SECU Committee Report
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Policing is an essential public service. It is fundamental to the well-being and vitality of our communities and to the safety of Canadians. Equally important is the need to maintain public confidence through efficient and effective policing. Our Canadian police forces have a long–standing and “well-earned reputation” for being stable, publicly supported, modern and professional. Yet, all would agree that police services across the country are facing unprecedented challenges. As public expectations continue to rise and calls for service increase, police costs are spiralling to the point where the current policing model is no longer sustainable.
On 29 May 2012, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (“the Committee”) was given a mandate to conduct a study into all aspects of the economics of policing. This is a wide-ranging issue touching upon police services, all levels of government and the broader health and criminal justice systems. The Committee sought to gather information on how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement in Canada by speaking with representatives of federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and Aboriginal police forces. The Committee held a total of 21 public hearings in Ottawa, inviting representatives from many government and non-governmental organizations, as well as individuals, from across the country and from the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.).
The Committee heard that identifying cost-saving measures in policing can be difficult due to a lack of evidence-based research and limited sharing of best practices amongst agencies and policing bodies. As such, it was important to the Committee to visit different communities in order to gather and prepare a synthesis of information with a view to providing recommendations on best practices. The members felt it was imperative to go beyond written reports and formal meetings; it wanted to witness first-hand concrete examples of innovative community policing, global policing reform and cost-cutting measures.
With this goal in mind, the Committee undertook a series of fact-finding missions to western Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Committee members wanted to meet with police officers “on the beat” in order to get a taste of their daily administrative burdens and challenges. The members also wanted to gain a better appreciation of the individuals with whom police officers interact on a daily basis and who often fuel the calls for service.
During its travels, the Committee had the opportunity to hear from numerous community organizations and policing partners in settings that allowed the members to appreciate the passion and devotion of the individuals they met. The Committee found their evidence compelling and invaluable to its study. The Committee would like to thank all of the witnesses, government officials and interlocutors for their time and for sharing their experiences.
The Canadian policing landscape is characterized by the vastness of our country, its cultural diversity and its jurisdictional framework. This reality is at the core of many of the challenges inherent to the delivery of efficient and effective police services.
In Canada, the constitutional distribution of legislative powers grants the federal government the responsibility of enacting criminal laws. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister) is mandated to exercise leadership for public safety matters in Canada. Pursuant to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, the Minister provides direction to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police service.
As a result of the distribution of powers, provincial governments have the primary responsibility for policing in Canada, based on the “administration of justice” authority in section 92(14) of the Constitution Act, 1867. From an operational perspective, policing responsibilities have, to a considerable degree, been delegated to the municipalities, which provide the majority of policing services in Canada. By way of illustration, the Police Services Act of Ontario states that every municipality “shall provide adequate and effective police services in accordance with its needs.” If the municipality is unable to provide police services, it is stated that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) shall provide its services, to be paid in return by the municipality.
Municipalities pay for 60% of policing in Canada and municipal stand-alone police forces serve 77% of all Canadians. Municipal governments pay the salaries of two out of three police officers across the country and policing and public safety costs currently make up 20% to 50% of municipal budgets, depending on the community.
Other communities are served directly by their provincial police service (in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Quebec) or through cost-shared contract policing arrangements whereby a municipality, a province or a territory enters into a contract policing agreement with the federal government, or whereby a municipality enters into a policing services agreement with another municipality or provincial police force.
Berry Vrbanovic, past president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, informed the Committee that approximately 15% of Canadians live in communities served by RCMP contract police officers. The RCMP provides contract policing to the provinces and territories on a cost-shared basis which is generally as follows: for provincial policing, there is a 70% provincial/30% federal cost‑share; for municipalities in excess of 15,000 inhabitants, there is a 90% municipal/10% federal split; for municipalities of less than 15,000, it is generally a 70% municipal/30% federal split; and municipalities not policed by the RCMP prior to 1991 must pay 100% of contract policing costs.
In addition to contract policing, the RCMP provides specialized support services to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, as well as federal policing services across the country. The specialized support services include the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC); the Canadian Police College; the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada; Forensic Science and Identification Services; the Canadian Firearms Program and the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. The mandate of the RCMP’s Federal Policing Services is to: investigate criminal activity linked to national security, organized crime and economic integrity; develop and share criminal intelligence; enforce federal statutes; conduct international capacity building, liaison and peacekeeping and ensure the safety of state officials, dignitaries, foreign missions, and Canadian aircraft, as well as at major events.
The delivery of policing services to Aboriginal communities is administered through legacy programs or negotiated agreements under the First Nations Policing Program (FNPP), by RCMP contract police, provincial police forces (in Ontario and Quebec) or self-administered Aboriginal police forces.
The FNPP was created in 1991 in order to provide additional policing services to those the provinces already provide through their policing programs and in a manner that is consistent with provincial police legislation. It is also intended to facilitate the transition to self-administered police services. Financial responsibilities for the FNPP are shared by the federal, provincial and territorial governments with the federal government contributing 52% of the costs, and the provinces or the territories contributing 48% of the costs. It currently provides funding for policing services in approximately 400 First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada.
According to the 2009–2010 Evaluation of the First Nations Policing Program, there are four types of agreements managed under the FNPP:
Some agreements negotiated among Aboriginal communities and provincial/territorial governments and the federal government provide for the funding of police services for individual communities. Others provide for multi-community police services, as is the case of the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service (NAPS), which serves 34 communities in northern and northwestern Ontario and is the largest self-administered Aboriginal police service in Canada.
Self-administered Aboriginal police forces are the police services of jurisdiction within the communities they serve. Enhancements are provided by other policing services upon request when significant or specialized resources such as tactical response or identification services are required.
The RCMP plays an important role in the delivery of Aboriginal policing services as the contract police for provinces and territories and in communities policed under the FNPP. The RCMP has Aboriginal policing service units in each of its divisions across Canada. They are responsible for the oversight, coordination, and delivery of services under the RCMP’s Aboriginal Police Program and the FNPP in Aboriginal communities. Division commanding officers retain Aboriginal advisers to provide a cultural perspective on matters pertaining to the delivery of Aboriginal policing services. These advisers report to the Commissioner of the RCMP, in the form of a committee that provides guidance and recommendations on issues of national concern.
Discussions about the evolution and sustainability of policing are not new. In fact, the Committee learned that in 2008, key stakeholders such as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the Canadian Police Association (CPA), the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB), and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) began discussing a policing framework that was said to better reflect the reality of Canadian policing. In 2010, the CAPB took the lead in forming a national coalition with other stakeholders on sustainable policing. Public Safety Canada was considered to be an ally in the work of the coalition. Soon thereafter, the economics of policing was discussed at a Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) meeting and was the subject matter of a national policing summit in January 2013.
In terms of officer-population ratios, Canada is presently at the lower end of the spectrum when compared to other western countries. This is reflective of the significant efforts already made by the policing community to adjust to changes in policing. Canada currently employs 199 police officers per 100,000 population, well below countries such as the U.S. at 238, England and Wales at 244, Australia at 222, and Scotland at 337 officers per 100,000 population. In fact, the police officer numbers for England and Wales and for Scotland already reflect the massive cutbacks to officer strength which their police services have undergone.
Table 1 – Police Officers per 100,000 Population, Selected Countries
Source: Statistics Canada, Police Resources in Canada, 2012
As illustrated in Figure 1 below, the Committee has heard that the police-reported crime rate has continued to decline since the early 1990s, both in Canada and in other industrialized democracies. Reasons for this decline include improvements in policing intervention methods, as well as changing demographics. Figure 1 also demonstrates that while the number of police officers per capita has remained relatively stable since the early 1970s, the crime rate rose to its highest level in the early 1990s and has been gradually declining ever since. In other words, one cannot conclude that there is any causal relationship between the number of police officers and the crime rate.
Figure 1 – Crime Rate and Police Strength per 100,000 Population, Canada, 1962–2012
Source: Statistics Canada, Police Resources in Canada, 2012
As illustrated by Table 2 below, police service operating expenditures in Canada totalled $12.9 billion in 2011, increasing steadily from $3.5 billion in 1985. While in 2011, constant dollar spending declined slightly (-0.7%) from the previous year, this marked the first decrease in this figure since 1996. It is expected that by 2015, we will be spending $17 billion due to current collective agreements and locked-in contracts.
Table 2 – Current and Constant Dollar Expenditures on Policing, Canada, 1985 to 2011
Source: Statistics Canada, Police Resources in Canada, 2012
The evidence heard clearly demonstrates that while police strength in Canada is significantly lower than in other western countries and police-reported crime rates are declining, police expenditures continue to increase and Canadian police forces remain very busy.
Although it is important to not oversimplify the complexity of the issues at hand, the Committee believes, after hearing from a full array of stakeholders, that one of the keys to reconciling this seemingly contradictory information lies in looking beyond strict economic analyses towards a broader consideration of the main cost drivers of police work today. Indeed, the Committee’s approach has revealed the profound extent to which societal and legal changes have affected the delivery of police services. Through its witnesses, the Committee has identified the following primary drivers of policing costs today, namely: an increase in call volume due to social disorder and mental health issues, the changing nature of crime, increasing police sector compensation and the demands placed by the criminal justice system on the police.
The increasing costs of policing in Canada have been driven in large part by an overall trend of significant growth in police officer salaries, which have increased by 40% over the last decade, outpacing the Canadian average of 11%. Indeed, per-unit labour costs for both police officers and civilian police employees are higher than ever. Since 1999, police compensation has significantly outpaced inflation, and the cost of pensions, benefits and overtime have been major contributors to those costs.
