ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby Apollo » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:09 pm


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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby devilwoman » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:26 pm

That they do.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby mak11 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:31 pm

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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby Dave Jenkins » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:36 pm

mak11 wrote:Hi guys,

I was looking at the requirements to be a special constable and it states that you need either a 2 year law enforcement diploma or 3 years of law enforcement experience. I have 3 questions regarding this.

1. Which one is more preferred for the recruiters/employers? The diploma or experience?

2. How can I gain law enforcement experience other than joining the military, or working as a security guard?

3. Not sure if this question is appropriate here, but i'll throw it out there anyways. What options do I have with the Canadian Army? I don't want to leave the country and engage in battles, thats for sure. Would my only choice be with the Reserves?

Thanks

Alex


#1 Diploma or experience .......both are preferred. Previous experience as a special constable or police officer. Diploma in Law & Security/Police Foundations and some type of reasonable work experience.

#2 Unless you are an MP in the military you aren't getting law enforcement experience there. But a military background is not a bad thing. Experience as a security guard is NOT law enforcement but again, and depending on where you worked, it may be acceptable. Along with a PF diploma.

Set your sights on regular policing. Get a good education along with some life experience. That includes some form of legitimate employment.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby mak11 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:21 pm

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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby Dave Jenkins » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:57 pm

mak11 wrote:1. I'm guessing a diploma would be my best bet since I can't get those jobs that require previous experience. I'm looking at the "Community and Justice Services" and "Protection, Security, and Investigation" diplomas. Are those fine or is Police Foundations preferred?

2. Do you have any suggestions on ways that I can gain law enforcement experience? Since military and security aren't valid.

Thanks for the quick reply.


With special constable agencies outside of police services (transit, universities....) they are cutting corners, in a way, by looking for previous experience. Such experience generally comes from previous employment as a special constable or as a police officer (retiring coppers). Other forms of law enforcement experience may fit such as by law enforcement or event corrections. This experience coupled with a certificate in a program such as Police Foundations allows the special constable agency to hire a person that will be, at least in theory, street read sooner. These agencies don't have the luxury (many reasons at this point) of sending a recruit to Police College for in depth training for an extended period of time.

Different agencies will accept different backgrounds from time to time. As for the education, I would say if you are determined to look at a special constable service rather than a police service (becoming a police officer) then Police Foundations would be the first choice with the others you mentions being alternate choices if PF is a no go for you (for what ever reason).

Keep in mind that now most every special constable service requires the ATS certificate or OPC. Also keep in mind that although agencies like GO might hire several at a time most special constable agencies only hire one at a time and they tend to be few and far between.

Further to be mindful of is that McMaster University along with many police services look for part time special constables, and only hire for the few full time positions from that part time pool. While part time you are looking at unreliable hours (is some cases), no benefits, and no time line as to when a full time position may open up.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby Sk82 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:51 pm

I was hired by my current university special constable service with zero law enforcement experience or post secondary. Luckily I had lots of customer service experience and management work experience.. I was hired on as a part time casual at first to test the waters. Up until I was hired my department was pretty firm on hiring only people with previous law enforcement work experience or law enforcement post secondary. After proving myself I was hired on full time. I was defiantly the exception to the hiring rule. Like DJ said it's a way to cut corners, save money on training, and have a better success rate of a new recruit passing probation. Special constable services can be extremely selective. They usually have a wide variety of people applying. It really is a competitive position to apply for. Whoever brings the most to the table is the one they hire.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby mak11 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:09 am

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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby yreffejnoraa » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:16 am

mak11 wrote:
Dave Jenkins wrote:
With special constable agencies outside of police services (transit, universities....) they are cutting corners, in a way, by looking for previous experience. Such experience generally comes from previous employment as a special constable or as a police officer (retiring coppers). Other forms of law enforcement experience may fit such as by law enforcement or event corrections. .................................
...........................
Further to be mindful of is that McMaster University along with many police services look for part time special constables, and only hire for the few full time positions from that part time pool. While part time you are looking at unreliable hours (is some cases), no benefits, and no time line as to when a full time position may open up.


So you are saying that it's difficult to get work as a special constable (transit) without a legitimate law enforcement background (special constable or police officer). If so, how do I get a "break" into those positions? Should I aim for working with the police service and then use that experience? Are there any entry level law enforcement careers that require minimal experience?

But let me explain my situation to you. I have a buddy that works for GO Transit as a special constable and he got hired with a PF diploma and 4 years of security guard experience. I was hoping to follow in his footsteps. My question is, what would you recommend me doing step by step in order to get hired? Obviously get my PF diploma, but then what? Should I aim for police service to gain experience?

Thanks again,

Alex


Other options to consider could be:

By-law enforcement for whatever city/municipality you live in. Depending on what responsibilities you have (whether just writing parking tickets or enforcement of all by-laws) you can get a variety of experience, or at the least experience laying basic "charges" and potentially getting court experience. To the extent of my knowledge little or no law enforcement is required for these jobs

Provincial Park Warden; most provincial parks hire guys with little experience in law enforcement, and throw them into essentially a law enforcement role in the park handling all problems in the park until the regional/OPP need to be called to transport the guy you put in bracelets. Parks often hire younger people/students with no law enforcement experience for the starting warden position. Some conservation authorities also hire park wardens or "security guards" for park patrol. Ontario government job page will have park warden jobs, and individual conservation authority websites (e.g. Grand River Conservation Authority or Conservation Halton) will post their jobs.

"In-house" Security Guard jobs can provide more opportunity for experience similar to law enforcement. For example, I worked as in-house security at an international airport (not the mooks who stand around with their hands in their pockets at the metal detectors before boarding the plane). In my 2 years in that position I responded to multiple aircraft emergency landings, countless medical emergencies in aircraft and the terminal buildings, airport tarmac/taxiway traffic enforcement, investigations into security breaches, etc, etc. Working directly for the company (the airport in this case) places a different responsibility on you as the employee than a contract guard who has less interest in the "big picture".
It all comes down to this: there are security guard jobs where you have an active role in helping and assisting people/public/clients directly, and there are the security jobs where you're only there to prevent theft/mischief. It's the first kind of security job that you want. Finding it is the hard part.

These types of jobs, if you work hard in them, can build bridges to careers in law enforcement such as a Special Constable or PC.

As for the military, I've been in for 5 years, so feel free to PM if you have any questions about it and I'll help you as best I can.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby devilwoman » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:21 am

But let me explain my situation to you. I have a buddy that works for GO Transit as a special constable and he got hired with a PF diploma and 4 years of security guard experience. I was hoping to follow in his footsteps. My question is, what would you recommend me doing step by step in order to get hired? Obviously get my PF diploma, but then what? Should I aim for police service to gain experience?


It depends on the special constable service. Each one sets its own requirements. If you're looking to go to GO, your friend would be the best person to chat with in regards to what they look for.

Mac requires post-secondary or OPC with security experience being beneficial. Whereas HPS, for their court specials, do not require that.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby wonka1990 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:37 am

mak11 wrote:
So you are saying that it's difficult to get work as a special constable (transit) without a legitimate law enforcement background (special constable or police officer). If so, how do I get a "break" into those positions? Should I aim for working with the police service and then use that experience? Are there any entry level law enforcement careers that require minimal experience?

But let me explain my situation to you. I have a buddy that works for GO Transit as a special constable and he got hired with a PF diploma and 4 years of security guard experience. I was hoping to follow in his footsteps. My question is, what would you recommend me doing step by step in order to get hired? Obviously get my PF diploma, but then what? Should I aim for police service to gain experience?

Thanks again,

Alex


Question, if you have a buddy who works for GO why don't you just ask him? He know what GO is looking for. I was hired by GO witj 3 years security, 3 years army reserve and some other various positions. Most guys in my class were the same, all but one having post secondary education.
My advice, talk to your buddy.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby 48highlander » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:20 pm

wonka1990 wrote:
mak11 wrote:
So you are saying that it's difficult to get work as a special constable (transit) without a legitimate law enforcement background (special constable or police officer). If so, how do I get a "break" into those positions? Should I aim for working with the police service and then use that experience? Are there any entry level law enforcement careers that require minimal experience?

But let me explain my situation to you. I have a buddy that works for GO Transit as a special constable and he got hired with a PF diploma and 4 years of security guard experience. I was hoping to follow in his footsteps. My question is, what would you recommend me doing step by step in order to get hired? Obviously get my PF diploma, but then what? Should I aim for police service to gain experience?

Thanks again,

Alex


Question, if you have a buddy who works for GO why don't you just ask him? He know what GO is looking for. I was hired by GO witj 3 years security, 3 years army reserve and some other various positions. Most guys in my class were the same, all but one having post secondary education.
My advice, talk to your buddy.


A)Because today's internet generation would rather talk to anonymous people on web forums, than speaking directly with those who job it is to answer applicant questions. Because thats the cool thing.
B)People didn't do the cool thing, went directly to the source, got an answer they didn't like, and come on here (or other places) to try and solicit the anonymous personalities to provide them information that will refute the information given to the by direct source. :smirk:

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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby Dave Jenkins » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:37 pm

mak11 wrote:
So you are saying that it's difficult to get work as a special constable (transit) without a legitimate law enforcement background (special constable or police officer). If so, how do I get a "break" into those positions? Should I aim for working with the police service and then use that experience? Are there any entry level law enforcement careers that require minimal experience?

But let me explain my situation to you. I have a buddy that works for GO Transit as a special constable and he got hired with a PF diploma and 4 years of security guard experience. I was hoping to follow in his footsteps. My question is, what would you recommend me doing step by step in order to get hired? Obviously get my PF diploma, but then what? Should I aim for police service to gain experience?

Thanks again,

Alex


Each service has their own parameters for recruits. Those parameters can flex, if the agency wishes. Your buddy is not a complete anomaly (P.F. + security work experience) but I will hazard a guess that there is more to what he brought to the table than simple that.

There is no magic formula here. A lot of the time getting onto a special constable service is a crap shoot. In reality most people would stand a better chance getting on a regular police service than into a special constable service. Police services will take a malleable recruit, and turn them into a police constable. Special constables services are looking to start with a recruit that is as close to being the end result as they can get.

Getting you P.F and some security experience is not going to hurt you. But it won't be a guarantee. There is nothing that will provide a guarantee to getting hired on as a special constable.

The really sad truth here is that many people look at a special constable service as a ways to a means to getting onto a police service. Some look at it as at least being a country cousin so it is an acceptable second choice. When these agencies post an opening the responses are overwhelming.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby Dave Jenkins » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:40 pm

48highlander wrote:
A)Because today's internet generation would rather talk to anonymous people on web forums, than speaking directly with those who job it is to answer applicant questions. Because thats the cool thing.
B)People didn't do the cool thing, went directly to the source, got an answer they didn't like, and come on here (or other places) to try and solicit the anonymous personalities to provide them information that will refute the information given to the by direct source. :smirk:


Unfortunately, there is some truth to this. Even if it is being subconsciously done. As I have said, most people would stand a better chance getting onto a regular police service that into a special constable service.
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
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Re: ASK A SPECIAL CONSTABLE

Postby mak11 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:27 am

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