Canadian Policing in the 21st Century

Canadian Policing in the 21st Century: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Canadian Policing in the 21st Century
    Book Description:

    How can police remain effective and vital in an era of unprecedented technological advances, access to information, and the global transformation of crime? Written by a long-serving officer, Canadian Policing in the 21st Century offers a rare look at street-level police work and the hidden culture behind the badge. Robert Chrismas shares experiences from his years of service to highlight areas where police can more effectively enforce laws and improve relations with the communities they serve. He proposes tactics for addressing widespread social issues such as gang and domestic violence and strategies for cooperating in international networks tackling human trafficking, internet-based child exploitation, organized crime, and terrorism. Chrismas stresses how changing demographics related to age, gender and racial diversity, and increased dangers and demands, require intensified training and higher education in policing. He highlights the need for more effective collaborative relationships between police and local, provincial, and federal governments, non-government agencies, and their communities. While the principles and goals of policing remain largely unchanged, police challenges, tools, and strategies have evolved dramatically. Chrismas's vantage point as an officer and a scholar provides an illuminating account of the Canadian justice system, and road-maps to future success.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8935-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-7)

    Have technological advances and increased access to information helped government agencies like the police or have they overwhelmed them? The benefits and impacts of new technology are debatable, but the dramatic changes it has created cannot be overstated. In recent decades police agencies have changed in almost every aspect, from demographic composition to enforcement and prevention strategies to the roles they fulfill in society and the challenges they face. This book grew from my reflections on how policing has changed over the past twenty-five years of my career. In 1989 my recruit class in the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) learned...

  7. 1 Some Policing History
    (pp. 8-14)

    In the pre-industrial era parents played a more substantial role in the upbringing and development of their children. As industry progressed and people left the house for work, much of the responsibility for child-care was shifted to public schools. Public institutions have also taken on greater roles in security, safety, justice, and social regulation. Today, some people look to child welfare agencies and the police to solve problems that would historically have been handled in the home. A joke passed around law enforcement agencies for many years involved an answering machine message with multiple choices, one of which was, “If...

  8. 2 Police Roles and the Costs of Justice
    (pp. 15-42)

    Police agencies, and many sub-units within them, tend to vacillate between being silos, operating in isolation from other stakeholder agencies, and, at the other end of the spectrum, being community-based team players. These shifts often occur in about ten-year cycles, so police officers can experience several of them in the course of a career. A respected colleague recently retired after over thirty years in policing, half of which were at a mid-to upper-management level rank with the RCMP. When I asked her if she had any doubts about retiring she said “No,” explaining that when she saw the same issues...

  9. 3 Changing Demands in Policing
    (pp. 43-72)

    Thirty years ago a new constable starting with the WPS was expected to learn on the job. Recruit classes came later for advanced lessons and training in order to receive a firearm. Members who started their service during that era often laugh when they reminisce about how they carried a banana or some other snack in their holsters for the first few months until they had the firearms training that allowed them to receive their service weapon. Police officers today are fully equipped and trained in recruit classes and are able to hit the street running.

    Two decades ago, in...

  10. 4 Technology: How the Tools Have Changed
    (pp. 73-97)

    Modern police officers must contend with and seek to make the best use of continually changing technology. In 1989 my WPS recruit class used manual typewriters to write reports. When electronic typewriters were introduced in the early 1990s, they seemed to be a major advance. I recall some senior officers refusing to use the new electronic gadgets, favouring the manual typewriters they were used to. When computers were introduced, it was too much for some to handle and some police officers have cited technology as a major factor in their decision to retire. (Retirements due to technological challenges are an...

  11. 5 Demographics: How the Police Have Changed
    (pp. 98-107)

    The Great Depression of the 1930s was followed by a population explosion. After the Second World War, economic conditions improved, Canadians married younger, and birth rates increased proportionately. Annual birth rates in Canada rose from 253,000 in 1940 to 479,000 in 1960. Within twenty-five years, the baby boom had produced about one and a half million births more than the norm in previous decades. By 1965, people began marrying later, birth control methods improved, more women entered the workforce, and the birthrate dropped (Krotki and Henropin 2006).