Figure 2 – Police Salary Trends by Province: Average Police Salary Increases by Province
Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Factors such as the “ratcheting up of salaries through collective bargaining with first responders”, a lack of understanding of the realities of the economics of policing by employees and the arbitration process in some jurisdictions have been identified by witnesses as underlying causes of the high rate of growth in police officer salaries.
Figure 3 – Policy Salary Trends by Province: Average First Class Constable Salaries by Province
Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Committee heard that because of the cost of police compensation, police services have limited room in their budgets for cost savings. Human resources expenses are typically in the 80% to 90% range of police service budgets, leaving only 10% to 20% for spending on other expenses related to police service delivery, including mandatory costs for the procurement and maintenance of infrastructure, technology, equipment, vehicles, training and other costs associated with managing a workforce. According to Geoff Gruson, Executive Director of the Police Sector Council:
[I]t’s not very useful to place the burden of solutions to the economics of policing on individual command executives or their individual police services. They have very few discretionary options when it comes to their own budgets. They have very little control over 95% to 96% of the costs and can only really exercise discretion when it comes to triaging crimes or their responses to social issues or social misconduct, which for some services make up almost 75% of their calls for service.
As noted by many witnesses, however, the nature of police work is complex and difficult. Police officers must have the training, judgment, and interpersonal communication skills needed to deal with individuals in distress and recognize that situations can range from those involving individuals simply needing some assistance to those presenting a potential for violence. In order to attract and retain such individuals, police officers must be paid sufficient salaries. As noted by Chief Rod Knecht of the Edmonton Police Service, “policing is very expensive, and like most commodities, you get what you pay for.”
Figure 4 – Police Universe Annualized First Class Constable Salaries
Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
In this respect, the clear message from witnesses appearing before the Committee was that increased salary costs can only be managed fiscally to a certain point, and that fundamental changes to the way policing is delivered must be considered in order to improve policing in the future.
Technological advancements are having a profound impact on policing, leading to the emergence of new types of crime and law enforcement priorities. Crime has become more complex, technical and mobile.
With respect to its complexity, Mike Cabana, RCMP Deputy Commissioner, Federal Policing, explained that the growth of data volume in any given investigation is staggering. He noted that investigations today can involve multiple telephone numbers and e-mail accounts. One recent investigation included 350,000 telephone conversations and nearly one million text messages. Inevitably, the time devoted to analyze and compile such information is considerable.
“Technology and globalization, which have empowered so many of us, have also empowered criminals.”Financial and commercial crime, cyber-crime, the globalization of organized crime, and the heightened focus on national security and terrorism threats have also expanded the focus of police work. As such, many criminal investigations are no longer confined to the territorial jurisdiction of specific police forces, provinces or countries.
In order to keep up with the methods used to commit offences, the police continually need to acquire different and newer technologies. In the Committee’s view, this new reality has caused significant enhanced demand on police resources.
Ten years ago it was the police who had the most up-to-date technologies at their disposal; today it is the organized criminal element who have the resources and access to cutting-edge technology without legal, budgetary, or regulatory restriction, often leaving police in the position of playing catch-up or simply being neutralized.
Police chiefs from the east coast to the west coast of Canada noted the extent to which mental health and social disorder issues permeate modern police work. Law enforcement agencies have become the social and mental health services of first resort. The Committee heard that 70% to 80% of the calls police now receive are not related to crime.
In his evidence, Chief Hanson illustrated how instances of social disorder can fuel calls for service. He explained that a loud, aggressive person in the community can cause residents to feel unsafe and call police. Although this person is not committing a criminal act, police services are still required to respond. The same individual can generate numerous calls for service. Calgary Police Service officers recalled the case of a man named “Martin”. This individual generated so many calls of this nature to first responders that he became known to them as the “Million Dollar Man” because responding to his calls for service cost in the area of one million dollars in a single year.
The ability of police services to respond to social disorder and mental health issues varies across Canada. Factors such as demographics, money invested in the health system and the availability of mental health support networks in each jurisdiction come into play. As a result of such differences, policing bodies have had to adapt their service delivery models according to the availability of local community resources.
The Committee is concerned that the increase in calls has serious consequences on the availability of police resources and that the time spent dealing with such incidents is time away from core policing functions. Chief Constable Bob Rich of the Abbotsford Police Department described how, frequently, almost all of the police officers on the night shift are working on mental health act apprehensions and that police officers can spend hours waiting in emergency wards with persons they have apprehended until those persons are admitted to the institution by a doctor.
The financial costs and resources invested as a result of the police becoming more and more engaged in social issues relating to mental health, addictions and homelessness are significant. The magnitude of the situation was described by Chief Rod Knecht of the Edmonton Police Service in the following terms:
Last year alone, Edmonton police dealt with 35,000 calls relating to mental health, addictions, and the homeless. Each call took an average of 104 minutes. If you do the math, that’s seven and a half years. Most often we are dealing with the same people over and over. We have documented over 150 contacts with a single individual during the course of the year. Our colleagues in hospital emergency wards, ambulance, and shelters are dealing with these same people, in some cases more often than us.
Although police services strive to deal with mental health issues as best they can through enhanced training and community partnering where available, police officers are not mental health care professionals. Professor Curt Taylor Griffiths described this broadening of police duties beyond core functions as a “massive downloading” of responsibilities to the police caused by cutbacks to other programs:
Whenever a provincial government cuts back on social workers, mental health workers, probation officers, and other types of service delivery resources, at the end of the day, it’s the police officers on the street who have to deal with that. I think that if we look across the jurisdictions in Canada, we’ve seen police officers being left with an increasing number of tasks that, again, are expanding their role and expanding their activities merely because they’re the only agency available 24/7/365. At the end of the day, if there have been cutbacks in programs, oftentimes there’s an increased demand load on the police.
The Committee firmly believes that failure to address what are obvious health care problems can and will lead to reciprocal costs to policing. It is the Committee’s opinion that front-line police officers are not best equipped to deal with mental health issues.
The Committee recommends that governments constitutionally responsible for health care work in collaboration with local police forces through the health care system to achieve better practices when dealing with persons having mental health problems and illnesses, outside of the police being the first and only line of response.
Many of the police officers who appeared before the Committee emphasized their frustration with respect to the demands placed upon them by the criminal justice system. Despite having been the subject of numerous reports and reviews, certain inefficiencies continue to exist and are said to be among the prime drivers of policing costs.
More specifically, witnesses told the Committee that officers are too often found waiting to testify in a courtroom. In fact, Chief John Paul Levesque informed the members of a recent study conducted by the Thunder Bay Police Service which showed that 82% of the officers who attend court never testify. Nonetheless, officers who are required to attend court to provide their evidence are entitled to remuneration regardless of whether or not they are actually called to the witness stand. As such, the police service in question is left to cover the cost of the officer’s appearance in court. The Committee was told that officer remuneration in such cases varies pursuant to the collective agreement and the day on which the officer is scheduled to appear:
It is different between police services and amongst collective agreements. For example, in the RCMP, if you go to court it’s a four-hour callback, regardless of whether you have to testify or not. For other police services, it is eight hours. It can be time and a half; in some cases it’s double time. It depends on whether it’s right after a shift as opposed to a day off. It is different amongst jurisdictions and it depends on where it fits into your schedule. In most cases, that’s all part of a collective agreement. With the RCMP not having a union, it is a bit different.
Geoffrey Cowper, Q.C., former chair of the British Columbia Justice Reform Initiative, told the Committee in no uncertain terms that changes to the way the justice system does business can and would have an effect on the time police spend at court. His testimony stated:
If you wander around the provincial courthouses, at least in British Columbia, and you were from Mars—you weren't a Canadian—and you were wondering who lives in courthouses, the answer would be uniformed police officers, wandering around the hallway looking lost, or at least looking impatient, or sometimes just looking patient.
So it's a real problem. I actually think there are various technology fixes that need to happen and this is a classic example where having six or eight police officers in the hallway might help a prosecutor, because it enables a prosecutor to say to the accused and his or her counsel, “Look, I'm ready to go; I have all of my witnesses here”, and that might result in a guilty plea that might not otherwise have happened.
In my view, you can replace that system—which is frankly the practical need for those witnesses for the most part—with a call feature that shows that a police officer doesn't have to come except at a scheduled time, and the rest of the system should be able to accommodate that. I think there are a number of ways that could make that efficient and that don't require police officers to wait around.
Despite the use of automation and software programs by various police forces in order to help with the management of court appearances by officers, it is clear from the evidence that such programs are unable to predict or address another issue, that of last-minute resolutions between Crown attorneys and defence counsel.
In addition to idle court time and repetitive court appearances, witnesses brought to the forefront the need to streamline administrative processes so that officers are not continuously tied up with paperwork. They pointed out that by spending more time behind a desk or waiting to testify in a courtroom, police officers are not out on the street and in the community where they are expected to be. Furthermore, increased legal obligations placed upon the police at the early stages of the criminal process with respect to the conduct of investigations, the issuance of search warrants and the duty to disclose were all noted as being burdensome following specific judicial decisions. Tom Stamatakis, President of the CPA, noted that “well-meaning judicial decisions” have led to increased workloads and processing times for the laying of what are considered to be basic criminal charges.
For instance, police officers noted additional administrative burdens with respect to the processing of impaired driving charges. The Committee was told that in 1980, the processing of an impaired driving charge could take one to two hours but that today, it can take up to eight or nine hours per officer.
