McMaster University P/T 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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48highlander
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby 48highlander » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:20 am

Canadian Blue wrote:Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I prefer the old days where the police did policework, bylaw did bylaw enforcement, commercial vehicle enforcement did truck inspections, etc.

Why muddy the waters by creating all these different layers of law enforcement.


University of Toronto Police est 1904 http://www.campuspolice.utoronto.ca/abo ... istory.htm that "old days" enough for you?

Also Western (Uni est early 1900s) , Guelph (Uni est 60s), Waterloo (Uni est. 50's) all have police services, dating back to when they were autonomous police services. So whats that about returning to the "old days"? :smirk:

As Mr Jenkins has pointed out repeatedly the waters only became muddy in the 60-70s with the creation of "Special Constables" vice actual non-municipal police services. If Universities (and by extension transit/housing) were allowed to have full police services again, it would be history coming full circle.

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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Canadian Blue » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:22 am

If someone wants a person to do policework and lets say a University wants their own police service then go ahead, but then require the same standards, training, etc. as every other police service in the province.

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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby 48highlander » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:40 pm

Canadian Blue wrote:If someone wants a person to do policework and lets say a University wants their own police service then go ahead, but then require the same standards, training, etc. as every other police service in the province.


Mr Jenkins can confirm, but from his posts that's how it was "back in the day" They all went to OPC and did the Basic Constable Course minus firearms. I for one don't really get why some people get so uptight with the mere mention of specialized police units. The US and UK have several different types of "Police" and their society hasn't imploded because of it. I mean really the lay public don't really care, nor understand the differences. If they see anything other than "police" they assume "security" and act accordingly.

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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Dave Jenkins » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:27 pm

Canadian Blue wrote:If someone wants a person to do policework and lets say a University wants their own police service then go ahead, but then require the same standards, training, etc. as every other police service in the province.


The universities that have special constables indeed did send their recruits to OPC for the full basic course. At Mac all went for the basic and the sergeants also got the supervisors The Investigator was also sent for the full Ident course. In the latter part of the 70's universities got caught up in trimming budgets and seeing as they were loosing members to police services they stopped sending members to OPC. In the late 80's early 90's Mac started sent a couple of members to OPC for the full basic but when they flew the coup that put an end to it.

About 5 years ago I was at a conference and a member of the Ministry of Public Safety and Correctional Services agreed that the Ministry would certainly not be opposed to university specials attending OPC. There was even some discussion on funding. The hiccup has been the glut of police recruits needing spots. Obviously, universities need to take a back seat.

Mac officers have attended various OPC courses both at the College and at Police Services (i.e. SOCO, Advanced Patrol, Supervisor Course, and yes, Use of Force Instructor*).

*With the blessing of HPS and with a sort of secondment to their Training Branch a Mac member obtained Use of Force Instructor cert.
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby RemingtonSteel » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:42 pm

Canadian Blue wrote:If someone wants a person to do policework and lets say a University wants their own police service then go ahead, but then require the same standards, training, etc. as every other police service in the province.


That is not really a fair assessment as the hiring standards are pretty much the same. Most universities require applicants to hold a COR to apply (involves aptitude, behavioural, fitness and written communication tests). After this you apply to the individual service and go through in-house testing on LE/Security knowledge, followed by 1-2 interviews and finally if selected the local police service conducts a full background investigation.

As for the training, its debatable, they certainly lack the training on firearms, but they take a 3 month online course followed by 2 weeks in class whereas OPC is 12 weeks. Now on face value, OPC is clearly longer and more in-depth but keep in mind that police recruits sometimes have 0 background in the field and in those 12 weeks learn everything from scratch. University hires on the other hand tend to bring a 2 year diploma in LASA/PF or years of experience in law enforcement or security work.

Not going to get into the debate of whether training and standards are exactly equal, I just think its important to point out that in reality, the standards university S/Csts are held to aren't substantially less than those of police constables.
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Jim Street » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:00 pm

ToyCopp wrote:
Canadian Blue wrote:
Most police services want nothing to do with policing a university campus....at least not in Ontario.


Why not?

That being said most of my experience policing the University comes from watching Campus PD and those police officers are actually armed and fully fledged police officers.


So are the Malls in the States.



No they're not.
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Canadian Blue » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:15 pm

The US and UK have several different types of "Police" and their society hasn't imploded because of it. I mean really the lay public don't really care, nor understand the differences. If they see anything other than "police" they assume "security" and act accordingly.


The US system isn't really desirable and I'm not going to get into how inefficient it is compared to other countries.

As for the training, its debatable, they certainly lack the training on firearms, but they take a 3 month online course followed by 2 weeks in class whereas OPC is 12 weeks. Now on face value, OPC is clearly longer and more in-depth but keep in mind that police recruits sometimes have 0 background in the field and in those 12 weeks learn everything from scratch. University hires on the other hand tend to bring a 2 year diploma in LASA/PF or years of experience in law enforcement or security work.


LASA and PF doesn't help prepare anyone for a career in law enforcement. If that was the case then most recruits would have that diploma, they don't.