    The “baby boomers” were born between 1946 and 1965. By 2031, most of...

  12. 6 Training and Education in Policing
    (pp. 108-133)

    Police officers from frontline to senior management will find it challenging to remain effective in the modern environment if they do not stay abreast of continually evolving technology, trends, and issues. Good training early in a career sets officers on a path for success in a challenging and dynamic profession. In a paper entitled “Critical Issues In Police Training,” Haberfeld (2002), reviewing police recruit training across the United States and Canada, reports that citizen expectations are often unrealistically high. It is important to distinguish between the high expectations people have of officers entrusted with immense power and authority in the...

  13. 7 Aboriginal Peoples and Justice
    (pp. 134-159)

    About 1,325,000 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples make up four percent of Canada’s current total population (Statistics Canada 2008; Richardson and Blanchet-Cohen 2000). Aboriginal populations have increased rapidly over the past twenty years and have higher birthrates than other ethnic groups. In 2001, Aboriginal unemployment was 311 percent higher than among the non-Aboriginal population in Canada (Hallet Thornton and Stewart 2006). According to Human Resources and Skills Development, Canada (2012), in 2006 unemployment among Aboriginal people was 6.3 percent higher than the national average. While these statistics are encouraging, more research may be warranted to ensure the validity of...

  14. 8 Race, Gender, and Changing Attitudes
    (pp. 160-182)

    Incidents at various times and locations across Canada have created conflict between Aboriginal communities and the police. Unsettled land claims and treaty agreements have been the source of repeated tension and have often resulted in the police being put in the difficult position of attempting to maintain order while upholding the lawful rights of all parties to disputes. The confrontation at Burnt Church, Nova Scotia, over fishing rights and the 1999 Supreme Court decision to uphold convictions against Donald Marshall for fishing eels out of season, fishing without a licence, and fishing with an illegal net are examples of court...

  15. 9 Governance and Policing
    (pp. 183-193)

    Canada’s original provincial political boundaries were based on agriculture, rural communities, and trade routes. When the laws forming the provinces were first established, municipal levels of governance were not considered because cities did not exist. Now, however, cities have become the major population centres across Canada and the vast majority of services are provided at the municipal level. Large Canadian cities tend to be run more like corporations than as levels of government (Dunn 2002). The courts have ruled, however, that municipal governments have all of the obligations of other levels of government to provide fair and equitable services to...

  16. 10 Transparency and Accountability
    (pp. 194-227)

    Accountability is important if government agencies are to maintain public trust. The public are much better informed than they were in the past, due in large part to the instant access to information that the Internet now provides. This transparency has made government agencies like the police much more accountable. However debates about privacy, security, freedom, and state control are as germane today as when the principles that make a good society were first debated. Current issues of accountability and allegations of corruption within government and policing agencies raise questions that can be traced back to early discussions of good...

  17. 11 Changing Police Strategies
    (pp. 228-249)

    General principles of good public service underpin much of the debate about police resource deployment and change. Green and White (2007) write that the goal of the public service is efficient and effective program delivery and good stewardship over public funds. Police forces are among the government services that have been subject to new levels of scrutiny in recent years. They are also under considerable pressure to perform and to demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness in their operations. The public has joined the debate about how limited resources should be deployed and whether they are getting the best results from policing...

  18. Afterword
    (pp. 250-252)

    Canadian police agencies are experiencing significant changes in the new millennium. Criminal sophistication, advancing technology, and evolving societal demands continually challenge police officers and administrators in new ways. Terrorism, organized crime, Internet-based child exploitation, human trafficking, and a host of other borderless crimes have globalized law enforcement, requiring interagency cooperation and information and resource sharing on a level never seen before.

    In response, police services are undergoing fundamental shifts in strategic planning. They are being challenged to replace longpracticed reactive tactics with proactive, evidence-based strategies that target the root causes of social problems and not just the symptoms. Increased accountability...

  19. References
    (pp. 253-292)
  20. Index
    (pp. 293-310)