Delta Career Fair: Police Constable
Sometimes picking a job you’re going to do for the rest of your life can be difficult. The fear of becoming a mundane and routine worker bee isn’t exactly enticing. In fact, experts recommend you change your job every three to five years to keep your brain sharp and your spirits up.
Fortunately, in the Delta Police Department (DPD) you can change your job every few years but stay with the organization.
“This job is really geared for somebody who wants some adventure, who wants to have a whole variety of careers in their lifetime,” says Kim Campbell, recruiting manager for DPD. “They don’t want to sit at a desk and punch a clock.”
Typically, a new constable will start as a patrol officer for a few years, and then apply to different special sections within the DPD. There’s a drug section, street crime unit, major crimes section, sexual offence section, mental health and domestic violence unit, youth unit, school liaison officer, etc. The variety of jobs is as diverse as the people who apply.
“So if you can imagine that you’re looking at a career and every couple of years you get a brand new job, so that in itself is really exciting,” says Campbell.
It’s important to note that one doesn’t simply sign up and start policing right away. The DPD has a very successful Reserve Constable Program, hiring 58 percent of candidates who sign up. The intensive volunteer course is composed of classes and ridealongs with “use of force” training that gives applicants a chance to see if police work is for them.
And vice versa. Cst. Danny Simone, recruiting officer, says the DPD is looking for candidates who can play with a team but also take on responsibility independently.
“If you were to narrow it down to a word: conscientiousness,” says Simone.
That means people who have a personality trait of being thorough, careful, vigilant and possess a desire to work in an efficient and organized manner.
Do you like talking to and meeting new people? People skills are huge for a police o cer, according to Cst. Sandy Sernoski, the lead recruiting o cer who runs the Reserve Constable Program.
“Not every day is the same and you need to be able to react and respond to things that are thrown your way,” says Sernoski. “We talk about emotional intelligence. You need to be able to communicate to people who are in crisis and deal with them at their lowest.”
And while officers might not realize it at the time, their kindness makes a big di erence in the community by helping make people feel safe, protected and valued.
That’s perhaps one of the best traits to have, says Campbell. The DPD want people who are committed not just to the job, but to making things better in the communities of Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta, each with different neighbourhoods and different needs.
But Campbell stresses “you don’t need to be perfect to become a cop.” Being able to overcome adversity and demonstrate resiliency is a treasured asset in this line of work.
And then of course there’s just the “cool factor” of police work.
“It never ceases to make me feel pride when I’m driving and I catch sight of myself in store windows in a police car in uniform,” says Sgt. Sarah Swallow, a graduate of the Reserve Constable Program 10 years ago. “Silly as it sounds it never grows old for me, that feeling of belonging in something, a feeling of helping. It’s exciting!”
Delta Police Department is one of several organizations offering exciting career opportunities at the Delta Trades and Technical Career Fair on April 28.