If McMaster University really wants people who investigate Criminal Code offences, then they should start looking at different funding models where they can have either the OPP or HPS have a full time presence on their campus.

Not going to get into the debate of whether training and standards are exactly equal, I just think its important to point out that in reality, the standards university S/Csts are held to aren't substantially less than those of police constables.



Then why not have actual police constables do policework on that campus. I still haven't quite figured out what Security Services does at McMaster, some people tell me they're the police minus the guns, others say they're bylaw, etc.

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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby RemingtonSteel » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:40 pm

The constables at McMaster do most of the policing type work on campus. They handle all provincial offences (traffic enforcement, trespassing, liquor etc.) they also enforce CDSA and minor CC offenses (assault, mischief etc.) They do all their own charges and court work (Form 9s, crown briefs, bail ops etc.) Hamilton Police is called in for serious CC matters such as sexual assault or armed robbery.

In a perfect world, sure it would be better to use Hamilton Police officers for the campus, but in a world of reduced budgets, it doesn't make fiscal sense. A HPS officer earns about 85K a year, whereas a campus constable makes closer to 60-65K. So really, why pay a full police officer to handle minor offenses when a S/Cst can do it for less. HPS is happy to have them around too, really helps reduce the work loads so they can focus on more serious crimes.

Argyll: I would never be foolish enough to say the S/Csts are trained to exactly the same level as a police constable at OPC. The point of my post was to point out that if you include all the courses they took in college combined with their 3 months online and 2 weeks in-class they aren't as ill prepared to do their jobs as many people think and are well qualified to assume a minor policing role. You are welcome to disagree, I've been wrong on things before, and I'll be the first to admit my view on University S/Csts is biased in the sense that I have 3 close friends who hold this position.
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby RemingtonSteel » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:16 am

Sounds like we're on the same page..... I agree the way that biography was written comes off as a bit much. That said I've never met the man so I can't comment on it.
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Bald Man » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:14 am

One of the recommendations of The Drummond Report was to have special constables take over non-core police duties. I suppose Universities and other areas fit into this area. I doubt much will change on this anyways.

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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Dave Jenkins » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:33 pm

Again, each special constable service can have different training. Each covers the general needs as set out by the Ministry and the sponsor police agency. I think we can all agree that special constables at universities, transit and housing should receive the full OPC basic officer course. And that is the only standard and level that should be acceptable.

It wasn't all that many years back, and no offence is intended here, that First Nations persons only had to attend OPC and were not required to actually attain a passing mark. The pitfalls were noted and that changed. The same basic pitfall hit other special constable services. Out came the short cuts and no one seemed to give a shit. Not the special constable agencies, the Ministry or the sponsors. Then, someone started to question this. It needed to be addressed. But it was addressed half-assed.

Back in 1995 when the Ontario Association of College and University Security Administrators (OACUSA) sponsored the first university special constable training courses (4 weeks in class-Humber College) all stake holders (agencies, Ministry and sponsors) were content. That would have been the right time for the forcing of the OPC Full Basic course or no appointments. So the 4 weeks became 13 weeks on line and 2 weeks in class. The short-cuts returned.

I was one of the lucky ones. I had the 4 week Hamilton-Wentworth Police Senior Constable Course (kind of like block training), the 4 weeks of the OACUSA course and 2 weeks of the Advanced Special Constable Course (at Waterloo U and sponsored/provided by Waterloo Regional members). In addition to other training sessions. Good and intense training but not the same as OPC.

What some police members here are not understanding is that present special constable training has all been agreed upon by the agencies, the Ministry and the respective sponsors. Some of the very people that are slamming specials (Chief Blair as an example) had a hand in what training was adequate in order to hold special constable status. Look at police special constable and compare their training to university or transit specials. Perhaps some need to look in their own back yards first.

End of the day.....Ontario really should look at the BC model and create something to cover the needs beyond provincial and municipal needs in policing and allow for that need to be met properly and to the same standards of provincial and municipal policing needs.
Last edited by Dave Jenkins on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Dave Jenkins » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:40 pm

RemingtonSteel wrote:Sounds like we're on the same page..... I agree the way that biography was written comes off as a bit much. That said I've never met the man so I can't comment on it.


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Re: McMaster University P/T Special Constable

Postby Tommy » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:22 pm

argyll wrote: A bit like the military where the one guy in the bar spouting off about the horros of active service was undoubtedly a cook or an admin driver !!


Steady now.... I know more then a couple Drivers who have seen enough real crap to last em a lifetime.... I think that it's a safe assumption that those who talk about it the most (regardless of trade) are the ones who have actually seen the least..

I will agree that the "Hero" Profile on there is rediculous. I also have not met the individual, but if he is serious about that profile then he reminds me of the type in the Military who hang their Dog Tags off their rearview mirror of their car, and wear BEW's and carry their smallpack everywhere..... In other words, trying too hard.... Whatever happened to quiet professionalism?
Last edited by Tommy on Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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