One recent study conducted by the University of the Fraser Valley in B.C. showed that the work of police officers has changed significantly over the last 10 years, post charter and subsequent to any legislative and regulatory changes in the 1980s and 1990s, with breaking and entering at 58% more processing time, driving under the influence at 250% more processing time, and a relatively simple domestic assault at 950% more processing time.
Witnesses made a number of suggestions with respect to finding efficiencies within the broader criminal justice system. For example, Dale McFee, then past president of the CACP, emphasized the need to make better use of technology like electronic file transfers to meet increased disclosure obligations. He also advised that new strategies were required in order to address the bottlenecks created by repeat offenders, chronic administrative breach charges and incidents involving persons having mental health and addiction issues.
Many police officers have called for legislation that would better enable police to have lawful access to telecommunications data, including subscriber information, pointing out that their inability to access subscriber information held by Internet service providers in real time is having a profound effect on their investigations.
When we were all in horse and buggies and didn’t have superhighways, when we built those highways we built a Highway Traffic Act that supported the laws. Now we have the information highway. We don’t have a legislative framework for the massive amounts of traffic and the speed and volume around which people use that highway. We need that legislation.
Cost efficiencies could undoubtedly be found through collaboration and the sharing of information concerning justice reform initiatives which give due consideration and respect to policing priorities. For example, the Province of British Columbia is being recognized for its recent justice reform initiatives. Mr. Cowper explained how BC is breaking down existing silos and allowing efficiencies to be realized. His recent report recommends that regular justice summits be held to include outside agencies with a view to increasing collaboration for reform.
Mr. Cowper noted that a system-wide approach is needed to address the delays which occur at different points within the judicial process:
I think one of the reasons why I call for a system wide-approach is because you need to realize that delay in one part of the system is going to produce delays in other parts of the system, and that improvements in one part of the system can be frustrated by responses in other parts of the system.
He added that the setting of benchmarks would encourage and facilitate the early resolution of cases. With respect to wait times, Mr. Cowper noted that technology could help ensure the better scheduling of police officers required to testify.
Mark Potter, Director General, Policing Policy Directorate, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness emphasized the importance of ensuring that front-line police officers are included in efforts to find efficiencies. That being said, the Committee also heard that solutions cannot be found by the police alone and that they must be the result of a collective effort across government lines and amongst key stakeholders.
The Committee recommends that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights consider performing a study into the economics of the judicial system, cost drivers, excessive administrative burden, and its effects on the costs of policing in Canada.
B. Cost Drivers and Challenges Unique to Small, Rural and Northern Communities, including Aboriginal Policing
Canada’s unique geography and its demographic composition directly impact police service delivery costs. Witnesses noted that discussions around policing are often southern-centric, with very little attention paid to the challenges and realities of policing in rural, remote and northern areas, including Aboriginal communities.
The average cost for policing in Canada is approximately $370 per person – $300 in the provinces, and $1,000 in the territories. The average cost of an RCMP member in the North is approximately $220,000 compared to $121,000 in southern Canada. In addition to their regular pay, RCMP members receive allowances for their work in isolated areas.
Moreover, infrastructure costs in certain remote communities were described as being “phenomenal” and “astronomical”. For example, recent expenditures for government accommodation in Rankin Inlet for a modular home were quoted at $600,000 and just under $1 million for a duplex recently built in Cross Lake, Manitoba. As the average RCMP detachment is 30 years old, infrastructure replacement is also an issue and investments are required.
The cost of transporting goods is significant as they need to be flown or barged into police detachments. Some isolated communities lack detention facilities, so prisoners must be transported to nearby detachments. In addition, equipment and fuel costs have increased due in part to the shorter winter ice road season. The movement of RCMP members from the North to the South for training purposes and annual recertification also create financial and human resource pressures.
The saying that the police have become “all things to all people” takes on a particularly acute meaning with regard to rural and remote communities due to the lack of available social services. The socio-economic conditions of these areas directly impact policing costs. For instance, RCMP members are often the only government representatives on the ground and are asked to take on the role of social worker, mental health professional, substance abuse counsellor, and a host of other roles beyond traditional law enforcement. As explained by Professor Griffiths, budget cutbacks in any of these regions would have an exponential impact.
Levels of police service delivery and working conditions will also vary, as not every community is equipped with a police detachment. In fact, policing is often provided on a fly-in basis, as required. Where levels of violence and other problems are elevated, the RCMP operates by way of regular rotational fly-ins, flying in two members and taking the other two members away. Some communities have no amenities other than the RCMP detachment and a nursing station.
RCMP members posted in the North can be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to respond to emergencies. It goes without saying that this pace can only be sustained for a limited period of time until police officers want to work elsewhere. In fact, RCMP members are not expected to work in isolated northern communities for more than two or three years.
Some regions, like those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, have fewer detachments and so police officers are required to provide service to greater geographic areas. Consequently, longer response times are a daily reality for people living in rural Canada.
Despite quite a bit of interest by younger members in northern policing, it is a challenge to attract senior members with investigative skills and experience to act as mentors. In an effort to address retention issues in rural, remote and northern areas, the Manitoba RCMP “D” Division has implemented a rotation policy called “Toques before Ties.” Members are required to spend two or three years in a posting in the North before they can move south for a detective position.
The suitability of RCMP candidates for isolated, remote postings is determined through medical and psychological assessments. The Committee notes the importance of community involvement in the northern policing recruitment process. The Yukon government has been credited for being at the leading edge of police recruitment practices. As a result of the Sharing Common Ground Review of Yukon’s Police Force, the territory now requests that RCMP candidates seeking to work in the Yukon meet certain criteria, including that they want to be involved in the community, they want to live in the North and they want to learn about Aboriginal culture.
Self-administered Aboriginal police services face similar challenges to those of RCMP contract police in rural, remote and northern areas. Demanding working conditions and rising police salaries make it difficult to recruit and retain officers when better-paying positions are available elsewhere. Chief Robert Herman of the NAPS advised that recruiting difficulties have, in turn, resulted in significant overtime costs and that it is very difficult to recruit Aboriginal officers.
Moreover, the Committee is concerned with specific challenges faced by self-administered Aboriginal police services. The extent of the situation was illustrated by then OPP commissioner Chris Lewis who noted that the “current funding model for First Nations’ policing in Canada is not resulting in the same level of policing in many First Nation communities that is enjoyed in non-First Nation communities.”
It comes down to funding. In the current funding model – and this isn’t a criticism of either the federal or the provincial government – there’s the 52% that the feds give, the 48% that the province gives, and when you add those together it cannot sustain adequate policing in those communities. A 52:48 ratio is fine, but the monetary values have to increase to create infrastructure and keep people in communities who don’t want to stay there. They’ll quit and join some other police department just to get out of that community because the conditions are unbearable in some places.
He went on to describe a particularly worrisome situation in the First Nation communities of Ontario:
Compared to the vast majority of provincial and municipal police services in Ontario, most First Nation communities are woefully under-resourced, and as a result, have inadequately trained and equipped officers. There aren’t enough officers or support staff, and the infrastructure is often poor or non-existent.
This is very disconcerting, given that Aboriginal communities face particular public safety challenges, including high crime rates, poor socio-economic conditions and a growing youth population. For instance, the Committee heard that Aboriginal communities located near urban centres are vulnerable to gang-related and illegal drug activities due to the degree of mobility between the two locations. The Committee believes that this situation underscores the need for effective and sustainable police services in Aboriginal communities across Canada.
The Committee was told that NAPS officers can work alone for extended periods of time and that their backup is often a member of the band council. Other times, the NAPS officer who is working alone and needs backup has to dial in using a keypad on his radio to contact the OPP communications centre in either Thunder Bay or North Bay. The range for their portable radios is only about one kilometre and so it is normal in some communities to have two officers on portable radios who cannot communicate beyond the one kilometre range. The Committee was told that this would not meet any federal or provincial health and safety standards.
NAPS officers also respond to gun calls on a continual basis. In fact, the crime severity index in the nine First Nations communities in Ontario policed by NAPS is five times the provincial average. The top five communities in Ontario on the Crime Severity Index are all First Nations communities policed by NAPS officers. Chief Herman noted that the incidence of post‑traumatic stress disorder for NAPS police officers is much higher than those of officers in other police services because of their difficult working conditions.
Chief Herman went on to explain that the issue of which labour legislation should be applied in the context of self-administered Aboriginal policing remains unresolved. This situation is in stark contrast with policing services delivered by the RCMP to Aboriginal communities. Over the past 10 to 12 years, the Canada Labour Code and RCMP requirements for officer safety have driven the RCMP to adopt a three-person detachment model versus a two-person detachment, which allows for always having two people on the ground for backup. A benefit of this new model is that in some instances, police officers may not be very busy with criminal investigation caseloads, allowing them time to get involved in the community that they serve.
Then past president of the CACP, Dale McFee, speaking on behalf of the Association, advised the Committee that he supports the view that First Nations police “should be using the same rules, have the same pay rates, and have the same expectations as other police services across the country.” He advised that First Nations deliver quality police services at the level set out for them in their mandate. Indeed, for example, the NAPS community-based policing program has reduced violent crime by 30% in the communities it serves and its clearance rates are higher than those of most police services throughout Canada. The cost per officer under the FNPP in Ontario is around $130,000 to $140,000. In Quebec First Nations communities, from 2004 to 2011, violent crime decreased by 19%, with homicides decreasing by 36%, general assault by 20% and sexual assault by 23%.
