Special Municipal Constable

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Special Municipal Constable


The Job

All potential applicants are asked to attend an Information Session to hear directly from VPD recruiters.

The Vancouver Police Department employs Special Municipal Constables as jail guards, traffic authority, and community safety officers. A person is hired and trained to work in all three positions, and starts as an auxiliary employee. These positions provide relevant work experience for people pursuing a policing career.

Community Safety Personnel assist regular patrol officers with various lower-risk tasks, such as picking up statements, outside perimeter security at police incidents, transporting and tagging property, and providing support at major events and emergencies.

Jail Guards book, search, guard, escort, and take care of the people in our custody. They maintain records, jail security and prisoner safety.

Traffic Authority Members direct traffic at public, private, and community events.


  • minimum 19 years of age
  • Grade 12 diploma or GED equivalent
  • excellent character
  • physically fit and in excellent health
  • Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
  • no Criminal convictions, no adult criminal charges pending
  • valid BC Class 5 driver’s licence with no restrictions and a good driving record
  • valid Standard First Aid/CPR “C” certification
  • meet the visual acuity standards
  • fully vaccinated (defined as completion of the full vaccination cycle with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada) unless there is a valid exemption pursuant to the Human Rights Code

Salary and Benefits

Traffic Authority

There are no set hours for Traffic Authority shifts. You can tailor your availability around your work or school schedule, or other commitments. The minimum requirement is to work 100 hours in one year.

  • Step 1 $24.72 hourly
  • Step 2 $26.70 hourly
  • Step 3 $28.96 hourly

A total of 1,500 hours of work is required to advance to the next step.

  • uniforms and equipment are supplied
  • uniform cleaning is provided
  • 12% in lieu of benefits

Jail Guard

Jail Guards begin as auxiliary employees. The schedule is based on staffing needs in the jail and on the guards’ availability. Part-time auxiliary Jail Guards can advance to a full-time position, dependent on vacancies and qualifications.

A full-time workweek consists of:

  • four days on, four days off
  • 12-hour shifts – two days (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and two nights (6 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

The salary of full-time and auxiliary guards is:

  • Step 1: $29.69 hourly
  • Step 2: $32.22 hourly
  • Step 3: $34.84 hourly
Benefits (for full-time jail guards)
  • three weeks of annual holidays to start
  • overtime pay when working holidays
  • uniforms and uniform cleaning supplied
  • medical and dental coverage

Community Safety

The VPD employs both full-time and auxiliary Community Safety Personnel.

A full-time workweek for temporary full-time Community Safety Personnel consists of:

  • four days on, four days off
  • 11-hour rotating shifts – (7 a.m. to 6 p.m., 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., and 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.)

Auxiliary community safety personnel generally work 8-hour shifts and/or may follow the same rotating shift as those who are temporary full-time, based on operational need. They may also participate in projects, where shifts vary in length.


The salary of temporary full-time and auxiliary Community Safety Personnel is:

  • Step 1: $24.72 hourly
  • Step 2: $26.70 hourly
  • Step 3: $28.96 hourly
  • Uniforms and uniform cleaning supplied
  • Access to gym facilities
  • 12% – 16% in lieu of benefits

The Process

1. Information Session

It is preferable that you attend an in-person Information Session. If you are not able to attend in person, you can view a previously recorded session.

2. Application Package

Download and print an application package and an integrity and lifestyle questionnaire. Complete the forms and mail the package to:

Vancouver Police Department
2120 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 5J5


You can drop off the package in a sealed envelope marked “Attention: Recruiting” at our Public Information Counter.

Once your application is reviewed, you may be invited to write the intake exam.

3. Written Testing

The three-hour entrance exam sits on Saturdays. You will be tested on grammar, spelling, composition, comprehension, and mathematics at a Grade 12 level. The exam also includes a section on memory and short essay responses, and will be handwritten, with no spell check or calculators. Errors in spelling and grammar will result in marks deducted from your score. A pass mark of 50% is required for Special Municipal Constable applicants.

See sample written exam for some sample questions.

4. Physical Testing

Complete the physical testing, which consists of the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT). The COPAT must be completed in under 2:50.

VPD COPAT practices are on every third Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Contact VPD Athletic Therapist Rebecca Swan to ask about COPAT sessions and dates after you have been invited to write the exam.

5. Interview

At this stage of the process, you will be interviewed by a detective from the Recruiting Unit who will review your integrity and lifestyle questionnaire and personal history.

The interview will assess your integrity, problem-solving abilities, respect for diversity, community service orientation, self-initiative, and acceptance of responsibility.

6. Polygraph Examination

If you have been honest and forthcoming throughout the application process, you should have no concerns about the polygraph stage.

7. Recruiting Sergeant Interview

You will participate in an interview with a Recruiting sergeant, where a review of your file will take place.

8. Medical Exam

Complete the medical examination form with your own doctor, at your own cost. Hearing standards are assessed by your own doctor at this stage.

9. Background Investigation

A thorough background investigation by a detective from the Recruiting Unit will include interviews with your family, long-time friends, present and past employers and colleagues, neighbours, and landlords.


Training consists of 13 to 16 weeks of paid training in legal studies, the Motor Vehicle Act, VPD policy and procedures, force options, and traffic control. It takes place at the Vancouver Police Department and the Tactical Training Centre.