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NOC Code: NOC Code: 6261 Occupation: Police Officers (Except Commissioned)
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Police officers protect the public, detect and prevent crime and perform other activities directed at maintaining law and order. They are employed by municipal and federal governments, some provincial and regional governments and the armed forces. This unit group includes military police and railway police. Police officers protect the public, detect and prevent crime and perform other activities directed at maintaining law and order. They are employed by municipal and federal governments, some provincial and regional governments and the armed forces. This unit group includes military police and railway police.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3 4
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3 4
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3 4


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read short notes and email messages from other police officers, informants and members of the public. (1)
  • Read instructions and directions on labels such as operational tags and evidence tags. (1)
  • Read letters and memos from senior officers and other police force members. For example, police detectives read procedural change memos from staff sergeants to fully understand how changes will affect current cases. (2)
  • Read notes taken during investigations, detailed statements from witnesses and technical reports provided by experts who investigate crimes and traffic accidents. Review these materials when writing reports and preparing to give testimony in court. (2)
  • Read bulletins and articles in magazines and newsletters. For example, municipal police officers may read Blue Line magazine to identify new and best policing practices and to learn about current events in police work. Police dog masters may read Police K-9 magazine to learn about animal behaviour and training. (2)
  • Read text entries in forms. For example, staff sergeants read junior officers' requests for approval of arrest warrants. Duty officers may scan daily activity logs to review their officers' activities. (2)
  • Read manuals and handbooks. For example, mounted police constables may read publications such as Youth Justice Committees: A Community Resource Manual to understand and apply policing techniques when dealing with young offenders. Highway patrol officers may review technical handbooks such as The Collision Report Handbook to properly complete accident reports. (3)
  • Read standard operating procedures, policies and protocols to identify proper courses of action for specific situations. For example, vice squad detectives may review the search, seizure and arrest procedures for upcoming drug raids to ensure that they understand their roles and are able to follow the protocols specified. (4)
  • Read the Criminal Code of Canada and similar legislation to understand, interpret and apply laws. For example, when filing charges against young offenders throwing rocks, police constables may read sections of the Criminal Code that describe mischief and vandalism laws. Vice squad detectives may read and interpret lengthy sections of the Code to ensure that they conduct searches in accordance with the Code when collecting evidence in support of charges of drug trafficking. (4)
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Writing
  • Write brief notes to remember details of crime scenes and investigations. For example, during investigations, police detectives write short notes in notebooks to document witnesses' names and other facts. Following minor traffic collisions, traffic patrol officers may write notes to record important points of witnesses' statements. (1)
  • Write letters and emails to co-workers, colleagues and members of the general public. For example, police officers may write emails to members of other police forces to obtain and distribute information relating to ongoing criminal investigations. (2)
  • Write lengthy summary reports to document actions and to organize details of investigations. For example, police detectives may write narrative reports which summarize their interrogations of witnesses and provide their interpretations of interviews. Plain-clothes officers may write reports which provide facts about sting operations and timelines for undercover assignments. They forward these reports to senior officers and crown attorneys to support criminal charges and ensure convictions. (3)
  • Write speaking notes when presenting information to the public. For example, community relations officers may write speeches about violent crime for community groups. Staff sergeants may write speaking notes when they provide information to media regarding crimes and investigations. (3)
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Document Use
  • Observe traffic and warning signs. (1)
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, highway patrol officers refer to summary tables of traffic fines according to how many kilometres over the speed limit vehicles travel. Duty officers may scan work schedules to learn about working hours, duty assignments and training sessions. (2)
  • Locate data in entry forms. For example, police detectives locate dates, addresses and names in orders and warrants that give them authority for police actions such as arrests, searches, seizures and wiretaps. (2)
  • Complete entry forms. For example, harbour police officers complete infraction notices when they apprehend boaters with inadequate safety gear. Police investigators complete accidental death reports when they receive coroners' findings. (2)