The Committee heard that although there is some movement toward more communities taking ownership of their public safety needs, this was described by Chief Doug Palson, Vice-President, First Nations Chiefs of Police Association (FNCPA) as a slow process due to the socio-economic challenges faced by First Nations communities. Chief Palson explained that because some First Nations communities are relatively small, a model of policing delivered by, for instance, the RCMP or the OPP, does not fit. These communities want the presence, the connection and the preventative programing that self-administered police services can provide:
[W]ith the self-administered services you’re connected with the community. We do our best to try to have as large a complement of members who are First Nations or of Aboriginal descent as possible, which helps. We work closely with the community. That’s the biggest piece. In some cases it’s something as simple as a language issue. Some of our communities are still very traditional. The one in particular I’m thinking of is an Ojibway community where a lot of the people, even some of the younger people, still speak that language.
Professor Griffiths observed that with respect to self-administered Aboriginal police services, continued support is needed:
A lot of it is a reflection of larger issues that may be going on on that First Nations reserve, in terms of leadership issues, capacity. Over the last couple of decades in particular, I know the RCMP and the two provincial police forces have really worked to help build that capacity and to assist autonomous First Nations police services.
I think it’s a matter of continuing to provide them with support, not only fiscal support but support in terms of leadership development, succession of leadership, and ensuring that they aren’t isolated. Sometimes they tend to become isolated, not only because of their geographic isolation but also because they don’t tend to be part of the discussion […].
The Committee believes that the federal government should work in collaboration with Aboriginal police services when discussing the appropriate needs and responses to public safety challenges in Aboriginal communities.
As First Nations policing that is culturally appropriate has been proven to have a higher success rate for public safety, the Committee recommends that the Government of Canada continue to work with First Nations communities, to further develop models which provide culturally appropriate policing and public safety programming.
Witnesses noted that the FNPP, which is administered through Public Safety Canada, is interlaced with challenges. Although the FNPP was created in order to facilitate and support the transition to self-administered Aboriginal police services and provide additional funding in an effort to ensure comparable levels of policing, the Committee heard that this objective is not always achieved.
According to the FNCPA, the limited funding within the FNPP can prevent communities from having self-administered policing services. Furthermore, as standards for infrastructure, training, general operations and civilian governance are imposed by governments, there are often no funding or educational resources to allow for implementation and to ensure compliance. According to Chief Palson, Vice-President of the FNCPA funding levels are inadequate when compared with other policing services’ budgets, particularly in light of the geographic and socio-economic conditions of many First Nations communities. Chief Lloyd Phillips, President of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador and Representative, Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, noted that the five-year renewal of funding for the FNPP announced in 2013 is allowing “for some stability in medium term planning for First Nations which has been a longstanding concern.”
Chief Palson advised the Committee that, in his opinion, consultation among governments and First Nation communities on the required levels of service does not take place in a meaningful way before policing agreements are signed, despite the fact that the agreements call for this type of consultation. He advised that communities tend to be somewhat disenchanted with the process and feel that they are not respected. Effective policing on First Nation territories and effective partnerships were identified as the two most pressing FNCPA priorities.
While the federal and provincial governments share in the funding of Aboriginal policing, a concern was identified that adequacy of funding issues are not being dealt with due to “finger-pointing” between the federal and provincial governments on the issue of the responsibility for Aboriginal policing. Chief Palson advised that the FNCPA is seeking “recognition of the constitutional relationship that sets out the responsibilities of both the federal and provincial governments toward First Nations.” Chief Phillips further explained:
As well, the way the current First Nations policing policy is written, it's very difficult at times to know who has the first responsibility. It talks about on reserve, where there is supposed to be a federal responsibility and they pay the lion's share of 52% yet when you talk to the province, the province says, policing is a provincial jurisdiction and therefore what we say goes. There's always this jurisdictional battle and then what's the role of the First Nation? The first nation is stuck in the middle saying, hold on a second here, we're talking about policing our community, our people, what do we have to say? It creates this mechanism where it creates a dispute on many levels.
On this note, witnesses from Public Safety Canada advised the Committee that the federal government is engaged in discussions with the provinces and territories on the future of the FNPP to determine the kinds of investments to make to ensure that it is meeting the needs of First Nations communities, and to look at how it might need to evolve to better meet those needs. Furthermore, the Committee heard that First Nations communities are being consulted in a series of meetings with the federal government as part of the Economics of Policing initiative to allow them to help shape the evolution of the FNPP in Canada, and to participate very directly in the evolution of the shared framework of the strategy for policing in Canada.
The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada continue to work with Aboriginal and First Nation leaders to build upon the results achieved through the First Nations Policing Program, continue to facilitate the sharing of best practices, and to explore opportunities to share training infrastructure.
Canada is not alone in having to address the spiralling costs of policing. Other countries, such as the U.S. and the U.K., are facing similar cost increases: “Public expenditure on policing in the United States, for instance, more than quadrupled between 1982 and 2006.” Witnesses have emphasized the importance of addressing rising police costs in Canada in a planned and well-considered manner that avoids some of the drastic responses applied elsewhere:
We certainly have seen U.S. cities that have gone bankrupt, and we’ve seen states in the U.S. that have had to make 20%, 30%, or 40% cuts to their policing budgets within a matter of months. The U.K. is going through a process of a cut of 15% to 20%, depending on the police service.
In the U.S., Los Angeles Police eliminated 600 civilian staff in one year. Phoenix Police stopped recruitment and held 400 positions vacant. Newark Police laid off 170 sworn officers and 210 civilians and demoted 110 officers. Illinois State Police cut more than 20% of their sworn officer personnel. Those are but a few of the many examples throughout the United States.
Throughout this study, witnesses highlighted the difficulties stemming from the current policing framework, including the absence of a clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of each level of government in policing. A key aspect of this efficiency and effectiveness reform is the management of public expectations about when, where, and how police services are delivered. Witnesses stressed the importance of properly defining core policing functions. Whereas police forces have proudly responded to each and every call for service by dispatching an officer to attend, this can no longer continue. Chief Constable Bob Rich of the Abbotsford Police Department made the following analogy:
The image I want to put before you is that of the 1950s: if you got sick, you phoned the doctor, and he actually came to your house with his little leather medical bag and checked you out. He made a house call. That's what police officers are doing for virtually every call, and it's an outdated and overly expensive way to respond to many calls for service.
The redefinition of core policing services is taking place within the RCMP, which has recently modified its core Federal Policing enforcement strategy, described to the Committee as “Federal Policing Re-Engineering”. Under this new enforcement strategy, RCMP Federal Policing will move away from enforcement focused on the elimination of crime related to specific commodities such as drugs, counterfeit goods, or intellectual property, towards greater effectiveness by focusing on the threat posed by particular criminal organizations in order to dismantle them. This strategy was described by RCMP Superintendent Angela Workman-Stark, Director of Federal Policing Re-engineering, as an approach that adopts a broader view of the actual threat, which will lead to greater effectiveness.
The Committee encourages police services not to lose sight of the impact that redefining core responsibilities can have on smaller police services in the country, particularly in light of the fact that provinces and municipalities may be left to assume additional policing costs and responsibilities. Professor Griffiths emphasized the importance of effective community involvement before deciding what the police should and should not be doing. Kimberley Sharkey, Deputy Mayor for the City of Brooks, Alberta, illustrated how community involvement in that city has innovatively shifted some responsibilities from the RCMP to two city employees through the creation of city crime prevention and diversity coordinator positions. They have found that this approach provides the most efficient use of policing time and dollars.
The Committee encourages governments responsible for the administration of policing to work together to seek consensus in defining the core policing duties in Canada, and consider what services currently executed by police forces could be better done by other governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Police services are embracing collaboration amongst partnering agencies, whether law enforcement or otherwise, with a view to increasing efficiencies. Chief Knecht of the Edmonton Police Service advised the Committee that, although in recent years, police services have increased their ability to integrate their services with those of their partners, there is much opportunity for enhanced integration.
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana described how the work of the Canadian Integrated Response to Organized Crime (CIROC), a joint initiative of the CACP and the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, has moved towards operational coordination in the fight against organized crime:
Over the course of a number of years, the work of CIROC evolved to the point where we now have a single threat assessment, but the discussion has evolved to the point where agencies are actually working together to disrupt these threats. Whether they are local in nature, whether they are interprovincial or international, what we’ve seen by sharing the information to the level we’re sharing it now is that even those local threats do have, at the very least, an interprovincial linkage. I’ll give you an example. We have an ongoing project, currently, that involves 28 different police services and 56 different investigations that are being coordinated through CIROC. Already the results are unprecedented. It is beginning to achieve the long hoped for goal of true operational coordination between local, municipal, and federal enforcement agencies.
The RCMP is also a partner in the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, an eight-agency collaboration bringing together multiple organizations to tackle persistent threats. In addition, the RCMP has deployed resources internationally to work with foreign partners in detecting and preventing illegal migrant vessels from embarking on the dangerous journey towards Canadian shores, likely saving lives and preventing the need for costly domestic investigations.
Geoff Gruson, Executive Director of the Police Sector Council, informed the Committee that one particular area in which enhanced integration efforts would be beneficial is in the investigation of cybercrime, given its international aspects:
The interesting point of the study we did with Interpol was to understand the fact that you’re dealing with criminality that works globally, yet every single country is trying to develop its own unique solution, its own unique approach. I think that’s one of those areas where it’s really clear we have to integrate, collaborate, and understand the issue, and understand the solution to the response to that issue.
