Military Police Officer

Job description

Military Police Officers lead teams of Military Police members in enforcing laws and regulations on Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) establishments in Canada and abroad. They serve the entire CAF community including Regular and Reserve Force members, civilian employees, cadets and family members.

Military Police Officers provide leadership and professional direction to Military Police members, and manage available resources and equipment. They enforce discipline, control traffic, handle prisoners of war, detainees and refugees, and manage the collection, collation, analysis and dissemination of criminal intelligence.

The primary responsibilities of a Military Police Officer are to:

  • Manage military police patrols
  • Administer police operations
  • Supervise crime scene management
  • Conduct investigations and interviews
  • Manage investigations
  • Administer police programs
  • Administer security programs
  • Provide police and security advice to senior authorities 
Transcript

MILITARY POLICE OFFICER IN THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES

I’m Major Adam Battista from Saint-Jean, Quebec. I’m a Military Police Officer and the Commandant of the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy in Borden, Ontario.

I’m Captain Kirsten Pilotte from Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Military Police Officer and Operations Officer for the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service in Ottawa, Ontario.

BATTISTA: Military Police Officers lead and support approximately 1,300 Military Police who serve a community of 90,000 regular and reserve-force members of the Canadian Armed Forces, in Canada and around the world.

We’re officers who ensure the safety of the civilian and military communities in which we serve through crime prevention and law enforcement activities. We also deploy domestically and internationally as part of the Canadian Armed Forces, ensuring that discipline and the rule of law are maintained. As a Military Police Officer, your job is to provide leadership and direction to military police, and guidance to other leaders in the Forces on issues that affect security and policing services.

PILOTTE: Your job is to lead the men and women under your command - to ensure that they have the support they require to successfully complete their missions. You’ll receive extensive specialized training and you’ll be given numerous opportunities to hone your skills and accumulate professional experience.

BATTISTA: In most other law enforcement organizations, you start off on patrol and often remain there for several years or even your entire career. Opportunities for senior level training are limited.

As a qualified Military Police Officer, you won’t be stuck on patrol - the types of duties you perform can change regularly. There are many opportunities to advance your career and you use your leadership skills and training immediately under supervision as a Junior Officer.

PILOTTE:  If you’re accepted as a Military Police Officer, you’ll go through basic officer training in Saint-Jean, Quebec, followed by Common Army Phase training in Gagetown, New Brunswick, where you’ll be instructed in basic combat leadership tactics and skills for officers. Then you’ll head to the new, state-of-the-art Canadian Forces Military Police Academy in Borden, Ontario, to complete you Military Police Officer Course.

BATTISTA: The Basic Officer training course lasts about 20 weeks. It covers a huge range of topics, from enforcing Canadian criminal and military laws, to military code of service discipline, to learning the basics of police work, including lawful use of force when making an arrest. The course not only trains you to be a police officer, but also how to lead them. You’ll graduate with an in-depth understanding of the tasks your men and women will perform and how you can best support them.

PILOTTE: After you complete your Military Police Officer training, you may be put in charge of a military police detachment conducting day-to-day policing activities, or a field platoon preparing for the next Canadian Armed Forces deployment. This is the only police force where you could be employed not just anywhere in Canada, but anywhere in the world.  We’re this country's front-line police service.

BATTISTA: Later in your career you will have the chance to undergo specialized training in security, surveillance, close protection, working as an Air Marshall, cyber security, drug interdiction, counter-intelligence, and even major-crime investigations, often in collaboration with other Canadian and International Police Corps.

BATTISTA: As a Military Police Officer, most of your time is spent on the management and administration of your command. You’re responsible for your subordinates, infrastructure and overseeing operations. This primarily involves a lot of planning, organization and providing personal guidance and direction to your team.

PILOTTE:  My MP work for me. They do the policing and I work for them, ensuring they have the tools, the training and support to do their jobs. Whether it’s taking care of their professional development, their leave, or some personal issue, it’s all part of being an officer to me.

