Public Safety Canada (PSC) is the central organisation that coordinates with all federal departments of public safety. Since most federal departments of public safety are perpetually short of the workforce they need, employment opportunities in public safety are always high in the country.

Shortage Explained with Stats: Lowest Police Presence in 20+ Years?

A few years back in 2019, it became big news that there is a huge deficit in Canada’s policing capacity. Only 184.9 officers per 100,000 Canadian citizens were working by the end of 2018 in Canada, and that was the lowest police presence recorded in the last 17 years (2002 – 2018) at that time. Canada’s shortage of policing capacity has been a problem area for much longer than that and all stats since have pointed to an even more worrying trend.

In 2021, it was found that Canadian police presence per 100,000 citizens has further plummeted down to 183.3/100,000. The last time Canada recorded a police presence lower than that was 21 years ago, in 2000 (182.3). All estimates suggest that police presence for citizens may dip down even further by the end of 2022, which could take the number down to an all-time low.

How has the Shortage of Police Personnel Impacted EmploymentOpportunities in the Field?

Whenever there is a shortage of qualified professionals in any field of work, it is bound to create a pull. Whether we are discussing public safety or the medical field, this statement holds true. As far as job opportunities for aspiring police officers in Canada are concerned, employment opportunities in the field for qualified and willing people are tremendous.

If you have all the necessary qualifications and you are willing to serve as a police officer, there is a high chance that most police divisions near you will welcome an application to join the force. It does not mean they will hire everyone who applies, but candidates who meet all criteria will have a much higher chance of getting hired than not. Since the Canadian police system is divided and subdivided into multiple structures, the academic, physical, and medical requirements will vary depending on where you are applying from, the position, your experience in related fields, etc.

As far as academic qualifications are concerned though, this Master of Public Safety degree sits high on top of PSC’s preference list. It happens to be the only Public Safety Canada-aligned online program available right now. The certification will also open your career up to more opportunities in National Security, Border Strategies, Emergency Management, and of course, Countering Crime. These are all federal departments that fall under the umbrella of PSC.

How has the Shortage Impacted the AverageSalarywithin the Canadian Police Force?

It would be incorrect to state that the shortage of personnel is the only factor that has had an impact on the average salary of a Canadian police officer. Nevertheless, it certainly does play a role. For example, police officers in the US earn roughly US$54,650 or C$68,440 per year on an average, while the average Canadian cop earns close to US$66,640 or C$83,456per year. On top of that, Canadian police also have a higher cap on their average salary and bonus pay.

Admittedly, the job of the Canadian police is far from being easy, but it would be fair to state that the compensation offered is certainly not the weakest point here. In fact, there is unconfirmed news around the subject that suggests officers in some parts of Canada are very likely to receive a significant pay boost soon.

The bottom line is that if you decide to join the Canadian police, there is job security, good pay, and the opportunity to progress further up within the police force. At the same time, you will also need to accept the fact that it will be hard work. Given that police work is never supposed to be easy work anywhere, that is to be expected. If anything, young officers can only expect their pay and additional securities to improve further in the coming years, as the PSC will continue to make the job opportunities even more lucrative to fill in the personnel gap as best and as quickly as possible.

What are the Main Branches of Public Safety Canada?

There are several agencies that are part of the PSC, but they have been subdivided under the jurisdiction of five primary branches. These would be as follows:

  • National Security
  • Emergency Management
  • Border Strategies
  • Countering Crime
  • Impaired Driving

There is an opportunity for employment across all five branches, but they are not equally good in all parameters since that would be impossible! Keep in mind that the ones mentioned here are not the only departments that fall under the wide umbrella of PSC because this list mostly, although not exclusively, focuses on departments with sufficient employment opportunities. Let’s look at some of the various federal departments in charge of maintaining public safety next.

Bias Sensitivity, Diversity, Identity (BSDI) Awareness and the Cross-Cultural Roundtable

The PSC seeks to foster knowledge and implement legal measures for making personnel within the National Security departments more aware of factors such as bias sensitivity, diversification, and identity (BSDI) considerations. There are also several provisions for implementing Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) through contemporary strategies and future plans for action, arrangements, engagements, research, reach out programs, monitoring programs, assessments, and improvement proposals.

Canada is a free country for all law-abiding citizens, so there is a Cross-Cultural Roundtable program in place to ensure all community leaders are made a part of the National Security processes and procedures. They will discuss and provide inputs regarding threats to national security, emergency developments to the:

  1. Minister of Justice
  2. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness


The goal here is to protect all Canadian citizens against threats and acts of terrorism. The department’s planning and actions are developed in alignment with the Canadian Counter-Terrorism Strategy. All activities taken by directly/indirectly connected agencies abide by the four core facets of eliminating terrorism, which is embedded into the Canadian Counter-Terrorism Strategy:

  1. Prevention of violent extremist uprisings and propaganda.
  2. Detection and prediction of extremist activities that come close to or qualify as acts of terrorism.
  3. Denying active, violent extremists the opportunity to jeopardise national security through acts of terrorism.
  4. Responding to acts of terrorism with the goal of helping those that are affected and punishing those that enacted the acts of terrorism.

Counter Proliferation

Active and urgent action against illegal acquisition of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons. Unfortunately, there are black market merchants of CRBN weapons, and it is the counter proliferation department’s job to prevent the proliferation of such weapons of mass destruction in Canada.

Cyber Security

Perhaps no threat is greater than the threat of cyber attacks against critical government databases. It threatens everything from the country’s economic stability and citizen safety to even military codes. All federal Cyber Security departments are constantly at work, keeping the relentless attacks from rival nations and criminal organisations alike at bay.

Countering Crime

Public Safety Canada is very closely associated with both local, provincial, and federal agencies that are tasked with controlling crime, keeping the peace, enforcing the law, and acclimatising ex-convicts. In addition to coordinating their activities, Public Service Canada also advises and designs policies for helping those in charge to do better.

Corrections and Criminal Justice

The Corrections and Criminal JusticeDepartmentis a direct wing of Public Service Canada that concerns itself with tasks such as:

  • Legislative policy development for governing corrections facilities and the criminal justice system of Canada.
  • Delivering insights, referrals, and other relevant info regarding federal correctional facilities and conditional release directives.
  • Delivering research data, insights, and suggestions to improve safety inside correctional facilities.
  • Providing guidance on how to deal with First Nation Offenders, as well as proposing alternative correctional options for those belonging to indigenous communities.

Border Strategies

The employment opportunities in Border Strategies are all related to formation and implementation of immigration policies in accordance with national and international border laws. Due to recent changes in international relationships, new Border Law Enforcement policies were introduced by the PSC.

Policing and Law Enforcement

There are four primary types of police in Canada, but there are plenty of subdivisions and overlapping departments in there as well. This is one of the main reasons why police departments in Canada have the highest employability opportunities in Public Safety for all qualifying candidates. As for the four primary police departments, they are:

  • Municipal Police
  • Provincial Police
  • Mounted Police
  • First Nations Police

It should be noted that although the PSC lists human trafficking, human smuggling, child exploitation, firearms control, gun & gang violence, homicide, etc. separately, the policing and law enforcement agencies are still going to be in charge of managing the crimes inside Canada. Border Security is the other division that shares some of these grave crime control duties, but their jurisdiction and influence inside the country is limited in comparison.

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