From London Bobby to Calgary Police Officer
Canadian and UK civil law is nearly identical. Calgary, with a growing populace and booming economy, needs desperately to replace its aging police force and build its ranks. Enter the UK police and the idea to "recruit" from abroad. With the current labour shortage affecting Alberta, it's difficult to find experienced law enforcement professionals, which is what makes the U.K. police force so appealing.
The Calgary Police Service has earmarked C$40,000 to fund a trip to England and Scotland this October. The Canadian delegation will attend an immigration fair and set up information sessions. In fact, the Calgary police force needs 140 new officers next year alone and recruiters are hoping to assess about 200 applicants during the trip.
"These are folks that come to the table not only with experience but with those soft skills in dealing with people. Going out onto the street in their first shift they know how to talk with people. They're mature, experienced," says acting Inspector Michael Watterston of the Calgary Police.
"The legal system in the U.K. is virtually the same as it is here in Canada. So we have transferable skills and experience that we can bring here to help Calgary," explains Constable Stewart O'Neill, a UK transplant. "My children can be kids — they play out on the street, which they never did back home. I guess [there is] less population, more wide open spaces, less crime, [and] more affordable housing from a U.K. perspective."
The Calgary police force journeys "across the pond" to the United Kingdom (UK) in search of officers.