BATTISTA:  The way I look at it is we’re a team. I have my job and they have theirs. I respect them for what they do and I work hard to earn their respect. That’s what makes an effective Military Police Commander. I know the decisions I make in battle or in routine policing will have an impact on the Military Police in my unit. Some could make the difference between life and death. So I need them to trust me to make the right decisions, and in order for that to happen, we have to respect each other.

PILOTTE:  Since I joined the military, I've gained experience and skills that no other police organization can offer. I’ve traveled and worked with some of the finest police forces in Canada and around the world and look forward to seeing you in the future.

TITLE:
MILITARY POLICE OFFICER

Overview

Working environment

All Canadian citizens are entitled to the same rights, privileges and protection under Canadian law, and Military Police Officers are qualified to provide these services to the same standard as every other Canadian police service. Military Police Officers work routinely within the civilian criminal and military justice systems, and are recognised as peace officers in the Criminal Code of Canada. With over 1,250 full-time members, they form one of the largest police forces in Canada.

Military Police Officers provide around-the-clock service to the military community in Canada or around the world, including areas of armed conflict or natural disaster. The majority of a Military Police Officer's work will be working indoors in an office setting, but working conditions will vary depending on the nature and the location of the services being provided.

Pay and career development

The starting salary for a fully trained Military Police Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (Navy) or Captain, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.

As they progress in their careers, Military Police Officers may be called upon to command a Military Police unit on a CAF base, assigned to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, or serve in a staff position at an operational Command or National Headquarters. Once Military Police Officers are assigned the duties of Detachment Commanders, they are expected to support their local military communities in prevention, detection and investigation of crime, and take leadership roles in community policing projects involving partnerships with community support agencies and neighbouring law enforcement agencies.

In addition to providing police services and maintaining their policing skills, Military Police Officers are required to maintain additional specialist skills. Given the complexity of modern policing in Canada, there is a need for advanced police training. Military Police Officers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.

Related civilian occupations

  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Provincial and regional police officers
  • Federal law enforcement officers (customs, immigration and fisheries)

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Training

Basic military officer qualification

After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.

Common Army phase

After basic training, you will go to the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. You will build upon the leadership training you received in basic officer training in addition to learning the skills required of all Combat Arms Soldiers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics.

Professional training

Military Police Officers then attend the Military Police Officer Qualification course in Borden, Ontario. This course is six months long and includes the following topics:

  • Military police patrol management
  • Police operations administration
  • Crime scene management supervision
  • Investigation and interview techniques
  • Investigation management
  • Police program administration
  • Security programs administration
  • Military police units in field operations command

Specialty training

Military Police Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Criminal identification specialist
  • Polygraph examiner
  • Major crime investigator
  • Crime scene manager
  • Major case team commander
  • Drug investigator
  • Aircraft security specialist
  • Sexual assault and fraud investigations
  • Homicide investigation
  • Forensic identification
  • Undercover operative
  • Close protection
  • Army tactical operations
  • Executive police development

Advanced training

As they progress in their career, Military Police Officers who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • Information security investigation specialist
  • Criminal investigator
  • Counter-human intelligence specialist
  • Surveillance operator
  • Officer safety instructor
  • Senior police administration

Entry plans

As part of the application process, all candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be required to complete career orientation and an aptitude assessment at a Military Police Assessment Centre to ensure that they have a realistic view of the Military Police Officer occupation and the potential to succeed.

Direct entry

If you already have a university degree, preferably in a criminal justice-related field, the CAF will decide if your academic background matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.

Paid education

Regular Officer Training Plan

Because this position requires a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a Bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time.

Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the CAF is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Officer Cadets who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, see Paid education.

Part-time option

This occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Army, Air Force

Serve with the Reserve Force

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Part-time employment

Military Police Officers may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. They are employed leading teams of Military Police members in enforcing laws and regulations at CAF establishments in Canada and abroad. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve with a Military Police Group at a location within Canada.

Reserve Force training

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for specialized skills training. Military Police Officers train at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick and then complete their Military Police Officer Qualification course in Borden, Ontario.

Working environment

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.

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