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Yukon WorkFutures

Police officers (except commissioned)

NOC 4311 / RANK 91

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ARCHBOULD.COM

What They Do

Police officers protect the public by detecting and preventing crime. They also work to maintain law, order and public safety. They work for municipal and federal governments, some provincial governments and the Armed Forces. Modern-day police forces emphasize community policing, designed to allow the community to participate in identifying problems and also to deal with solutions cooperatively with the police. This is important in Yukon, especially in First Nations communities.

A Day in the Life

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Main Duties

Police officers patrol assigned areas in vehicles, on bicycles, on horseback and on foot, to maintain public safety and order, and to enforce laws and regulations.

They may do some or all of the following tasks:

  • Investigate crimes and accidents
  • Secure evidence, interview witnesses, compile notes and reports
  • Provide testimony in courts of law
  • Arrest criminal suspects and execute warrants
  • Provide emergency assistance to victims of accidents and natural disasters
  • Participate in crime prevention programs and in public information and safety programs
  • Encourage the involvement of communities in identifying and dealing with various policing problems
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of other police officers

Working Conditions

While some of their work is conducted in reasonably comfortable stations, police officers can experience some of the harshest outdoor work environments of any profession. In Yukon, they may have to spend prolonged periods in the wilderness during very cold weather. Because they are often called upon to deal with dangerous or emergency situations, police officers need to be in good physical condition. They require stamina, agility, knowledge of self-defence and experience in the safe use of firearms. They need to remain calm and levelheaded under pressure. Police officers are in frequent contact with the general public and must be prepared to deal with potentially dangerous situations where people are at risk.

Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are the only police officers serving in the Yukon. They are frequently posted to smaller communities. There they are likely to be the first line of response for an even wider variety of problems and crises than their counterparts in larger municipalities. Their roles in smaller communities depend in part on what services are available in those regions.

Work schedules vary, but shifts can include any hours of the day and night, as well as weekends and holidays. Police officers are susceptible to stress-related problems and need to take steps to keep healthy and calm.

How Do I Get There

Yukon policing is carried out by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. To become a regular constable, recruits must be at least 19 years old, have Grade 12 or equivalent, possess a valid Canadian driver's licence, and meet the physical and medical requirements of the RCMP. You also need standard first aid and CPR certifications.

Successful applicants are enrolled as cadets and undergo an intensive six-month academic and physical training program at the RCMP training academy in Regina. Academy training is followed by six months of field coaching under the supervision of experienced members. Entry into the RCMP is highly competitive. Applicants can increase their chances of success by taking post secondary education and acquiring special skills, such as fluency in French, a First Nations language, or another language other than English.

In Yukon, people interested in a career in justice-related fields can take Yukon College's two-year university-level Diploma of Northern Justice and Criminology. Credit from the program is transferable to a number of universities outside the Yukon.

Programs in criminology and criminal justice are available at many institutions outside the Yukon, including online distance education courses.