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Your First Year as an Officer – What to Expect

May 19, 2014

If you have recently made the decision to join the ranks of provincial police and have passed the required exams for entry, congratulations: you have embarked upon a path that few ever dare to take. Even if you have already reviewed your training itinerary and have a good idea of what you will be doing, it never hurts to review what to expect over the first year of training. Even with lots of training, you may not be prepared for some of the hurdles that the job throws at you. In the following article, we will help those who are currently becoming police officers – and those who wish to be – learn more about what to expect during the first year of service in a provincial police force.

The Basics

In many jurisdictions, provincial police officers are on probation for the first twelve months of employment, so it is important to be on your best behavior and apply yourself to the tasks at-hand during this time. You will most likely be subjected to some form of training at a police academy and will need to be at peak academic and physical performance. After this training ends, it is usually followed by immersion in the field as a full-blown provincial police officer. You may be required to attend additional forms of training after the standardized program is complete, but that will depend mainly on your role within the force.

Additional Training

As referenced above, you will most likely undergo some training – both at the academy and once in the field – that covers on-the-ground situations. The most obvious form of training will pertain to crime prevention; the best way to enforce the law is to ensure that it is followed and never broken, which makes prevention a top priority. The assistance of crime victims is another major area in which you will be trained further within your first year, as police are often the first responders in a situation involving crime and injury. Maintaining public order in the event of civil unrest or natural disaster is also a subject that law enforcement officers will be trained on in their first year of service. All of these forms of intervention are vital for ensuring order and the rule of law in a province or municipality.

It is fairly common to spend up to twelve weeks at a police academy learning about these skills, but you often will have additional training after this. In many cases, an additional four to six weeks of municipal-specific training is provided on top of this, which totals roughly four to five months of overall training. It is after this time that you will begin to hit the streets as a full-fledged police officer; no provincial force wants to deploy officers who are not fully trained and ready to handle any situation.

The first year as a provincial police officer will come with its ups and downs. In the beginning, you will be very occupied with classes and training, but by the end of the first year, you will finally be a fully-accepted member of your jurisdiction’s police force and on the job in the field.

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