You love being a police officer, but maybe your department is not the right fit. Perhaps life circumstances have you considering a move. Whatever the reason, if you are looking to change police departments, the VPD can offer many opportunities that other agencies cannot.
If you are looking for more information or are ready to apply, please contact:
There are people in the world who are excited to greet the day, and who look forward to whatever challenges it might bring. They return home at the end of the day, satisfied knowing that they have made a positive difference in the world, and in the lives of other human beings. And if those days are difficult, they have an extraordinary group of co-workers, pulling them through, lifting them up, and making the world right again.
The men and women of the VPD show up every day. They see hurting and suffering, and terrible injustice, but they also see the very best of the human spirit. They know that they are sometimes the only thing standing between life and death, and that they can affect an entire life by making an arrest, holding the hand of a frightened child, or deciding to take another look because something just doesn’t feel right.
While there is a common bond among the people who choose policing as a profession, the members of the VPD come from very diverse backgrounds, all with different strengths and skills to offer. As the police department of a major port city, the VPD can provide many opportunities that other departments cannot. Your career path can be as unique as you.
Your workplace may be the streets of Vancouver or the water surrounding it, a local school or community policing centre, at the end of a police dog leash or undercover in the drug world, at the helm of a boat or an armoured response vehicle, in a crime lab or in the online world, on horseback or motorcycle – the choices are many and no two days will ever look the same.
Police work is not without risk. While high-stress and risky situations are the exception rather than the rule, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Long periods of routine tasks can be suddenly interrupted by an urgent call requiring immediate intervention.
Today, VPD’s recruits are better trained and equipped than they have ever been. That training, and experience, will help you evaluate situations to ensure an appropriate response. At times, you will deal with people who are intoxicated, high on drugs or mentally unstable and, on occasion, people may direct their hostility at you. Again, your training and experience will ensure you are able to respond professionally to any situation.
Remember, with these risks come rewards, although they can’t all be measured in dollars and cents. Saving a life, making a difference, taking a criminal off the streets: these are your everyday rewards.
To be an effective police officer, you are going to need a sound knowledge of the law and modern policing methods.
You will learn:
- portions of the Criminal Code of Canada
- the Motor Vehicle Act
- other federal and provincial statutes
- the VPD’s departmental policies and procedures
As a police officer, you will evaluate situations based on your knowledge, experience, and available information when determining if a crime has occurred and who committed that crime. In some cases, you will need to exercise discretion and tact in persuading people to comply with directions so that an arrest is not necessary.
At crime scenes, you will pay close attention to detail and make observations on suspects and the crime scene itself. You will gather relevant physical evidence and ensure that it remains safe and uncontaminated. Often, you will be required to visualize and recall an event after the fact so it can be documented accurately, possibly for court purposes.
Given the physical demand of police work, maintaining a high level of fitness is essential.
Whether you are patrolling by bicycle, chasing a suspect on foot, or driving in an emergency situation, being physically fit will give you a necessary advantage.
In addition to knowing arrest and control, and de-escalation tactics, you will be trained to handle and care for a variety of firearms and to operate police vehicles in emergency situations. You may go for extended periods without drawing your firearm in the field, however, you must be prepared to use deadly force to protect yourself or others from grievous bodily harm or death.
Graduates from the police academy are assigned to the Patrol Division for the initial five to seven years of their career.
In Patrol, you can hone your policing skills and have an opportunity to experience diverse assignments such as bicycle patrol, undercover duties, plainclothes patrol, community liaison, and special enforcement projects.
Our front line officers conduct the majority of criminal investigations in Vancouver. You will have the chance to prepare Reports to Crown Counsel on a variety of issues and present your evidence in court, and you will be the first on scene at the biggest calls and events in the city.
After the mandatory period in the Patrol Division, your previous policing work or your educational background will enhance your suitability for transfer to specialty squads.
Secondment to other agencies is also possible. These agencies include the B.C. Police Academy and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).
VPD Patrol officers work shifts with four working days followed by four days off. Shifts are between 11 and 12 hours, depending on the shift, and are rotating, meaning you won’t have to switch between days and nights in the same week. Instead, our officers work an entire week of the same shift, allowing your body to better adjust.
The majority of our officers work in partnerships, so you will often have a partner to work with. The strong bonds forged with your co-workers mean many of your workmates will become lifelong friends.
Just as you are competing for a position as a police officer, you can compete for promotion to higher ranks.
The first promotion from constable is to the rank of sergeant. Patrol teams, specialty squads and other work units, are supervised by sergeants, as are some technical administrative positions. Newly promoted sergeants usually have at least 15 years of service.
Inspectors head sections such as patrol districts, Major Crime, and Traffic. Newly promoted inspectors generally have at least 22 years of service.
Are you a police officer currently working with a Canadian police force?
Have you worked as a police officer with a Canadian police force in the past three years?
Does your Canadian police force have training and minimum standards equivalent to a BC municipal force?
If so, you may qualify as an exempt officer. There is no minimum service level to apply.
Members of the CN Police, Canadian Forces Military Police, and officers serving in other countries, included the United Kingdom, do not qualify for exemptions. You must apply in the same process as our regular member applicants.
At the Vancouver Police Department, your years of prior service will be recognized when calculating your salary and annual leave entitlements.
Recruiters do not give advice with regard to pensions and pension transfers. Please visit the BC Pensions website and seek advice from the administrator of your existing pension.
Process for Experienced Canadian Police Officers in BC
- A thorough review of your complete application package and disclosure forms.
- If your package is approved, you will be invited to the physical test, which includes a traditional shuttle run and a functional movement screening.
- You will then be invited to a comprehensive interview, psychological test, and polygraph.
- If you are successful, you will have an interview with the sergeant of Recruiting, who will determine if you move forward to a final medical examination and background investigation.
- Recruiting detectives will request permission to contact your references and ask that you provide a minimum of two letters of endorsement from current and past supervisors. You will need to provide written documentation supporting your police experience.
Process for Experienced Canadian Police Officers Outside BC
Our Recruiting Unit makes every effort to reduce the amount of travel for our applicants, but please expect to make at least two trips to Vancouver.
- Members serving outside BC are required to write a BC Exemption Exam in order to be eligible, which is two hours in length and multiple-choice. Once you are approved by BC Police Services to write the exam, you will be provided a study package and six weeks to study.
- Applicants from outside BC are required to pass the POPAT physical test.
- You will then be invited to a comprehensive interview, psychological test, polygraph, and medical exam.
- If you are successful, you will have an interview with the sergeant of Recruiting, who will determine if you move forward to a background investigation.
- Recruiting detectives will request permission to contact your references, and ask that you provide a minimum of two letters of endorsement from current and past supervisors. You will need to provide written documentation supporting your police experience.
Please note that any member hired by the Vancouver Police Department is hired on a probationary basis for the term of one year. Any increments or wage increases reflect your date of hire with the VPD only.