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Militarization of Police.

Ostrozac

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Chris Pook said:
Perhaps the RCMP is better to focus on the Spaces where people aren't to maintain law and order, secure lines of communication and provide a ready civilian reserve for crisis management.
I fully agree. A good, long look at contract policing, particularly in B.C., might be a good place to start. Surrey is the 12th largest municipality in Canada — of course it should have its own police force, that shouldn’t even be controversial. And there should be a clear path for municipalities, as they grow and develop, to wean themselves off contract policing. The trend, however, has been more often the opposite, where municipalities give up their forces for financial reasons — Moncton comes to mind. Yes, the ‘Irish Model’ of policing brings economies of scale and is probably cheaper for the taxpayer, but is that a good enough reason to abandon the ‘London Model’?
 

lenaitch

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I'm not sure I understand the discussion.  Outside of Quebec, which is quite prescriptive on municipal vs. SQ, municipalities seem free to choose how they are policed.  Surrey, through their elected representative, have chosen to form their own.  There are arguments for a single regional service for the lower mainland.  Many municipalities in Ontario have chosen the opposite.  There used to be approximately 200 municipal police services, now there are fifty.  Some of that reduction was a result of amalgamation, some due to municipalities choosing the disband in favour of the OPP or another service.  Outside of a municipal restructuring, cost is always the driving factor.  No matter who provides the service, if there is a municipal government, there is a civilian police services board.

The UK used to have hundreds of small, often very small, constabularies.  Over time they were amalgamated along county lines which have since been further amalgamated, with ongoing discussions to amalgamate even further.  The entire nation of Australia has a grand total seven police services in addition to the federal, military and border police and wildlife enforcement services.  On the other hand, there are almost 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the US.  Which model is better?

Since law enforcement and public safety is about people, if there are no people, generally, there are no police (although everywhere is captured by somebodies area of responsibility).  The issue of 'local folk providing local law enforcement' is confusing.  Generally, members of a police service live in or near their place of employment for obvious practical reasons.  if a small community is expected to be policed by its own sons and daughters, but can't, is it expected to go without?  If an 'outsider' wants to join, should they be refused?  The Charter might have something to say about that.

I'm still not getting the focus on some kind of reserve force for crisis management.  What is considered a 'crisis'?  Depending on the definition, it would be difficult to have them readily available and proficient across a wide range without a lot of training, equipment and money - which sounds a whole lot like the police.  Folks that are suited for mental health intervention aren't necessarily suitable for crowd management or stomping through the bush looking for a lost hunter.  If it is desirable that law enforcement be local, how is it okay that crisis response not be?
 

daftandbarmy

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Halifax Tar said:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/defund-police-social-workers_n_5ee12d80c5b6d1ad2bd82777?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=main_fb&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063&fbclid=IwAR3jO9S8sqoD2Q_Zk844eduqbFoluF4XsQ-H68-Zodzm2bxnYrQuWiJUeGE

Interesting article.

I've done alot of work with social workers, improving provincial programs etc. They can't do much of their work unless they are accompanied by the police.
 

Halifax Tar

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daftandbarmy said:
I've done alot of work with social workers, improving provincial programs etc. They can't do much of their work unless they are accompanied by the police.

Thank you for your input.  I don’t not have much experience with social workers but reading the article I was wondering that exact same thing.

There has to be a balance for this problem.  I firmly believe both police and correctional workers have been thrust into the mental health crisis business wholly unprepared or trained, and I think that is what has led us down this path.
 

OldSolduer

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Halifax Tar said:
Thank you for your input.  I don’t not have much experience with social workers but reading the article I was wondering that exact same thing.

There has to be a balance for this problem.  I firmly believe both police and correctional workers have been thrust into the mental health crisis business wholly unprepared or trained, and I think that is what has led us down this path.

We were in the process of dedicating one wing of our gaol to mental health inmates. Once Pallister won the election here in Manitoba it was quickly dropped. A missed opportunity.
 

brihard

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Ironman118 said:
Another example of why you should be wary of 10 second video clips without context...notice the knife coming loose after the second kick..

https://globalnews.ca/news/7059283/winnipeg-police-to-address-video-showing-officer-kicking-man-on-the-ground/

The "expert" at the end had me chuckling.