The Edmonton Police Service is working closely with the RCMP because Edmonton is surrounded by areas policed by the RCMP. They are currently examining the potential of cost savings through the sharing of a helicopter, a tactical team and an emergency response team.
A successful integration initiative was developed in the Yukon, where the correctional centre deals with RCMP cellblock services. In this way, a higher degree of care can be provided out of the correctional centre for certain detainees, such as people with mental health issues.
In Saskatchewan, the provincial government is examining the entire corrections system, including the transport of prisoners and overnight operations. Deputy Minister Dale McFee, Corrections and Policing, Government of Saskatchewan, spoke of how many police agencies have moved health staff into their cellblocks to mitigate risk, since upwards of 80% to 95% of detainees have addictions and 30% of these detainees also have mental health issues.
There are some real opportunities here, but it’s a paradigm shift in thinking, just like everything else. It’s a new way of approaching it, and it’s really important for us that we’re doing it based on evidence and focused on outcomes.
In light of the above:
The Committee recommends that police forces consider greater inter-agency cooperation with respect to the sharing of facilities and equipment and integration of staff from the health and policing sectors in certain circumstances.
Operational reviews examine the efficiency of police services in order to make operational changes in view of enhancing service delivery. This can provide the opportunity to reinvest resources into more proactive policing and new models of community safety. The CPA recently conducted a review of Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) operations that led to concrete recommendations to reallocate resources based on the identification, firstly, of a huge need for more police officers on the street and, secondly, of approximately 90 tasks currently done by police officers that could be performed by civilian personnel. There was no need to hire more police officers or increase the WPS budget; it was just a question of reallocating available resources. In funding this review, it is the intention of the CPA that it serve as a model for other polices forces.
Witnesses described how the use of outside specialists who possess the skills and background to assess organizational efficiency has led to the elimination of inefficiencies. The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) recently contracted with KPMG to conduct an efficiency study. KPMG proposed a new intelligence-led policing model based on directing the right resources to the right jobs, with better-quality customer service, clear workflow policies, increased supervision and better performance management. As a result of the review, the APD is introducing a new operations control branch staffed by police officers, community safety officers and civilians, which will direct the use of resources on a daily basis. The unit will handle the low-priority calls for service (approximately one-third of the calls) over the telephone or through an appointment with a police officer at the police station. The goal is to increase the ability of patrol officers to respond more quickly to higher-priority calls and allow patrol officers to have more time to be involved in proactive solutions to reduce crime in the community.
The services of KPMG were also used by the Staffordshire Police in the U.K., where police service delivery was re-engineered through the scrutinizing of every task. This review went beyond the traditional consultancy and outsourcing uses of private sector resources: it provided added value by actually building up a review capacity within the police service, allowing it to continue the evaluative work going forward, to avoid future reliance on the consultants.
Witnesses informed the Committee of areas in which the elimination of administrative duplication could achieve cost savings. For instance, reductions are being implemented by the RCMP through administrative and operational support efficiencies; there will now be one pay and benefits office, rather than one in each region of the country.
The Committee was also told that the elimination of some of the duplication in police oversight mechanisms, while still maintaining the necessary level of oversight, would improve the job quality of police personnel and introduce important cost savings into the sector. For instance, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario have created independent police investigation agencies. Police complaint commissions also exist in all provinces. The Committee heard that the Province of Quebec is also considering an independent investigation model. The independent investigation conducted by such an agency to determine whether a police officer committed a criminal offence provides value through increased public confidence. Witnesses pointed out that the investigation of the initial occurrence for which the police were called will often be conducted at the same time as the independent investigation that led to the allegation of criminal conduct by the police in their response to the call.
The Committee believes there are opportunities to reduce duplication and improve the timeliness of these concurrent investigations through the sharing of evidence. For instance, the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia has entered into memoranda of understanding with police forces that aim to minimize duplication in areas such as the collection of evidence, the handling of exhibits and the conduct of witness interviews.
The Committee also heard that measures to eliminate duplication in police complaint reviews have been included in new federal legislation providing for an integrated public complaints intake system for complaints made to the newly created RCMP Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (RCMP CRCC) and provincial review agencies, as well as the conduct of joint reviews of public complaints by the RCMP CRCC and provincial review agencies.
Police officers require constant requalification. The Committee heard that traditional in-class and in-person training approaches are costly. It is estimated that of the $12 billion spent annually on policing in Canada, close to $1 billion is related to training. This figure takes into account the indirect costs associated with the delivery of training such as travel, accommodation and the backfilling of positions during officer absences. Despite these significant costs, witnesses appearing before the Committee have observed that there has been little discussion geared toward the identification of potential efficiencies in police training. It is estimated that potential savings are in the range of 10% to 30%. Consequently, witnesses emphasized the need for enhanced research, and a sector-wide approach to the development of the training model of the future. Witnesses have also suggested that there is much scope for improvement in the level of coordination and commonality in the types of training provided and in linking training content to officer competency standards and profiles.
The consideration of the effectiveness of police training practices raises the underlying fundamental questions of whether expectations regarding police qualifications have been clearly defined and, in turn, whether the true police training needs have been identified. The Committee heard that expectations with regard to police officer skills vary across the country, with police Acts in each province prescribing varying degrees of police training. Such differences in candidate qualification could have a negative effect on the development of common training standards, leading some witnesses to question whether a national college of policing or a professional designation for policing is needed.
In order to address this issue, police forces across Canada have focused on determining the actual skill sets needed to deliver certain police functions. The Committee heard that the Police Sector Council has developed competency profiles providing standards for the duties associated with different police positions, ultimately allowing the realization of efficiencies in human resource management and a better orientation of training needs.
Training models must continually evolve and improve to gain efficiencies in order to meet new learner expectations, and to keep pace with the changing needs of front-line police officers. Traditional in-class approaches to police training are not always well-suited to the technology-based learning styles familiar to most new police recruits:
They embrace it, and are fully adapted to consuming information and training through technology-based mediums. It’s not simply a preference. Research is showing they actually process information differently than other generations do.
The delivery of training through electronic platforms can increase the accessibility, consistency, and cost-effectiveness of training: it can provide anywhere, anytime access; course materials can be prepared once and used repeatedly; new subject-matter experts are not required each time a course is given, and the training is delivered in a consistent manner.
Sandy Sweet, President of the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN), described how that organization is playing a significant role in introducing innovation into police e-learning. Created in 2004, the CPKN is a non-profit, financially self-sufficient organization that partners with the police community to develop and deliver cost-effective e-learning in the Canadian police and law enforcement sectors. Its Board of Directors includes police sector leaders from across the country.
The CPKN offers approximately 100 courses, many of which are offered in both French and English. It has approximately 75,000 registered users, whereas there are approximately 70,000 front-line officers in the entire Canadian police community. The Committee notes that this level of access to training materials is important to police working in isolated areas as it allows access to training that would normally require travel. Revenues are generated through a model based on the high-volume delivery of low-cost courses. The average cost of one course is less than $25. When considered in combination with the elimination of training travel costs, this model presents considerable economic benefits.
Some aspects of police training are well-suited to an online approach, while others are more compatible with traditional in-person training. The Committee heard that even in such instances, however, online training can complement on-site training methods by affording enhanced opportunities for knowledge transfer:
What’s really working in general, whether it’s in police services or academies, is a blending of technology and classroom. You don’t eliminate the classroom, but if you’re going to do an interviewing course in a classroom, a lot of police training academies and police services are asking their people to take the online course first. It’s a two-hour course. It gives you all the basics. Then you can come in and talk about interviewing and do some role playing and that sort of thing.
Work is currently being undertaken by sector participants, including Public Safety Canada, to build upon the efforts of the CPKN, beginning with a training summit that took place in September 2013 to explore training issues and to help set priorities related to police training and research to build a better approach.
The work of the CPKN demonstrates the benefits of taking a strategic, collaborative and sector-wide approach to training development. The CPKN has developed a network of relationships that includes every police service in the country, major police training academies, the CAPB and the CACP. It relies on the police community to identify new topics. As noted by Mr. Sweet, this is an area where inroads can be made through collaboration:
The model we’ve created is a best practice, really. In a sector well known for its stove-pipe tendencies and for its jurisdictional rigidity, we’ve been able to break down some of those silos and build courses that work across the country.
In light of the above:
The Committee recommends that Canada build on its excellent reputation for highly trained police forces through the further integration of e-learning as a cost effective way of executing some of the in-class training required.
Witnesses cautioned the Committee about the potential for public concern where there could be a real or perceived conflict between police revenue generation initiatives and police responses. Despite this note of caution, witnesses noted good examples of areas in which police services have succeeded with revenue-generating initiatives:
· The False-alarm Reduction Program in Vancouver was created through a by-law requiring persons and businesses to obtain permits for their security alarm systems. Under the by-law, the police may refuse to attend an alarm incident generated by an alarm system without a permit. The strategy was undertaken to reduce the need for the police to respond to false alarms on a continuous basis. People are being more responsible as there are consequences to the improper management of alarm systems. This initiative has raised some revenue and has reduced the drain on police resources.
· The Cobourg Police Service has also generated revenue by providing third-party criminal record checks requested by certain large corporations. Whenever these companies hire someone, whether it’s in P.E.I. or British Columbia, the Cobourg Police Service will conduct the criminal record check, which generates revenue that is put directly back into the police budget. In 2012, the revenue generated was just over half a million dollars.
· The British Columbia government is turning over traffic fine revenues to local governments to help offset the cost of local policing.
