The Police Chapter 5
The dominion police force was created in 1858 by the federal gov’t under the act if respecting police of Canada
o The gov’t felt an agency was needed to keep peace between settlers and aboriginal people
In 1873, North West Mounted Police was established. This force had the responsibility of easing adversities of
settlers in the West appeasing Aboriginal resistance, and deterring US colonization of British land.
In 1920 the Dominion police were joined together with the Royal North West Mounted police and the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police was established.
Today the RCMP includes 16000 men and women. Responsibilities are authorized under the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police Act of 1959 according to which it is responsible for federal statutes, including excise and
customs, narcotics control, the Indian Act, and federal properties.
RCMP members are required to enforce Canadian laws, prevent crime, and maintain peace and order.
o They can provide investigative and informational services such as the Canadian police Information Centre
Ontario finally drafted a viable act for a fully provincial force in 1909 when it passed the legislation establishing
the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
o The OPP enforces the criminal code in areas that do not have municipal or federal jurisdiction.
o They may be called in when the local police request help or when the Ontario Civilian Commission on
Police Services finds the municipality failing to meet the standard of service
They are responsible for the policing of provincial property, such as the Ontario legislature, they deliver policing
to First Nations, offer specialized services such as marine, investigative, and tactical support services to
municipalities that are unable to provide them
Today only Quebec’s and Ontario’s police forces have survived
Regional and Municipal Policing in Ontario
The first municipal police force in Canada was established in Toronto in 1935
Responsibilities are set out in the Police Services Act: Every municipality is required to provide effective police
services in accordance with its needs. Services must include crime prevention, law enforcement, assistance to
victims of crime, public order maintenance, and emergency response
Police Roles and Functions
Preserve the peace, prevent crimes, assist victims of crimes, apprehend criminals, lay charges and participate in
prosecution, execute warrants, performs lawful duties assigned by chief of police, enforce municipal bylaws, and
complete prescribed training
Marvell and Moody collected data from 56 US cities over 20 years and found that with every police, 24 fewer
crimes are committed
Some critics argue that increasing policing or toughening laws will increase crime rates by penetrating into the
dark figure of crime
The Broken Windows theory or the Zero-tolerance theories have both been used as a crime prevention strategy.
This strategy reduces crimes by displaying zero tolerance for minor acts of disorder which reduces major acts
Although this approach was very successful in New York and Boston, many people complained about aggressive
policing increasing negative feelings towards authorities
Many police reformers believe that crime can be reduced by police who are more integrated into the communities
they patrol. (When they negotiate with leaders of a demonstration before the event rather than react to them after
the demonstration has begun, they are demonstrating crime prevention rather than clearing criminals)
o In this way they are pre-empting the conditions that precipitate the criminal act
Police are caught in a dilemma: when they restrict their availability to calls involving the need of enforcement
expertise, they can preserve and better define their professionalism in the most glorious of their functions
o However if you narrow them in this way, you make yourself inaccessible and push other service providers