WPS did an absolutely bang up breakdown of what you see in the video in a press conference. This is worth the watch.

https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1976627&binId=1.1164782&playlistPageNum=1

EDIT TO ADD: Try this link instead

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=2636873739965633
 

Kat Stevens

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Brihard said:
WPS did an absolutely bang up breakdown of what you see in the video in a press conference. This is worth the watch.

https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1976627&binId=1.1164782&playlistPageNum=1

Video either taken down or a tech glitch, All I see is a black rectangle.
 

brihard

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Target Up said:
Video either taken down or a tech glitch, All I see is a black rectangle.

Weird. I added another link to where they streamed it on Facebook. Basically it's a guy who's well versed in use of force, he goes through the video bit by bit and points out a lot of what's going on, and relating things that were seen, happening, or perceived to the elements of force used. Very professionally done.
 

Kat Stevens

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Brihard said:
Weird. I added another link to where they streamed it on Facebook. Basically it's a guy who's well versed in use of force, he goes through the video bit by bit and points out a lot of what's going on, and relating things that were seen, happening, or perceived to the elements of force used. Very professionally done.

Thanks for that. Great job by a cool headed young officer, even dealing with the leading questions from the press.
 

Furniture

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Likely a dumb question, but why don't Canadian police have a "tier" of police officer who is uniformed, in the community, not armed, and not necessarily trained to the same degree as our current officers?  I suppose similar to Auxiliary constables, but paid fulltime police officers.

It would increase the community interaction, while not being as costly as hiring officers trained/educated to the standard we have now. While I'm clearly not an expert on our police hiring processes, I'm quite confident we have some of the worlds most well trained, and paid police. Perhaps we don't need to have all of our police in the Premier League, maybe we should have a EFL Champions tier as well for some of the policing duties.

To my mind much of the "militarization" perception comes down to people never seeing police officers apart from traffic stops, check stops, or driving by in their cars. Perhaps having more, less expensive police available for patrol duties would help alleviate the perception of militarization, and give people more positive interactions with police.
 

Remius

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Yes.  Get them out of their cars. In urban areas in particular.  I rarely see foot patrols here.  Bikes yes which is just as good.

If it means hiring more then hire more.  But get them walking some beats.
 

Kirkhill

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Furniture, I would turn it round the other way.

I would be putting the youngsters under close discipline and supervision while putting seasoned personnel on patrol.  For exactly the same reasons that we put long-service personnel, regardless of rank, into recce.  Those people are relied on to use their experience to observe and evaluate situations and determine how they can be managed.  That is not a job for the inexperienced.

As for money - there are no cheap solutions - we, as taxpayers, need to pay for the services we want and those cost money.
 

Furniture

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Chris Pook said:
Furniture, I would turn it round the other way.

I would be putting the youngsters under close discipline and supervision while putting seasoned personnel on patrol.  For exactly the same reasons that we put long-service personnel, regardless of rank, into recce.  Those people are relied on to use their experience to observe and evaluate situations and determine how they can be managed.  That is not a job for the inexperienced.

As for money - there are no cheap solutions - we, as taxpayers, need to pay for the services we want and those cost money.

While in theory I agree that is the best practice, the reality is that there is a finite amount of money Canadian's are happy with spending on policing. We are in the situation we are in now because we(Canadian tax payers) don't want to pay ~$100K yearly salary per officer for more police.

Canada has great police, who do great work, but most Canadian's only see them when getting a ticket... not the best way to develop relationships with the local community.
 

daftandbarmy

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Furniture said:
Likely a dumb question, but why don't Canadian police have a "tier" of police officer who is uniformed, in the community, not armed, and not necessarily trained to the same degree as our current officers?  I suppose similar to Auxiliary constables, but paid fulltime police officers.

It would increase the community interaction, while not being as costly as hiring officers trained/educated to the standard we have now. While I'm clearly not an expert on our police hiring processes, I'm quite confident we have some of the worlds most well trained, and paid police. Perhaps we don't need to have all of our police in the Premier League, maybe we should have a EFL Champions tier as well for some of the policing duties.

To my mind much of the "militarization" perception comes down to people never seeing police officers apart from traffic stops, check stops, or driving by in their cars. Perhaps having more, less expensive police available for patrol duties would help alleviate the perception of militarization, and give people more positive interactions with police.

AFAIK that is the basis of British policing. The 'Bobby' on the beat is unarmed, and knows the locals best. The 'Armed Police' units back them up as required.

There are problems with that in the modern era, of course. For example, one of my NCOs left the Army - briefly - and joined the London Met.

He soon came back. They were doing things like hiding around the corner, watching the armed burglars leaving businesses, because they didn't have any weapons and the armed units were not available.  ::)
 

mariomike

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Remius said:
Get them out of their cars. In urban areas in particular. 

Cars are more visible to the public. And mobile.

I remember the foot patrol guys spending a lot of time watching TV with us in the station.
 

lenaitch

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Furniture said:
Likely a dumb question, but why don't Canadian police have a "tier" of police officer who is uniformed, in the community, not armed, and not necessarily trained to the same degree as our current officers?  I suppose similar to Auxiliary constables, but paid fulltime police officers.

It would increase the community interaction, while not being as costly as hiring officers trained/educated to the standard we have now. While I'm clearly not an expert on our police hiring processes, I'm quite confident we have some of the worlds most well trained, and paid police. Perhaps we don't need to have all of our police in the Premier League, maybe we should have a EFL Champions tier as well for some of the policing duties.

To my mind much of the "militarization" perception comes down to people never seeing police officers apart from traffic stops, check stops, or driving by in their cars. Perhaps having more, less expensive police available for patrol duties would help alleviate the perception of militarization, and give people more positive interactions with police.

It might have some merit in urban areas.  The UK - or at least the Met - has Police Community Support Officers who, the way I understand it, have essentially citizens power of arrest.  The translation might be imperfect because the laws are different.  Some also argue for some sort of 'traffic warden' service and cite NYPD as an example.  The problem is, the way I understand it, they only enforcement non-moving violations and do traffic control.  I'm not convinced different 'types' of police is the solution, but certainly, as population density decreases, these 'silos' of services and capabilities become less viable.
 

Remius

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mariomike said:
Cars are more visible to the public. And mobile.

I remember the foot patrol guys spending a lot of time watching TV with us in the station.

I get the mobility.  But visible?  Sure for the 30 seconds they drive by.

If foot patrol types spent that much time watching TV then that’s a reflection of their work ethos not of the effectiveness of visible presence patrols where they can actually interact with the community.
 

Furniture

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daftandbarmy said:
AFAIK that is the basis of British policing. The 'Bobby' on the beat is unarmed, and knows the locals best. The 'Armed Police' units back them up as required.

There are problems with that in the modern era, of course. For example, one of my NCOs left the Army - briefly - and joined the London Met.

He soon came back. They were doing things like hiding around the corner, watching the armed burglars leaving businesses, because they didn't have any weapons and the armed units were not available.  ::)

That's a fair point, and not being an expert I'm not sure I can offer anything as a solution, apart from ensuring there is always a relatively large number of armed police.

lenaitch said:
It might have some merit in urban areas.  The UK - or at least the Met - has Police Community Support Officers who, the way I understand it, have essentially citizens power of arrest.  The translation might be imperfect because the laws are different.  Some also argue for some sort of 'traffic warden' service and cite NYPD as an example.  The problem is, the way I understand it, they only enforcement non-moving violations and do traffic control.  I'm not convinced different 'types' of police is the solution, but certainly, as population density decreases, these 'silos' of services and capabilities become less viable.

As someone that grew up in rural Canada, I never met a police officer outside of the one hour a year the RCMP came to school to talk about drugs, and the odd parade. The police were all outsiders who flew past our house once every few weeks on their way to an accident scene. At that time 80s-90s the RCMP were pretty highly regarded by the general public where I lived, so it worked. In the age of police brutality(alleged or real) on your social media and all over the nightly news every day, historic goodwill may not be enough.

What happens when the majority of the public view the police as little more government thugs, rather than people there to help?

Anyway, I appreciate the feedback. I was just musing as a complete outsider to the LE world.
 

Retired AF Guy

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Remius said:
Yes.  Get them out of their cars. In urban areas in particular.  I rarely see foot patrols here.  Bikes yes which is just as good.

If it means hiring more then hire more.  But get them walking some beats.

Speaking of which. When I first came to Kingston in 2004 you used to see officers walking the beat all the time. Then the got rid of them for some reason and the only time you saw them was them cruising along in their SUVs. But now they seem to have brought them back - saw two officers walking down Princess Street yesterday.
 
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