  • Review sketches and drawings. For example, police detectives may review sketches of suspects and persons of interest. Crime scene technicians may review drawings of crime scenes to identify where primary evidence was located when police officers first arrived. (2)
  • Interpret and locate data in graphs. For example, police constables may interpret graphs in statistical reports that give visual representations of crime statistics over specific periods of time in specified areas. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use the Internet. For example, search Internet sites to find information on specific medical conditions such as schizophrenia. (2)
  • Use graphics software to create and edit educational material for public presentations using presentation software such as PowerPoint. (2)
  • Use communications software to send email messages and attached reports to inform supervisors about ongoing investigations and prosecutions. (2)
  • Access databases such as the Police Information Retrieval System to find addresses, aliases and criminal histories of known criminals. (2)
  • Use word processing software to write logs that are accessible to other officers. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing policing activities with co-workers, colleagues and supervisors. For example, duty officers speak to co-workers to learn about events on other shifts and to establish tasks that still need to be completed. (2)
  • Ask questions, answer questions and give verbal instructions to members of the general public. For example, traffic patrol officers ask drivers at checkpoints for their licenses, registrations and insurance certificates. Highway patrol officers comfort and give information to people who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. (2)
  • Talk to dispatchers and emergency operators using police radios and cellular telephones. For example, harbour police officers may speak to emergency operators to learn details of public disturbances on docks. Narcotics squad detectives may talk to dispatchers to request additional backup personnel prior to carrying out drug raids. (2)
  • Give testimony and present evidence in courts and inquiries. For example, patrol officers may testify under oath about the actions of persons accused of assaults and describe their observations upon arriving at the scenes of crimes and accidents. (3)
  • Give presentations and lead discussions on various topics related to law enforcement. For example, community relations officers give presentations on bullying, vandalism and drug use to groups of high school students. Crime prevention constables may present information about on-line fraud and protection at seniors' centres and nursing homes. Police detectives leading investigations into neighbourhood violence may discuss these problems with condominium boards, community groups and neighbourhood watch committees. (3)
  • Give clear and concise verbal instructions to control the actions of others. For example, police sergeants may give precise instructions to groups of police officers, firefighters and medical personnel when they are responding to public disturbances and threats of terrorism. Vice squad detectives may threaten the use of deadly force and order potentially violent suspects to drop weapons and lie on the ground during drug raids. (4)
  • Question suspects, witnesses and informants to establish the facts of criminal cases. For example, detectives may use an adversarial and forceful tone to elicit facts from reluctant witnesses. Drug investigators may interrogate informants to track drug traffickers' movements in their areas. (4)
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Money Math
  • Count money confiscated as evidence and held for prisoners. (1)
  • Add amounts of money to establish total fines. (1)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule other police officers for specific duties such as crowd control at large events. For example, duty officers may create work schedules for security at special events such as visits by foreign dignitaries. (2)
  • Develop and monitor budgets for small programs and projects. For example, community relations officers may develop budgets for community drug awareness seminars. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure speeds and blood alcohol concentrations using specialized equipment. For example, patrol officers calibrate and use radar guns to measure vehicular speeds. They use breathalysers to measure the blood alcohol content of impaired drivers. (2)
  • Calculate directions and speeds of vehicles involved in traffic accidents. Use skid mark measurements and other data to determine how accidents occurred. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare counts, measurements and instrument readings to legal limits to determine if laws have been broken. (1)
  • Analyze statistics relevant to assignments. For example, highway patrol officers may analyze the number of non-fatal and fatal vehicle accidents on specific stretches of their patrol routes. Drug squad officers may analyze statistics on marijuana growing operations by city zones to identify trends. (2)
  • Determine timelines and sequences for crime events using data such as body temperatures, blood splatters and gun shot residues. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times, distances, angles, heights, areas and volumes. For example, police investigators may estimate response times from their present locations to the scenes of crimes, the angles at which weapons were used in assaults and the heights and weights of persons fleeing from the scenes of crimes. (1)
