Do you need to know how to swim to become a police officer/detective?

I live in Canada, and I’ll probably apply to either OPP or RCMP after university. I am very physically and mentally fit, intelligent, and almost finished university (I’ve taken and have been taking criminology and criminal justice, victimology, psychology, English literature and language, law, forensic science, philosophy and human anatomy.) Would I be able to become a police officer with these credentials or do I need to know how to swim? Thanks.

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  • bw022

    Neither the RCMP or OPP require the ability to swim in order to apply. Requirements are usually fairly straight forward — Canadian citizen (or permanent resident for OPP), willing to travel, physically fit, no criminal record, high school graduate, English and/or French, unrestricted driver’s license, etc.

    However, this is just to apply. When evaluating candidates, they will certainly consider all sorts of factors — education, training, specific skills, ability to speak other languages, driving training, small van/ambulance licenses, firearms certification/training, martial arts, computer skills, etc., etc. — and they will consider an inability to swim. It is certainly a negative. If they do move forward with the selection process, you can expect that they will require you to learn to swim.

    For a few hundred dollars you can take swimming lessons — or just get a pool membership and a friend who can swim to teach you. It is a few nights a week for a couple of months. It is also something you should probably know how to do — both for your own safety and that of others. Canada has a lot of oceans, lakes, and rivers. I assume you want to be a police officer to help others… and you can imagine what it would be like to have to stand on a river bank watching child drowning.

  • Yes, I’m pretty sure you need to know how to swim for that.

  • Mr. Jacob

    You need to know how to skate.

  • garrytoo


  • dobberx

    IF you can’t figure out that questions about eligibility should be addressed by the very agencies you wish to apply to…….

    then you certainly aren’t qualified for them.

    ASK THE RCMP and the OPP.


  • Starlord

    I never saw the ability to swim listed on any job description in an ad for police applicants. Not being able to swim should not be a problem, The progression to save someone in water is Reach(if close enough, your arm, or a stick), Throw ( a rope or life buoy), Row (if a boat is available) and Go ( dive in).
    The going is the last resort, as drowning people tend to try to take you with them. BTW, we did not have swimming in the academy.

  • It depends on the police department. You should learn how to swim if you want to become a police officer.

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