Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services :: What it means to be a police constable

Police Services

Constable Selection System

Constable Selection Information Package

What it means to be a police constable

A career in policing is primarily about working with people to ensure public safety through crime prevention and law enforcement. Police work requires the building of relationships in the community and sensitivity towards the needs of people from all races, cultures and backgrounds.

The Police Services Act describes key areas of responsibility for police constables:

  • preserving the peace;
  • preventing crimes and providing assistance to others in the prevention of crime;
  • assisting victims of crime;
  • apprehending and charging offenders; and
  • executing warrants.

In addition, police officers are responsible for:

  • referring individuals to community services and agencies;
  • educating the public.

About the job

Police work is very demanding. A police constable must work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends, at all times of the year. This is not a job that everyone will like or do well.

One of the goals of policing is to reflect the diversity of the communities served. Police services must continually improve their capability to deliver service that is effective and responsive to the needs of the community. People from all backgrounds and walks of life are needed to meet the cross-cultural diversity of modern Ontario. Any person who has a strong interest in becoming a police constable and who feels they meet the qualifications described in this information package are encouraged to apply.

For people who are truly interested in serving the needs of the community, police work is very rewarding. Whether dealing with the security concerns of a store merchant, talking with a senior citizen, or befriending a group of local kids, the job challenges are complex and fulfilling.

Training as a police constable

Standardized training takes place at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer. This training program is designed to provide future constables with an understanding of the policing role in society, a sound knowledge of the law and procedures and skills to deal with various situations.

Subjects and activities covered in the training program include federal and provincial statutes, fire arms, defense tactics, fire safety, cross-cultural training, police procedures and crisis intervention. An important component of the program is physical fitness training in which candidates are required to meet specified physical fitness standards.

What new constables can expect

There are four classifications of constable. New recruits begin as fourth class constables. With good performance and availability of opportunities, promotion through the constable ranks and on to higher ranks is possible.