Volunteer Selection Process

The Ottawa Police Service offers great opportunities for people wanting to give their valuable time to their community.  Because most of the volunteer involvement focuses on crime prevention, one of the greatest benefits is the opportunity to meet your neighbours.  Likeminded individuals can get together at their community police centres and give their time to a cause in which they believe while learning more about their community.

Many studies have revealed that while donating time volunteers enjoy better health and longer life. Volunteers simply feel good about donating their time!

People volunteer for many reasons:

  • to give back to an organization that has helped them in the past;
  • to get back into the groove after a major setback;
  • for a change of scenery;
  • to meet interesting people with similar interests;
  • to fill idle time;
  • to learn about the Ottawa Police Service; and
  • to build a sense of independence.

Selection Process

The Ottawa Police Service screens and selects volunteers on the basis of the essential requirements of each specific volunteer assignment.  When you complete your volunteer application, you will see that we are serious about the individuals we select to represent the Ottawa Police Service.

Background and Reference Checks

Your application will go through a thorough background and reference check which can take several weeks.  If no findings give us reason to question your suitability for the assignment for which you are applying, an officer will begin the process of contacting your character references by telephone.

Depending on the background investigator's shift schedule and availability, and the ready availability of your character references, this phase of our screening process for volunteer applicants can sometimes take several months, or it can be completed in a few weeks.  Please remember there are many applications in this screening and selection process at any given time and our officers are handling applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.  We thank you for your patience.

The investigating officer will make a recommendation about proceeding with your application based on the background and reference checks.  If this decision is favourable, you will be contacted for an interview.

Security and Identification

Should you both agree after the interview to continue the process, you will be invited, in writing, to attend the Identification Section at our main headquarters building, at 474 Elgin Street, for fingerprinting. As well, you will be asked to attend Ottawa City Hall on Laurier Avenue West to obtain an identification tag, identifying you as a City volunteer, with the Ottawa Police Service.

Identification tags are to remain at the site of your placement, and to be worn while you are on duty.

Volunteer Training

You will receive your personal copy of the "Quick Reference Guide", Ottawa Police volunteer policies and procedures when you begin your training at your site.