The Committee recommends that police forces continue to consider ways of revenue generation above and beyond government funding, while ensuring no possible conflicts of interest.
7. Tiered Policing: Civilianization and the use of Special Constables, Volunteers and the Private Sector
Tiered policing exists in many police services and has been described as a pyramid-type structure. The top tier consists of fully sworn and trained police officers who carry badges and guns, have powers of arrest, and so on. The tier below might be special constables engaged in security services. The tier below that might be community safety officers, who do not have the same level of training and may not carry a gun, but who carry out different functions such as neighbourhood engagement, problem solving at the local level and intelligence collection. They work with the community and share information with police officers who come into that community to respond to incidents. The next tier below that might be volunteers, cadets and auxiliary officers with even less training and exercising even more routine functions, such as managing events or securing a site.
In Canada, there are approximately 69,539 sworn police officers and approximately 28,220 civilian staff working in police services directly with them. Police services have used civilianization effectively, employing civilian personnel to perform activities ranging from fairly routine basic administrative functions, such as data entry, to much more specialized functions, such as crime analysis and forensics. There are savings that flow from hiring civilian staff, who receive less training and require less equipment than police officers and whose salaries are generally lower than those of police officers. For instance, a special constable working for the OPP receives a salary of $50,000, versus $85,000 for a police officer. The key is finding the right mix of personnel in the context of a particular police service, given its objectives and its community priorities. As described by RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana, “[i]t’s about having the right person with the right expertise doing the right things.”
Different jurisdictions employ special constables to perform various tasks:
In the performance of their duties, civilians are subject to direct supervision that is physically proximate and to public service guidelines prescribing different levels of reprimands (including termination), or employer discipline (which can include summary dismissal for serious misconduct). Civilians would generally not be covered by police disciplinary processes, nor are they subject to public complaint processes, which have been developed in the context of the work of police officers, who are out on patrol and who have tremendous autonomy. On the other hand, special constables are subject to police disciplinary processes in certain jurisdictions, but not in others. Under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act,  supernumerary special constables are subject to being disciplined by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Public Complaints Commission (to be replaced by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission). In Ontario, special constables are subject to public service discipline guidelines and not the police public complaints process or police disciplinary measures. The jurisdiction of the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia includes special constables while they are on duty.
Police volunteers participate in duties that enhance community policing efforts, crime prevention programs and public service, as opposed to direct police service delivery. Their duties in assisting front-line officers are extensive, including providing ground security at major events, conducting surveys, running seat belt clinics, performing ceremonial duties, assisting with RIDE spot-check initiatives, assisting at safety displays and school presentations, coordinating neighbourhood and business watch programs, conducting home and business safety checks and accompanying regular members on foot, road, marine and snow vehicle patrols.
Volunteers can provide valuable assistance to the police. For instance, the mobility of RCMP officers can impact negatively on the transfer of community knowledge and the integration of members into a new community, but having auxiliary constables within a detachment can bridge this gap. Tyler Bates, Director of National Aboriginal Policing and Crime Prevention Services at the RCMP, explained:
Auxiliary constables provide valuable insight into the fabric of community life through their knowledge of their home community, local culture, and language.
I can remember working at my first detachment. I was headed out the door for a call for service that related to a trespassing complaint about cows that had gone into somebody else’s pasture. That was the nature of the complaint, so seemingly that’s not a significant complaint to concern yourself with. The auxiliary caught me before I was going out the door and asked me if I realized that there was a decade of conflict between those two neighbours and that there had been volatile conflict that had involved assaultive behaviour. What seemed like a really innocuous and non-threatening call very quickly became a call that three armed police officers went to, because of the level of violence that had escalated between those two neighbours. That’s the value that auxiliaries provide in terms of public and police safety. I learned very quickly that the first person I sought out at the detachment was that long-standing community member who was an auxiliary and had the knowledge of where those historical conflicts were and what the history of that community was.
Police departments in the U.S. have also emphasized the importance of the police being visible and accessible to their community through the work of volunteers. For example, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) offers various volunteer opportunities, including the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP), the Volunteers in Policing (V.I.P.) and the reserves. SDPD officers noted that their volunteer groups are amongst the hardest-working individuals on the police force. They patrol the San Diego area, act as the eyes and ears of the police force and increase police visibility within the community.
The U.K. policing family also includes the special constabulary, a force of trained volunteers who work to support local police. It was explained to the Committee that the volunteer pool is made up of various people, including teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries. They are given the same powers as full-time police officers and wear a similar uniform. They are considered to be a vital link between the police and the community. Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are directed by their respective police forces. They seek to complement the work of full-time police officers. PCSOs provide a visible presence in the community and allow full-time police officers to concentrate on other issues. The PCSOs “particularly deal with low-level crime and anti-social behaviour and gather information and ‘community intelligence’.” They do not, however, have the power to arrest.
Canada’s private security industry may also present police services with interesting cost-saving opportunities by reducing demand for some police services. However, the regulation of the private security industry is an area of provincial jurisdiction, with some provinces having more robust regimes than others. Several provinces are trying to update and modernize their legislation in this area to ensure that private security industry employees have the right level of accreditation.
The Committee notes the work of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires (Commissionaires), which affords promise in this area. The Commissionaires provides services to several police services across Canada, while providing meaningful employment for veterans of the military, the reserves, and the RCMP. It is a national not-for-profit private organization founded on the competencies and experience of veterans. In addition to guarding federal buildings, the Commissionaires employ approximately 1,000 members to work with police services in communities across Canada. Commissionaires are trained in accordance with provincial legislation or using a federally‑endorsed training standards curriculum. The Committee has heard that there is a strong fit between the skills of veterans and the needs of police services, with a common emphasis on discipline, responsibility and public service. Witnesses advised the Committee that commissionaires can perform non-core police functions such as: detention services, arrest and release processing, prisoner monitoring and transportation, summons and subpoena services, crime scene security, by-law enforcement, electronic ticketing, non-criminal fingerprinting and police clearances, photo radar operation, inventory and front desk management, and 911 dispatches.
Witnesses described the role of the Commissionaires in the Guards and Matrons Program, a unique program providing jail guard services on a part-time basis in communities where there is no need for full-time jail guards. The RCMP does the recruitment and training locally, and the Commissionaires provide the back-office support, human resources and pay services. The program has resulted in the creation of over 2,780 mostly part-time jobs in regions of the country from Manitoba westward, including remote areas and Aboriginal communities.
The Committee heard that, while some police services remain less amenable than others to retaining the services of the Commissionaires, there has been some headway in this respect. Some police services and municipalities have launched pilot projects to determine whether Commissionaires services could offer them efficiencies. One such success story is in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where the hiring of commissionaires for parking enforcement resulted in yearly savings of $500,000, representing a cost reduction of approximately 30%.
The Committee believes that police forces would need to strike the right balance in their use of civilianization, privatization and tiered policing. Although these alternatives can be viable in some circumstances, they may come with a lesser quality of service, and do not always result in cost reductions. A recent U.K. study found that community safety officers did not always have the discretion, skills, and training required to assess calls having elements of criminality. Moreover, certain witnesses expressed concern regarding the potential use of the private sector for low‑risk police work in order to save money, as this comes with the risk of losing police accountability and professionalism. The Committee also notes that the outsourcing experience in the U.K. is still a work in progress, and experiences with outsourcing in the U.S. have not proven to be cost-effective.
In light of the above:
The Committee recommends that police forces consider methods of tiered policing, which may include but are not limited to, replacing fully trained police officers with civilian employees where appropriate, and the use of special constables, auxiliary constables and volunteers in non-core policing functions. It is the Committee’s opinion that not all duties which police are called upon to complete require a badge and gun, and this can contribute to unnecessary costs. The Committee further recommends that use of the private sector be considered for non-core policing requirements where possible. Full and careful consideration should be given to the implications for training and accountability standards in all cases.
The Committee believes that policing research and the sharing of best practices are areas in which improvements could be made. Professor Griffiths advised the Committee that “over the last three decades we’ve systematically dismantled our capacities to do police research in this country.” He emphasized the need for empirical research to assist policy makers and police service boards with decision making:
[O]ur research endeavours with respect to policing in Canada are scattered, and there is no coordinating effort. There are very few linkages among universities, governments, and police services. Research is often being done on a one-and-done basis, whether it’s by private consulting companies such as KPMG or by university-based scholars who work on a single type of project and then move on. We really don’t have a coordinating body. We really don’t have a repository, if you will, for police research, and an organization, agency, or institute that could serve as a catalyst for facilitating these collaborative relationships, and equally as important, for the dissemination of information.
There is quite a bit of information on policing in Canada but it’s often inaccessible, sitting on bookshelves or hidden away in academic journals. Again, the consequences of this is that when we start to engage in this dialogue about the economics of policing, in many respects, we are really wandering in the dark because we don’t have access to that substantive body of literature.
The inability to conduct and coordinate police research leads to police service board, policy makers and municipal council making decisions about policing and police budgets in the absence of any empirical research.
Other countries such as the U.S. and U.K. are better equipped to gather and interpret policing data. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Harvard University and the United States Department of Justice provide a strong base for gathering research on policing, while the U.K. has a very robust policing research foundation as a result of the work of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the College of Policing (formerly known as the National Policing Improvement Agency).
The College of Policing has inherited a number of functions from its predecessor but will also be responsible for setting police training standards, development skills and qualifications. The Committee was told that the College of Policing also has the role of identifying best practices. The U.K.’s “world leading approach will see the creation of four new What Works centres, independent of Government.” They will focus on crime reduction, local economic growth, ageing better and early intervention. These new centres will be joined by two established centres, the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence and the Education Endowment Foundation, which are “leading the way in promoting evidence-based decision making with their sectors.”
