Policing as a second career
While many of Ontario’s police officers pursued a policing career from the beginning, there are also many who entered the profession after a career in a different industry. Below, we talked to four police officers who switched to a career in policing.
Constable Abdullahi Ahmed – Ottawa Police Service
Constable Abdullahi Ahmed
From finance to police officer. Constable Ahmed worked in the financial industry for over six years and held several positions including customer service associate, training and development facilitator, and product analyst in business development.
What motivated you to pursue a career in policing?
Aside from discussions about policing with a school resource officer early in my high school years, my goal was – and still is – to build a bigger, stronger bridge between the Somali community and police, and between police and the community in general.
I didn't pursue policing as a career right away because of the expectations of my family. Business had been a part of my family for decades, starting with my great-grandparents back in Somalia. After studying business marketing in college, I worked at a major bank for a few years before I started to research more about policing. I reached out to a family friend and arranged a ride-along to see if this was really what I wanted to do. As you probably guessed – I loved it.
Are you happy that you chose policing?
I'm very happy that I chose policing as a career simply because of the countless positive impacts I have had on members in the community. I believe that my personal contact with individuals and the good that came out of it could not have been achieved in the financial industry or in any other field I had interest in.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to switch career paths to policing?
If policing is something you want to do or thought about doing but are comfortable where you are, then take the plunge and do some homework. Visit your local police station and ask about the possibility of ride-alongs, meet police officers, meet with recruiters, and get an understanding of what the job is all about. If you still see yourself doing the job, then go ahead and get the ball rolling. In life, you need to take risks – take the next step and don't let comfort in your current work hold you back from your dream career.