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How to Embark on a Career in Public Safety or Policing

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In a time of uncertainty and economic recovery, it is always important to be knowledgeable as to employment and career opportunities that are still available or have become available. Therefore, now is a great time to regroup and reconsider the options and develop a career based on the new appreciation for a fulfilled work-life balance.

Whether it is making a start on a new career, moving sideways, or looking for a career change, the starting point will always be the same:- information and knowledge. Once you have the required information, securing the right role is then about knowing where to start and being prepared to work hard and learn fast.

There are always those sectors that will remain steady employers simply based on the societal needs and norms. This article will provide you with some of these details about a career and the opportunities in public safety and policing. These are job sectors that have seen phenomenal growth in recent times and will provide for a sustainable career in a time of career and job flux.

Public safety or Policing are Sustainable Careers

Public safety in our communities and society has proven to be one of the fundamental issues and concerns critical for equality, economic growth, and political stability. This was the main rationale for the formation of Public Safety Canada in 2003. In Canada, there are several specific areas of need for public safety or policing, and these are:-

  • national security
  • border strategies
  • crime-fighting
  • emergency services

The reason that work in public safety is seen here as one of the most sustainable career paths is the simple reason that these national, local, and community needs will always exist, and as such, so too will the associated jobs and careers. For this specific reason, these job sectors have seen growth and will continue to be professions worth entering. The careers as discussed or alluded to here are not all in Public Safety Canada, and many will be with private organizations who are tasked with the same ideals of keeping Canadians safe.

Entering the Profession

There are a number of routes into a career in public safety, and the level and position you can apply for will depend on your formal qualifications and practical work/life experience. Below are some of the established and accepted routes into public safety and policing. However, it must be remembered that there are various changes in the way that public safety and policing are being thought about, as well as a move to privatize and civilianize these aspects of modern life. With that in mind, it is clear that the private sector and local community organizations will provide great advice and opportunities regarding work in the sector. The advice below is thus not an exhaustive list, and there will be other ways to create and enjoy a sustainable career in public safety or policing, should this be what you would like to do.

Work your Way up From the Bottom

The public safety profession is still very much one of those that can be started at the very bottom, applying to become a security or police officer at street level, Royal Canadian Mounty, or border officer. However, with a basic degree and or experience in the profession, it will be possible to apply directly at the source and look for immediate entry through the basic training regime and tests at a localized level. The idea is then to continue your development and training and work your way up the organization to secure a dream job.

Enter at Management Level

With experience in any other field and good undergraduate qualifications, you will be able to move into public safety management. Either administration or the practical function of public safety will be possible by completing a professional public safety management degree that will allow you to look to jobs in the management of public safety.

Volunteering

Assisting with community safety in any manner, as a volunteer, be it youth reparation, community clean-ups, and intergenerational work in the community. These activities will allow you to get an understanding of the sector and build experience. Thus, providing for entry to possible jobs in community safety.

Administration

Public safety and policing are not all about the blue flashing lights, arrests, and crime prevention on the street. There is a fair amount of administration involved, to put it mildly. Therefore, a qualification in administration, experience in the field, and a desire to be effective will be more than enough to see you a candidate for any administrative roles in any public safety and policing sectors as mentioned herein.

Data and IT

Both data management, collection storage, and analysis are essential for modern-day policing and public safety. In fact, data analysis jobs in the public safety sector are on the rise and provide an opportunity to work in this sector, but away from the front line. Crime analysis, monitoring of available data for evidence, and cyber detectives are just a few of the possibilities that are now becoming more mainstream and provide an opportunity to work and develop a career in public safety or policing.

No Fear of Being Replaced by Tech

There are certain elements of the public sector and policing job market that is human-specific. For this reason, the longevity and sustainability of the job for life concepts are bandied about for this sector. People will always need people to feel safe and protected. While we may soon be using drones to monitor and report on crime, public safety, and environmental issues, there will always be the need for human skills in the actual management of those involved in issues of crime.

Concluding Comments

Public safety or policing is not just about arresting criminals and the visible police or Mounties that we encounter daily. Yes, this is a key part of the sector and will have numerous job opportunities going forward. However, the innovation around policing and public sector safety are such that the range of jobs is changing daily, technology is making them more accessible and safer for those interested in the sector. Based on human and societal needs, policing and public safety are jobs for the long term and will provide for a sustainable career.

Stephanie is a stay at home mom, who also works full-time. She loves to garden, volunteer at the local animal shelter, and she can usually be found walking her two dogs.

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