Recruiting and retaining the best talent has always been important and challenging for police departments across the country. It is worth noting that nowadays, it costs more to police effectively (Strategic Human Resources Analysis of Public Policing in Canada, 2000). It takes increased time and requires new skills for police officers to possess in order to enforce our laws and continue conducting preventive policing across Canada. Policing demands a new approach, attitude, and different preparation for police officers and police departments.


Changing demographics and diversity


Equality and diversity has always been a very big part of Canadian policing. The demographics of police services concerns the implementation of community policing and emphasizes elements of crime prevention, victim assistance, and police partnership in the community (Strategic Human Resources Analysis of Public Policing in Canada, 2000). Because the demographic face of Canada is changing rapidly, recruitment in law enforcement must be adjusted in order to attract members from other cultural communities (Strategic Human Resources Analysis of Public Policing, 2000). Additionally, changing demographics of Canada result in changing public expectations.

For example, female police officers in 2014 accounted for about 34% of total personnel employed by police services. For 2014, there were a total of 14,175 female police officers and it has been growing over the past few decades (Statistics Canada, Growth in proportion of female police officers, 2014). More women are also accounting for positions in higher ranks in policing. The proportion of senior officers who are women began to increase drastically since 1989 and has doubled in the past decade (Statistics Canada, More women in higher ranks of policing, 2014). More and more women are interested in careers in policing and this trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years.




Expected increases in recruitment


Demographics in police forces across the Greater Toronto Area and all of Canada point to an ageing police force and there will be a need for more intensive recruitment activities to replace a retiring workforce. The number of retiring police officers should be fairly high since police officers retire at a younger age compared to the average worker (Service Canada, Sources of employment, 2015). Changing skill sets due to technology, new approaches to policing, and other emerging types of crime are issues and trends that police forces are expected to encounter in the near future. In order to hire candidates from non-traditional recruitment pools, police departments will need to consider traditional means of recruiting (Strategic Human Resources Analysis of Public Policing in Canada, 2000).

As of 2014, the Police Administration Survey found that 54% of police officers were 40 years of age or older (Statistics Canada, Most police officers, 40 years of age or older, 2014). This signifies that in the upcoming few years police departments will go through many changes demographically, and above all there will be many employment opportunities for new police recruits.

Female officers as a percentage of total police officers by rank





New technologies


Whether used in criminal activity or used as part of a police investigation or intervention tools, technology has led to changes in police work and requirements for employment in law enforcement agencies. In many instances, technology can increase the ability of police forces to be more innovative, and it creates other opportunities to recruit skilled candidates with the required technological experience. This will in turn, about ways that crime evolves, and the police will need to inform the public about ways to fight white-collar crime and how it can negatively impact everyone.


Looking at the future of Canadian policing, we certainly can expect an increase in recruitment for police officers. Every employer wants to retain the best talent available. Candidates interested in policing form a large enough talent pool and police services across Canada will need to implement their selection based on the current demographic changes of Canada, the rapid rise of technology and innovation in policing, and the consistent aging of a police force. We can see that there will be an up-and-coming demand for new police officers that will symbolise the changing face of our technologically savvy and diverse nation.


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