A Brief History of Policing
The history of police started with arrangements amoung groups, and then became the
constables on the streets of Quebec.
As time moved on they created police forces; several of the provinces suffered poor
leadership and etc.
Between 1917-1950 the RCMP assumed provincial policing responsibilities in all
provinces except Ontario, Quebec, and parts of Newfoundland.
To this day, those are the only three provinces with provincial police forces.
Policing is the largest component of the justice system and gets the biggest slice of the
funding pie (80%)
Defining Police Work
Curtis Clarke and Chris Murphy scholars define public and private police as activities of
any individual or organization acting legally on behalf of the public or private
organizations or persons to maintain security or social order while empowered by
either public or private contract, regulations or policies, written or verbal.
Pluralization of policing: the trend toward an increasing role in community safety
and security being played by private security services and Para-police officers.
Definition by Clifford Shearing and David Bayley.
Police Word in A Democratic Society
There are natural tensions between power and authority of police and the values and
processes that exist in a democratic society
The governments and the public rely on the police to prevent respond to crime and to
apprehend offenders; on the other these governments are committed to democracy
and due process.
Police officers complain that the rights of offenders are given more attention than
those of the victims and law-abiding citizens.
The Law of Commission of Canada has identified four key values that form the framework within
which to understand police work in Canadian Society:
Justice: The requirement that the police maintain peace and security in the community
while ensuring that individuals are treated fairly and human rights are respected.
Equality: All citizens are entitled to policing services that contribute to their feelings of
safety and security.
Accountability: The actions of police services, and police officers, are subject to review.
The police mandate entails contradictory ends protecting both public order and
What Do Police Do?
For most police officers, the primary role is that of peacekeeper rather than enforcer:
depending upon the area being policed, officers might spend most of their time
maintaining order and less than 10 or 15% of the their time enforcing law.
The media of American TV programs and in print media have led many Canadians to
assume policing in Canada is similar to the US.
Police Duties and Activities – Ontario’s Police Services Act
Preserving the peace
Preventing crimes and other offences
Assisting victims of crime
Laying charges and participating in prosecutions
Executing warrants Performing the lawful duties that the chief of police assigns
And completing the prescribed training
Police officers activities become divided into three major categories:
Crime control: responding to and investigating crimes, and patrolling the streets to
prevent offences from occurring.
Order maintenance: preventing and controlling behaviour that disturbs the public
peace, including quieting loud parties, responding to (and often mediating)
domestic/neighbourhood disputes, and intervening in conflicts that arise between
Crime prevention and service: providing a wide range of services to the community,
often as a consequence of the twenty-four-hour availability of the police, including
responding to traffic accidents, assisting in searches for missing persons, and acting as
information/referral agency for victims of crime and for the general public.
Factors Influencing the Role and Activities of the Police
Legislation: new laws and amendments to existing legislation can have a sharp impact
on police services set (and try to achieve) their operational priorities. Literally
overnight, behaviour that was once criminal can become legal, and behaviour that was
once criminal can become legal, and behaviour that was once legal can become
Terrorism Act: for example, gives police expanded powers to deal with individuals
identified as posing a threat to safety and security; it has also established a new
crime—―terrorist activity.‖ The expectation is that the police have the capacity to
respond to the multitude of demands placed upon them.
Geography and demographics
The ethnic cultural diversity of Canadian Society: police services are being pressured
to adapt their recruitment, training, and delivering practices to reflect the diverse
needs of multicultural communities and neighbourhoods.
Economic, political, cultural trends: international crimes such as drug trafficking,
Internet crime, human smuggling, sex tourism, and genocide require the police in
many countries to coordinate their activities.
Common Misconceptions of Modern Police Work
There are Federal, Municipal, Provincial and First Nations police levels.
Police work in itself prevents crime
The Mounties always get their man.
Police work involves the frequent use of force.
97% of all police incidents are diffused with presence and communication skills.
Police work is dangerous.
Police work primarily involves pursing criminals.
When you call the police, they come.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act): federal legislation that provides the
framework for the operation of the RCMP.
Policing Provinces and Municipalities under Contract
RCMP is a federal police force, yet about 60% of its personnel are involved in contract
policing- that is, they serve as provincial/municipal police officers under agreements
between the RCMP and the provinces/territories.
The RCMP does not act in isolation; it operates many specialized branches for
example- the Economic Crime Branch and National Crime Intelligence Branch. Organizational Features of the RCMP
Accountability: Municipal police departments are subject to local police boards and
elected municipal councils; in contrast, RCMP detachments are not legally accountable
to the municipalities they police under contact. In those municipalities, which the RCMP
policies under contract, there are no police boards and the local mayor and council
have no mandate to oversee their work.
Nationwide recruiting and centralized training
Policing diverse task environments
Transfer policy- quite unlike their municipal police counterparts, RCMP officers have
traditionally been rotated amoung detachments every two years or so.
Non-union: RCMPs are prohibited from forming a union. Rather their interests are
represented through the Division Staff Relations Representative (DivRep)
Program: program that provides