Interviewee: Lee, C.
A career in law enforcement is the next step for many recent post-secondary graduates. Whether you want to serve your community as a Police Officer, correctional worker, or represent your country as a CBSA Agent, qualifying for a position requires a thought-out plan. Since law enforcement recruiters look for individuals with integrity, coping skills, and life experience, a frequently asked question is:
“How do I prepare myself for a career in law enforcement?”
We sat down with Lee, a Paladin Healthcare Operations Supervisor in Vancouver, to gain insight on his journey to becoming an RCMP officer. Lee recently accepted an offer to join the RCMP, and the story he shares is a testimony to Paladin’s assistance in preparing our Security Officers for their future careers.
With over 20% of Paladin employees moving to a career in law enforcement, our security guard services are proven to equip individuals with the necessary skills and experiences required for these challenging application processes. Therefore, Lee’s answer to the prevailing question is simple:
I prepared myself for a career in law enforcement by gaining relevant experience at Paladin Security.
1. Apply to Paladin Security
With the help of a close friend encouraging Lee to boost his RCMP application with security experience, Lee applied to Paladin in 2016. With his career goal fresh in mind, Lee was hired on as a Healthcare Security Officer to provide security services at the BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital.
By joining Paladin and entering the security industry, Lee was quickly introduced to relevant law enforcement experience, including:
- Involvement in stressful situations in highly public settings
- Intervention scenarios
- Gaining verbal de-escalation skills
The environment and position I was exposed to through Paladin Security, is very similar to law enforcement. The role of a Security Officer is extremely beneficial, since you continuously strengthen your skills and gain applicable experience.
2. Acquire Foundational Security Knowledge
Paladin’s training is a key source of Lee’s preparation for law enforcement. From pre-employment training and site orientation, to preparing for advancement including extensive online courses, Paladin provides the industry’s leading security guard training. Our training experts cover a variety of topics, such as:
- Patrolling and documentation
- Prevention and management of aggressive behaviour
- Emergency response procedures
- Law and ethics
- Healthcare specific training
As a Healthcare Security Officer, Lee was provided with multiple opportunities to enhance his knowledge of security.
Compared to other companies, Paladin’s training is very comprehensive. The first week of training contains specific information, which you will use every single day. It goes to show how Paladin cares about the smallest details.
With the help of Paladin’s training, Lee grew confidence in dealing with high stress situations. Although, this was not the initial case. When Lee first started, he was frequently challenged by his fight-or-flight reflex, which is a common phenomenon encountered in law enforcement.
It takes time to shape your reactions and appropriately handle situations. My supervisors were very helpful in showing me how they dealt with high stress scenarios. In return, I was able to reflect on my own response and quickly make this a strength of mine.
3. Pursue Security Guard Opportunities
Advanced safety and security training is only one of the many initiatives at Paladin. Lee also experienced the opportunity to pick up additional shifts at various sites, giving him exposure to even more valuable experiences.
While positioned at the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospital, Lee took on extra shifts at the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). VGH offered Lee the opportunity to frequently work in high stress situations, which he will eventually face as an RCMP officer. This includes:
- Aggressive adults
- Threats and intimidation
- Missing individuals
- Working as part of a large multi-disciplined team
Taking advantage of Paladin’s opportunities, also provided Lee an advanced perspective on how quickly an environment can shift due to its geographical location and the services provided.
4. Gain Skills Relevant to Law Enforcement
As a Security Officer, Lee acquired skills relevant for law enforcement, including:
- Verbal and written communication
- Working with diverse client types
- Leadership and ethics
- Proper terminology for specific settings
- Respectful phrasing of language
- Shift work routine
- Physical intervention
You do not have to be in a management position to move into law enforcement. You will encounter many situations as a Security Officer, which will help you gain relevant skills and experience.
5. Embody Paladin’s Promotion from Within
Paladin prides itself on providing opportunities for development and advancement. Lee took advantage of Paladin’s promotional culture by advancing to a 2IC position, and later by becoming the BC Cancer Site Supervisor.
Lee’s impressive growth at Paladin stems from the same competitive law enforcement applicant attributes:
- Relevant experience
- Personal achievements
As Lee applied for each promotion, he would clearly define how his previous role, achievements, and lessons learned prepared him for the next step in his career. He would also display great interest towards the position and embody the moral principles of Paladin Security.
As long as you are motivated and interested, you are in an environment that will nurture your ability to thrive!
In his current role as Healthcare Operations Supervisor, Lee provides after-hours management to all Lower Mainland Healthcare Facilities. He now finds himself providing mentorship for other Security Officers, just as Lee received when he first started.
Beneficial Advice for Security Guards
The transition from Security Officer to RCMP was not only enhanced by Lee’s knowledge of security, but also through the personal lessons he learned along the way.
1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
I was comparing myself to other people who had been working at Paladin for many years. I was worried those with more seniority would be chosen for positions over me. This was far from the truth, and I soon realized my integrity and passion would allow me to progress.
2. Go the Extra Mile
Talk to your supervisor to see what tasks you can assist with, such as audits or administrative duties. Re-reading the policy and procedure book will also allow you to retain key information for vital situations. These extra steps will advance you when it comes to interviews.
3. Be Confident
When applying for Paladin and future promotion opportunities, submit your application regardless. The skills you think you lack, are often the ones you can acquire in the position. As long as you show interest in the application, there is a great chance for you to be hired!
From coast to coast, Paladin proudly provides industry leading training, development opportunities, and partnerships with law enforcement. These qualities are what Lee embodied when submitting his law enforcement application and accepting his admission into the RCMP.
Are you interested in boosting your law enforcement application? Paladin Security is currently hiring for positions at our branches across Canada. View our open positions here.
To discover testimonials and additional resources for law enforcement applications, visit here.