Beyond the Badge: Looking for a routine job? If so, do not apply

April 8, 2017 - 12:27am

A career as a police officer can be immensely varied and rewarding. The daily working environment can vary from a patrol car, to the street conducting a foot patrol, riding a bike or working at the station on an assignment. You could be assigned to work in one of our many specialty units, talking to kids in a school or attending court to provide evidence. Sometimes the working conditions can be physically demanding, potentially dangerous, and at times deeply distressing, but we promise you it will never be routine.

To become a police officer in Medicine Hat is no easy accomplishment. The application process is intense and the standards are high.  The Medicine Hat Police Service is currently seeking qualified applicants from a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, ethnic groups and genders.  There is no magic formula of what makes a perfect officer, but life experience is valued and we welcome applications from those interested in a career change.

The Solicitor General of Alberta has identified minimum standards for employment as a police officer in the Province of Alberta. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a Grade 12 education (or equivalent), be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, have a driver’s abstract with fewer than five demerit points, meet minimum vision standards and not have a criminal record.

The MHPS will be selecting 10 Cadets to participate in 17 weeks of training starting in January 2018, with a goal of hiring at least three of those cadets as police officer upon graduation. The remaining cadets will be placed on a 12 month waiting list for future consideration to be drawn upon if there are any future vacancies.

The Cadet Training Program is composed of comprehensive and intensive courses in defensive tactics, physical fitness, emergency vehicle driving, firearms, law, neighbourhood policing, scenario testing and investigative training.

These courses are important, but other skills are required to serve as a police officer. Police are expected to have effective communication skills, both written and verbal. It is imperative for police officers to be effective communicators and the job demands that you can adjust your style in a way that is appropriate to the circumstances to ensure clear and effective communication with individuals from varied backgrounds.

You also need to be able to work as part of a team with the police service. The ability to work effectively and build strong relationships with different people and teams of people is required to achieve group objectives.

As a police officer, it is important to be able to see things from the point of view of the person you’re helping. Our community is diverse and our officers need to be sensitive to needs and perceptions and able to work closely with community members, involving them in the resolution of problems that affect them. A commitment to community service is an essential skill.

You also need to be resilient. As a police officer you will see the citizens at their best and their worst.  The ability to respond to difficult situations while maintaining effectiveness and self-control, is critical to your ability to make sound decisions under pressure.

Being a police officer is hard work, occasionally risky and sometimes you feel underappreciated. However, it’s a career that it becomes part of who and what you are. More information about our current recruiting process can be found here.

Every person in our community should share an interest in seeing the best possible police cadets recruited to serve Medicine Hat. With that in mind, we want to attract the brightest and best. 


Inspector Tim McGough served six years in the British Army and started his career with the Medicine Hat Police Service in 1991. He has served in numerous units, including patrols, Tactical Team and the Special Operations Unit. He currently provides leadership and support to the Administrative Services Division with the Medicine Hat Police Service. 

Beyond the Badge
By Medicine Hat Police Service