Recruiting and Being Deferred

Back in the early 1990’s, the VPD was comprised of two branches of service.  The first and most highly sought after job was the position of a regular constable.  This was, and is, the job of wearing a uniform, going through the police academy, and learning how to shoot a gun, drive a police car, and arrest criminals.  It was also one of the most difficult jobs to get hired into, as there was a steep decline in the number of officers the VPD needed to hire at the time. 

The other branch of service was the position of a Police Reserve/Auxiliary (which no longer exists today).  You got to wear a uniform, and go through some form of training, but you were destined to always sit in the passenger seat of the police car, be armed with only your three-cell flashlight, and get paid a pittance (if at all) to be the regular officers ‘gopher’.

At the time I was the ripe old age of nineteen, and thinking I was not qualified enough yet for the job of a regular member, I applied to become a Police Reserve.  I’m not sure what the recruiting officer saw in my application, but my folder was quickly transferred out of the Reserve stack and into the huge pile of applications for the Regular Force.  I was thrilled!  On Cloud Nine!  And then, of course, came the inevitable crash back to earth.  After running the physical, going through the Assessment Center, the medical and what felt like umpteen interviews, I was deferred.

“Hang on second!”  I thought.  “First you tell me I’m qualified enough for the job and shuffle me out of the stack of gopher applications I was quite comfortable being in, and then you tell me ‘Thanks, but not right now’?”

The two biggest reasons for my deferral were:
• I was mid-way through my post secondary education, and had expressed a desire to finish my schooling
• I had expressed a desire to travel

The recruiting officer told me to complete the things on this list, as he did not want me to have any regrets about getting hired on too soon. At the time, I was devastated, but I decided to do what he advised.  Now, looking back, I see how valuable his advice was.  Otherwise, I might not have completed my post-secondary education, and I most definitely would not have lived in Australia.  I would not have met some of the people who ended up having a significant impact on my life.

And even though I try to live by the motto ‘No Regrets’, I think I would have, in time, regretting becoming a police officer too soon, at too young an age.  When I was hired on in 1995, I had completed my schooling, I had seen the world down-under, and I had grown, both emotionally and mentally. I was a better person than I had been on my first go through the application process, and I had no regrets when I officially took up the badge.

So, if you are going through the application process and are told at some point that you are being deferred, do not lose hope.  Be true to yourself, and everything will follow.  If you are meant to wear a policing uniform, it will happen.  Maybe not as fast as you would like, but it will happen. 

Just remember – No Regrets.

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1 Response to "Recruiting and Being Deferred"

  • Scott Sherman says: