Policing in Ontario
1. What are the different types of police forces we have in Ontario and how do they differ and how are they the same?
In Ontario, we have three different types of police forces. They are the municipal which are the numbered divisions within a city, provincial which is the Ontario Provincial Police, and federal which is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Municipal police forces are established by the municipalities and are usually in every major city. If a city has a population of approximately 50 000-100 000, then they usually contract out the policing to the RCMP such as in the case of Burnaby and Northern Vancouver, B.C. Municipal police forces are the most common type of policing found in Canada. In 2004, almost 67% of all sworn police officers were working in the municipal police force. The 10 regional police services provided in southern Ontario are all part of the municipal police force including Halton and Peel Regional Police. Each division is then divided further into sub divisions for units such as guns and gangs or the emergency task force. The O.P.P. are the police that enforce the laws where the municipal police don’t. Currently there are only three provincial police forces in Canada, the O.P.P. the Surete de Quebec, and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Their duties include providing traffic control of all the 400 series highways, assisting municipal police forces when called upon, special investigations, etc. The last type of policing in Ontario is that of the RCMP. Their main responsibilities are to enforce federal statutes, executive orders, and protect foreign dignitaries. They usually operate at the provincial level in most provinces. One of the interesting facts about the RCMP is there forensic facilities, educational facilities in Ottawa, and the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), which is used by all Canadian police forces in searching and locating offenders. The only major difference between the three forces is their jurisdictions and few responsibilities. Each force has an assigned area to patrol and monitor, with this being said, note that at times they do cross into other regions in order to solve or assist in a case. Their responsibilities also differ because each force is designed to focus on certain aspects of crime. For example, if a RCMP officer was to catch you with a gram of weed, he isn’t likely to arrest you compared to a municipal officer who is assigned to specifically keep the streets clean from drugs. They also share similarities such as cooperating with each other when needed, sharing similar systems in order to track and view offenders, the hiring process, overall power under the criminal code, and the overall satisfactions and dissatisfaction which comes from serving and protecting.
2. In your opinion, discuss and explain what policing in Ontario looks like and should look like to be effective?
In my opinion, I believe policing in Ontario looks pretty good and effective. I say this simply based on the statistics provided by statistics Canada, where it mentions that the rate of crime has declined and has reaches its lowest level in the last 40 years. Along with that, in 2008, Alarm Force Ontario said, “Ontario has shown the lowest crime rate among all Canadian districts”. There are also other factors that play a role in my decision. These would include the police initiated blitz and sting operations, and T.A.V.I.S. It is no secret that Ontario, and especially Toronto have become a drug infested and guns and gang haven for criminals. This can be easily noticed simply by walking the downtown streets, venturing in one of the priority neighbourhoods, or all the media attention surrounding gang activity along with the rising homicide rates. In order to combat this disease, the police forces have regulated a number of blitz, such as the one proceeding the Danzig shooting...
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