a Police Officer in Ottawa

The Application and Interview Processes

Aspiring police officers can obtain an application for employment from the Ottawa Police Service's website. Alternatively, you can contact the Police Service's Human Resources Department for tangible copies of the required forms. Scanned or electronic copies of your first aid and CPR certifications must be provided along with a copy of your driver's license. The hands-on, practical portion of CPR and First-Aid training must be completed in order for the candidate's application to be considered. An online-only certification will not suffice.

Apply online and you will be able to fill out the application at your own pace. This is a fairly lengthy application form so do not hesitate to periodically save it as you progress through each section. You can complete it across multiple web sessions. Applying online requires that you create an account by providing your personal information, contact information and information regarding your eligibility for employment in Canada. If you have questions about the application process, reach out to the Human Resources Section between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays at (613) 236-1222, extension 5808.

In addition to serving with the Ottawa Police Service, there are other policing opportunities in and around the Ottawa, Hull and Gatineau areas. The Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both have detachments in Ottawa, and the Surete du Quebec has a detachment in Gatineau, Quebec, along with the Police Ville de Gatineau, the local police service. Contact your local police service to learn more about the application process and necessary qualifications.

The Selection Process

Constable selection is fairly competitive, and the process is overseen by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP)..The completion of the Wilfrid Laurier University's Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing program may provide you with an important competitive advantage. Your entire file will be reviewed and assessed to determine if you have the skills, talent and experience necessary to bolster the Ottawa Police Service's unique needs.

Pre-Interview Assessment

One of the initial steps in the selection process is to complete a written test designed to measure your inductive, deductive and quantitative reasoning skills, along with your ability to communicate in writing. Other steps include vision, hearing and physical fitness assessments. Reach out to Applicant Testing Services to coordinate an appointment for testing. Tests occur at multiple locations across the province of Ontario. In terms of timing, be sure to apply  to the Ottawa Police Service immediately after receiving the OACP certificate of results. It typically takes between three to four weeks from the moment one completes the written test to receive the OACP certificate. The candidate must bring or send the application form along with a copy of the OACP certificate. The application fee is $292.50 plus an additional $38.03 HST.

Interview and Background Check

The next step is the interview phase. Local focus and essential competency interviews are conducted. The candidate is also subjected to a psychological test along with an interview with a psychologist. The candidate's background is subsequently reviewed. This background investigation is quite extensive. It can delve into references, the verification of prior employment, educational achievements and even credit card information.

The Offer

The final stage is the selection review phase. The information gathered from the prior stages is analyzed and compared to the nuanced selection criteria. Those who are qualified will be provided with a conditional offer of employment. This offer is conditional on the passing of a medical examination. Candidates who are provided with an offer and pass the medical examination undergo a probationary period and must complete all required training.

The Hiring Process

There is no concrete estimate as to how long it takes to obtain an offer of employment as a police officer in Ottawa. The timetable hinges on the applicant's completion of the required portions of the Constable Selection Process. These stages include testing, the background check and the interview. If you do not successfully complete any of these stages, it may be necessary to wait upward of a year before you are eligible to reapply.

Postsecondary Education

Ottawa police services consider relevant postsecondary education to be quite beneficial to an applicant's candidacy. Though it is not required that each applicant attains a diploma from a Law and Security or Police Foundations program in order to be hired as an Ottawa police officer, additional education will certainly help.

The Ontario Police College (OPC)

New recruits must pay the $11,065 tuition fee to attend the OPC. Recruits can't attend the OPC until details pertaining to the tuition are sorted out. This fee can be paid in a single lump sum or payments can be withdrawn across 27 pay periods. Interest will not be applied. It is possible to obtain financial assistance from the Police Credit Union.

Prospective Ottawa police officers will be happy to know they are compensated while in training since recruits qualify as employees of the service. Payment commences once the recruit begins the initial training period with Ottawa Police. This occurs before one attends the OPC. There's no need to worry about living accommodations because living quarters are provided to every new recruit. You can even stay on campus on Saturdays and Sundays. In total, the OPC program lasts 13 weeks. The program commences when one is selected and signs the job offer.

Laurier and Your Policing Career

If you'd like to learn more about Laurier's online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing program and how it can support you in becoming a police officer in Ottawa, get your program guide today or set up a call with an enrolment advisor on your schedule.

For those who are currently police officers, Laurier also offers a 100% online Honours Bachelor of Arts in Policing program. Designed for working and retired police officers and created in partnership with law enforcement from across Canada, this program prepares you for leadership roles in policing or to pursue careers in related fields.