The movement toward evidence-based decision making has taken root in Canada and abroad. Police services are measuring the proportion of time that officers spend in the community versus performing administrative tasks, they are setting targets for response times to priority-one calls, they are evaluating police cost-per-citizen relative to similar communities and they are using queuing model software programs allowing for police to deploy where they are needed.
Police departments in the U.S. have sought to manage increasing demands for service by re-engineering their approaches to police work and attributing policing resources to specific problem areas. Many police services are using the CompStat program (short for computer statistics), which uses crime-related data to guide police decision making. The heart of the process is a series of regularly scheduled crime strategy meetings where a police department’s top management and its field managers participate in sessions about current crimes and the plans and tactics to counter them. In an effort to rebuild the service delivery model of the Oakland (California) Police Department, which has been subject to major reductions in police strength, crime data is being used to tailor service delivery to local community needs.
The key to this new district-based structure is geographic accountability for each captain – and for their subordinate lieutenants, sergeants and officers – for a specific area of the city with its specific crime and disorder problems, its familiar community members, and, to a significant degree, its specific cast of criminal characters.
In London (U.K.), the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is utilizing Grip and Pace meetings to perform 24-hour reviews of intelligence gained from foot patrols, go over missing person reports and outstanding suspect files, and identify threats to public safety.
The Committee heard that the “Smart Policing” approach to the assessment of police effectiveness has yielded eye-opening results in the U.S. In his evidence, Professor James Coldren, Project Director of the Smart Policing Initiative, explained that Smart Policing relies heavily on scientific research methods. It encourages police agencies to collaborate with researchers in several key areas: crime problem analysis; the development of a response; the development of solutions and interventions; monitoring and assessment of those interventions (process evaluation) with real-time outcome and impact evaluation; and, very importantly, the examination of whether successful tactics or strategies would translate to other jurisdictions.
Professor Coldren provided the following example of how the Smart Policing approach can deliver effective results:
In Memphis, Tennessee, they were facing a pretty serious residential burglary problem. They did again what I would call one of these shallow analyses, and they figured out that the police districts with the highest residential burglary rates were the districts where most of the returning offenders from prison were going. … They immediately fixed on a collaboration with parole and police to address this burglary problem. They hired a researcher from the University of Memphis who took a more careful look at the issue. What he found was a very strong link between truancy and residential burglary by youth. In a very short amount of time there was this aha moment that they were going down the entirely wrong path because of their traditional reliance on the data that they normally use to analyze these problems. Once they did a little intelligence work and had some focus groups in the community, and did some collaborative work, they had a completely different understanding of the problem they were facing. … Things like that happen quite frequently.
While it is clear that Canadian police services are increasing their reliance on operational crime data to understand the impact of law enforcement activities on harm reduction and to inform police leaders in their business decisions, “we lack a formal structure to collect – and more importantly, to evaluate – the effectiveness of these innovations, which often means that not all communities are able to take advantage of the work being done on the ground in Canada.”
In fact, many witnesses stressed the need for Canada to have a centralized repository dedicated to policing research which could be utilized by police forces across the country. Professor Christopher Murphy informed the Committee that policing bodies and associations recognize that research and evidence-based policing will have to develop more effectively in Canada and that we lack an infrastructure that funds, coordinates, and facilitates research, knowledge, information and innovation.
The Committee was informed that Public Safety Canada is developing a tool to facilitate information sharing, the “Index of Police Initiatives”. It builds on initiatives from other countries such as CrimeSolutions.gov, the United States Department of Justice’s online tool that contains information on various initiatives built upon policing models such as problem-oriented policing, the targeting of hot spots, increased patrols in particular areas and integrated teams, combined with sound analytical evidence-based research related to those initiatives validating their effectiveness. CrimeSolutions.gov has evolved over a number of years, with academics reviewing the operational experiences on the site and feeding evaluative information back to the site:
Part of the advantage of CrimeSolutions.gov is that if you take, for example, a broken window strategy in Boston, it will be implemented, it will be assessed by one or multiple academics over time, and they will put their findings on that website. It’s continually evolving, continually refining the analysis around the various initiatives that are under way. If you, as a community, are looking at moving in that direction, you’ll know how the program started, you’ll know how it’s been evaluated, and you’ll know probably how it’s evolved over time, so that you can implement what is truly the best practice in that particular area going forward.
For example, the City of San Diego has been credited with implementing problem-oriented policing initiatives said to have had a positive impact on crime reduction. The San Diego Police Department and the community work together, in order to address specific community problems, develop a response and address the root causes of crime. One specific initiative called DART (Drug Abatement Response Team) has been rated as “effective” by the CrimeSolutions.gov website. The following is an excerpt from the description of the DART program on CrimeSolutions.gov:
The San Diego Drug Abatement Response Team (DART) in California was a program designed to reduce drug dealing at residential rental properties by encouraging improved property management practices. It leveraged the authority of civil law to pressure landlords into addressing problems at rental properties where drug problems had been identified.
San Diego DART targeted private rental properties that had been subjected to some form of drug enforcement. In more than half of the cases, this enforcement activity was a search warrant – based raid. Other actions included knock-and-talk events (police requested permission to search the premises for drugs); buy – bust events (an undercover office made a buy, which led to an arrest); parole searches; and Fourth Amendment waiver actions.
The Index of Police Initiatives has been described to the Committee as an early version of CrimeSolutions.gov. It is a collaborative effort by governments and police services across Canada bringing together over 150 innovative initiatives, activities, and best practices in one database which will be broadly accessible through a user-friendly search engine and online interface. Some of these initiatives have already been validated by researchers as best practices. If police services wish to improve in a certain area, the Index of Police Initiatives will allow them to find out what’s happening in other parts of the country in that area.
In light of the above:
The Committee recommends that Public Safety Canada lead coordination and expand upon a central database of information sharing between police forces to allow the sharing of best practices and regional research.
I often think of policing in terms of a river. The police are kind of the last net, in many respects. The more intervention there is upstream earlier on, the fewer the issues that are caught in the net further downstream, which I think is important for costs, for call management, for training, for complexity of the service, and important in terms of sending police to calls that they’re not well equipped for, in many cases.
The Committee agrees with its many witnesses who stressed the need for an integrated approach to new policing models, one that could in the long term “change the nature of criminality in Canada, in order to deal with the much more intractable social and criminal challenges […]” This new approach would help to alleviate policing challenges with respect to mental illness and social disorders by addressing the root causes of crime through early intervention and prevention. In fact, witnesses emphasized that “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”
Many of the police chiefs with whom the Committee met both in Canada and abroad agreed that “prevention is cheaper than investigation, response, and putting people through the courts and incarcerating them.”
The Committee recognizes that crime prevention and early intervention have social and economic benefits and recommends that the Government of Canada continue to make investments in these areas.
An impressive array of innovative community safety models was introduced to the Committee during its study.
The Committee learned of a promising community safety model: the Selkirk Team for At-Risk Teens (START) program. This is a multi-agency program geared towards at-risk youth in rural Manitoba. As was explained to the Committee, this model seeks “to benefit the youth and their families… the largest consumers of policing, child and family services, and probation services, while also showing significant school-based issues.” It uses a holistic approach to support youth with complex needs and addresses youth crime by providing services and programs to reduce an individual’s risk of engaging in criminal behaviour.“The impact of START is also long-term and preventative in nature by giving and guiding youth and families towards positive, pro-social choices.”
START was founded in 2002 as a collaborative effort between the Lord Selkirk School Division (LSSD), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Probation Services, and Child and Family Services following discussions between social service agencies with the recognition that a collaborative approach may be warranted for youth in the area requiring intervention from multiple agencies.
The partnering agencies also include mental health and addiction services, as well as public health services. The Committee was told that the key to the START model is that the youth in question and his or her family are always involved in the intervention and should be the driving force in the planning and implementation stages. Confidentiality and sharing of information concerns are addressed through consent-based participation.
START has assisted 190 youths between the ages of 11 and 17 and their families thus far. They may be referred by any of the partnering agencies or a concerned parent. The Committee was told that, like the Community Mobilization Prince Albert (CMPA) initiative (decribed below), the START program doesn’t take a lot of money to run. Although each model differs slightly, Tammy Thompson, START Program Coordinator, informed the Committee that the program costs about “$70,000 to run, cash in hand, and then in kind there’s about another $20,000 that is added.” In her request to appear before the Committee, she advised the Committee that: “[f]unding of the START program comes from a variety of agencies and three different levels of Government.”
Our program truly is a community program. We are run by a board that has all of the executive people within our community from each of the agencies on it, and each one of them, or the majority of them, are funders of the program as well.
Our main funders, besides previously being Service Canada and Justice, are now Children and Youth Opportunities, from the Province of Manitoba Child and Family Services; the school division in each of the areas, in our case the Lord Selkirk School Division; the City of Selkirk and the two surrounding RMs [regional municipalities]; and also in kind the RCMP detachment. They provide the office space and all of my equipment.
The Committee has heard that START program outcomes include at-risk youth staying in school longer and improved family functioning. The RCMP has noted that in the first year of operation of the START program, RCMP calls related to youth dropped by roughly 50%.
