Ever Wondered About a Cop’s life?: Interview With A Peace Officer

Just as promised back in August, I’ve ensured that this blog dabbles into a variety of  topics in addition to writing.  Part of this has been, reporting interview answers from members in diverse professions for any of my readers making their career choices. Today, here’s an interview with Peace Officer Williams:

  1. How long have you been in this position and what are your main duties?

12 years, overall our main duty is care, custody and control of offenders. 

  1. What other tasks are involved?

Unit rounds, security checks, formal count of inmates, serve meals, escort inmates to the different areas inside an outside the jail (health care, gym, visiting, chapel, courts downtown and out of town court)

  1. Are there jobs in this occupation right now?

There is hiring I would say 3 or 4 times per year.

  1. What is the workplace like? (Ex: Lots of people, noisy office, etc)

Some units are open and yes it’s loud. The centre where I work, holds an average of 700 inmates including a female unit.

  1. Do you need special education to do this job? If so, what kind of education?

Only a high school diploma is required, but it helps to have college or university [education] especially in the law enforcement field, as well as to have 2 years combined of educations and/or experience.

     6. What physical conditions are you expected to have and maintain as a Peace    officer?

Need to be able to run long distances, go up and down stairs and use physical force if necessary and justified.

7. Do you need safety training to do this job? (Ex: First aid, safety orientation) If so, where can you get the training?

After you are hired you need to complete a 13 week induction program. There’s re-certification courses all year around for all other staff and the program including first aid.

8. Does this work ask for any license or certificate? If so, what?

You need to complete your induction program, any security or any other certificate in law enforcement is helpful. What is recommended for many ( in Alberta) is to take the Peace Officer Skills Training (POST) program, in which you receive a certificate of completion. The course can last from 6 months to a year in which you learn about police techniques, theory, emotional and personal management and other topics such as narcotics investigation, courtroom testimony, and mental illness recognition.

9. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Interaction with the offenders, lawyers, police officers.

10.What is the most difficult part of your job?

I would say dealing with difficult situations where the life of the inmates are in danger, either due to violence, drug overdose, self-harm, or suicide.

11. Is this the career everything you hoped it would be? What advice would you give someone who was looking at this career?

It is never what I hope it would be, as there’s situations where your life and the life of others are at risk, a normal day in a living unit can turn into hell in a matter of seconds. I have enjoyed my time as a peace officer, but the jails have become more violent and volatile.

My advice is that is a very good stepping stone for those who want to pursue a career in law enforcement, the interaction with the individuals and the emergency situation gives you more life experience as you are exposed to the real world dealing with criminals of all kinds, from fine defaulters to 1st degree murderers.


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