  • Estimate numbers of people in crowds. For example, patrol officers may estimate sizes of unruly crowds at demonstrations so they can call for appropriate numbers of reinforcements. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Police officers plan job tasks such as patrolling, investigating crimes, presenting evidence and testimony in courts and completing reports and data collection forms. They are often forced to reschedule job tasks so that they can respond to calls for assistance from their communities. When attending accident and crime scenes and when carrying out investigations, police officers follow procedures. Non-commissioned officers may create duty rosters and assign specific job tasks to junior officers and volunteers. (4)
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Decision Making
  • Choose routes, areas and locations to patrol. For example, traffic officers choose the quickest routes to reach ongoing pursuits of suspects' vehicles. (1)
  • Decide to restrict entry to crime scenes, dangerous areas and public events in order to maintain the integrity of investigations and public safety. For example, police detectives restrict entry at scenes of homicides until forensic specialists complete their investigations. (2)
  • Decide to call for back up, emergency support and special police expertise at crime, accident and disaster scenes. For example, traffic officers may decide to abandon suspect pursuits when entering highly populated areas and school zones. (3)
  • Decide to stop vehicles, question individuals and investigate activities when there is suspicion that crimes have been committed. For example, highway patrol officers may decide to stop vehicles when they suspect that drivers are impaired. (3)
  • Decide to charge, hold and release suspects. Consider the evidence linking suspects to crimes, their past criminal histories and the likelihood that they will take flight. For example, police detectives may decide to release suspects who have been charged with minor offences and have no criminal records. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Charges and prosecutions cannot be adequately supported because evidence has been lost or contaminated. Inform senior officers and prosecutors so that decisions can be made regarding the conduct of criminal cases. (2)
  • Vehicles and equipment malfunction so investigations, patrols and enforcement actions must be discontinued. Report the faults and malfunctions to dispatchers and superiors and request replacement vehicles and equipment. (2)
  • Arrive at accident, crime and disaster scenes without sufficient backup and support. Isolate and control the areas as much as possible and call for additional police and emergency support staff. (2)
  • Find that investigations are impeded by uncooperative citizens who will not leave accident scenes and by witnesses who will not provide statements. In some cases, try to physically remove bystanders and loiterers from accident scenes and isolate witnesses in patrol cars until they provide detailed statements. Be careful not to harm uncooperative bystanders and not to detain witnesses without reasonable causes. (3)
  • Discover that civilians and bystanders are endangered by their proximity to policing activities, such as raids, seizures and possible hostage negotiations. For example, vice squad detectives may find that residents of apartments in large complexes must be evacuated before they raid individual apartments containing suspected drug labs. Police may maintain evacuations until areas of operations are again secure and do not present a hazard to members of the public. (4)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about criminal methods and organizations. For example, police investigators may speak to former members of street gangs and organized crime syndicates about their experiences with various crimes. They may read biographies written by criminals and accounts of investigations written by former police officers. (2)
  • Find information about patrol areas and neighbourhoods. For example, make conscious efforts to speak to local residents, observe local events and gatherings and review criminal statistics and trends in patrol areas. (2)
  • Find information about criminals and those suspected of criminal activity. Interview members of the public, discuss cases with fellow officers, search criminal information databases and read transcripts from previous court appearances. Observe suspects surreptitiously, may eavesdrop electronically and conduct searches of vehicles and buildings. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Judge the safety and security of public events. For example, security officers may consider the number of access and exit points, the quality of fencing and the numbers of people attending large outdoor concerts to determine if these events are hazardous for the public. (2)
  • Judge the effectiveness of presentations delivered. For example, to determine if presentations are successful, community services officers review comments made and questions asked by audience members. They may ask co-workers who attended their presentations for criticism. (3)
  • Evaluate the veracity of statements provided by witnesses and suspects. For example, harbour police investigating thefts from boats may review statements provided by boat owners and witnesses to corroborate sets of facts and judge the truthfulness of statements. Police detectives investigating violent assaults examine physical evidence and review witnesses' statements to determine the honesty of suspects' statements. (4)
  • Evaluate the dangers posed by criminal activity, accidents and disasters. For example, patrol officers consider the risks that high-speed chases pose for other drivers and pedestrians. Highway patrol officers review road conditions, visibilities and traffic congestion near vehicular accident scenes to determine potential dangers to their personal safety. (4)
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