The Committee learned that 37% of START clients are Aboriginal and 22% are Métis. The Committee tried to ascertain whether or not the START program might help ensure better opportunities for young Aboriginal persons in the community and might help to alleviate the number of incarcerated Aboriginal people in western Canada. In this respect, Walter Tielman, Area Director for the Department of Justice, Interlake Region, Community and Youth Correction, advised that preventative services are always beneficial and, in his opinion, help to prevent people from being incarcerated unnecessarily. He added that wraparound programs such as START take into account the needs of the individual client they are serving. “START seems to go beyond most programs in [its] level of flexibility and cultural competence, as [it] provide[s] services to a large Aboriginal population and also support[s] very complex youth.” It also aims to be “culturally competent and includes cultural supports, such as Elders and Aboriginal Child and Family Services agencies.” The START program won the Manitoba Attorney General’s Safer Communities Award for its contribution to crime prevention in the province.
In Calgary, the Committee witnessed the crucial importance of collaboration between a community and its officers. This police service is operationally dedicated to developing and conserving strong community partnerships with a view to reducing the number of calls for service. Participant stories were compelling and invaluable to this study. The Committee met with Lucy Miller from the United Way who emphasized that when it comes to community initiatives, we are often unsuccessful when we work in silos and that most successful solutions are arrived at collaboratively. She called for communities not to be afraid to start an initiative before it is perfect. She emphasized the urgency of implementing youth prevention initiatives, noting that, as every day passes, more children are at risk. The Mental Health Commission of Canada also noted in its report entitled, Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada that there is “great potential for prevention and early intervention to keep them [youth] out of the criminal justice system and to recoup initial investments through saving the costs of incarceration in the future.” Ms. Miller’s vision of community leadership echoed comments made by Mr. McFee when he appeared before the Committee and noted:
Respectfully step on toes. It’s about leadership and not ownership. We need to get out of ownership and more into leadership, because that’s what we all do well. Sometimes you just have to go out and get it done.
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) continuously nurtures its police ties with the individuals and organizations supporting the city’s youth population, as well as the homeless and persons having mental health issues. One amongst many success stories is the case of Martin, the “million dollar man,” who had cost the first responders approximately one million dollars through repeated calls for service: through the continued support of the CPS and its community partners, Martin became sober and secured housing. The repeated calls for service quickly abated.
It was explained to the Committee that, as a result of its commitment to community-based policing, the CPS operates under a Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum based on the development of key strategies which seek to address the following three components: 1) crime prevention and education; 2) crime reduction, early intervention and treatment; and 3) enforcement:
These strategies are applied progressively along a continuum with the ultimate goal of keeping individuals out of the formal justice system when appropriate, and to address the root causes of crime.
Another model that particularly stood out as having embraced a whole-system approach to prevention and intervention was the Community Mobilization Prince Albert (CMPA).This intervention model applies to offenders of all ages and is dedicated to reducing demand by addressing the root causes of crime and victimization. The Committee was fortunate to witness this “first of its kind” approach to building bridges of collaboration on the road to safer communities in Saskatchewan and across Canada. The integrated multi-agency model mobilizes existing government and community resources which combine their skill sets to create solutions for individuals and families with acutely elevated levels of risk. The Executive Director of CMPA, Ken Hunter, explained the concept as bringing different agencies to the table and asking them to fulfil their mandate in a different way.
The CMPA is comprised of two tiers, the first being the HUB and the second the COR (Center of Responsibility), which are distinct yet complementary. The HUB is known as the platform for collaboration. More than 20 agencies are brought together twice a week in order to discuss specific cases and to determine timely courses of action.
The second tier, the COR, is essentially the think tank of the CMPA. It seeks to find long-term solutions to the systemic issues identified through the work of the HUB: “The COR’s focus is on the broader notion of community safety and wellness with an eye towards long-term community goals and initiatives and possible systemic recommendations, formed through experience, research and analysis.”
According to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice Annual Report 2012–2013, the province has invested $450,000 in the CMPA. More precisely, the Committee heard that this amount is dedicated to the COR, which is comprised of one executive director, executive support staff and two analysts. The Honourable Christine Tell, Minister of Corrections and Policing, Government of Saskatchewan, informed the Committee that each participating agency contributes $25,000 per year to support the initiatives of the HUB and COR. In addition to this amount, each agency is responsible for providing its staff.
The cases brought before the HUB can originate from any of the CMPA partners or other community organizations. A CMPA analyst reviews police occurrence reports in order to identify the individuals with an acutely elevated risk and can subsequently make a referral to the HUB. To illustrate, the Committee was told that the cases brought to the HUB’s attention can include: “individuals without safe housing, children showing troubled behaviour in classrooms, people in pending crisis attending our emergency rooms, people in danger of lapsing in their addictions treatment, people at risk of becoming victimized in their homes, or people representing an immediate threat to public order on our streets.”
The Committee was inspired by the impressive array of knowledge and experience of the CMPA members and partners. It was able to witness first-hand how the interventions are executed, with multi-agency strategies agreed upon by all. HUB discussions can take a matter of minutes and action is taken within a few days. The CMPA partners explained to the Committee that time and money are saved because the overall process is streamlined. For example:
The education system reports significant improvements in students being connected to services they need, and student attendance and retention are trending up. Health, mental health, and addiction services report they are providing more immediate supports and are more effectively bridging services to those in elevated risk circumstances. Our child and family services report that over the first full year they were able to divert 86 families to preventive services, thus avoiding over one full month’s caseload of investigations in one year. They are tracking a similar pattern in the second year.
CMPA partners informed the Committee of their conviction that time invested in the HUB helps to lower intake calls. At the management level, partnering agencies have recognized the value of the HUB and fully support participating staff despite the fact that there are no new hires to supply to the HUB and most of its staff has been re-allocated from participating agencies. One school teacher explained that when she has to perform an intervention such as a door knock or even attend a HUB meeting, her employer supports her by sending someone to replace her in the classroom. One school is so convinced of the CMPA’s efficacy that HUB duty has been added to the list of duties of its participating teachers.
The “Prince Albert Police Service reports a 35% reduction in calls since the CMPA became operational 27 months ago, along with a corresponding reduction in prosecutions.” The Committee learned that the CMPA is also yielding compelling results with respect to violent crime and youth victimization:
Over the past two years, violent crime there has come down. In the first year it came down by 11.8%. It came down a further 31.9% in the second year, and in the first quarter of this year, another 36%. Youth victimization was reduced by 28% in the first year alone, and by an additional 13% in the second year. Public prosecutions were down 12%, and an additional 18% in year two.
The work of the CMPA has also helped the justice service sector identify the seven recurrent risk factors in Prince Albert: substance abuse, criminality, victimization, mental health, missing persons, inadequate parenting and truancy. Mr. McFee stressed the importance of moving away from the conventional approach in order to adopt this cradle-to-grave approach to risk reduction:
We have a system in Canada that is much like the system everywhere else. Our system is designed to wait for people to get in the system, and then we tell them how to fix them. The reality is that for the majority of those who are headed into our system, we know they are headed there, but we don’t offer the olive branch to ask what we can do to help. Most people will choose that right thing, but they are so stuck in environments that they can’t get out of.
The Committee learned that other Canadian provinces and other countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. are very interested in this mobilization model:
It is important to acknowledge that these emerging approaches to community safety are no longer a Saskatchewan-only phenomenon. We have now exchanged visits with more than 15 cities and regions, representing nine provinces and territories across the country, as well as some from the U.S. and the UK. Five police services in Ontario – Toronto, Sudbury, Waterloo, Peel, and the OPP – have recently formed a working group to collaborate as they each work with their own local partners in adapting some of our experiences and making them their own. We have delivered well in excess of 250 presentations on the mobilization model.
Indeed, the Committee heard from witnesses that the CMPA could be applied to other rural and urban regions of the country. During its formal Committee meetings in Ottawa and while travelling, the Committee tried to ascertain whether the CMPA model could be applied to Aboriginal communities. Both Chief Palson, Vice-President of the FNCPA and Vice-Chief Brian Hardlotte of the Prince Albert Grand Council with whom the Committee met agreed with the overall concept, but noted that implementation can be challenging given the unique circumstances of each community:
Yes. The concept is great. I see that we have to go there, but it is very challenging in some of our communities, because some of those social services entities, although most of them exist in some form or other, don’t exist with the same capacity as in an urban centre or something along those lines. It is very challenging.
Chief Palson went on to add that it would not just be a question of addressing the capacity issue, but also the political will of the community in question. He added:
The politics in First Nation communities can be very raw at times; that’s in flux too, and ever-changing. To have a well-designed HUB program, you want sustainability, and it has to be able to withstand changes of leadership. You also have to have the other bigger players – i.e., the province, usually – on board. I believe, or from what I understand, the Province of Saskatchewan is very much on board and almost in a driver’s seat for that program.
The Committee also asked participating agencies around the table how this type of model would work in Aboriginal northern and remote areas where resources are scarce. The Committee was told that not all community mobilization models need to be identical to the one in Prince Albert. They were adamant that it only takes the passion and drive of one person for community mobilization to be possible anywhere. They added that in order to have true community mobilization, the community has to want it. It is the community’s commitment that makes it work. RCMP Sergeant Carmela Schneider, who is part of the CMPA team, shared with the Committee the success story of how she helped the community of La Ronge, Saskatchewan set up its own version of the Hub and COR model. It mobilizes three communities: the Town of La Ronge, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the community of Air Ronge. This model is said to be unique as it incorporates provincial services with those of Aboriginal services within the community.
A suggestion made by Deputy Minister Dale McFee to the Committee may help to alleviate some barriers to the implementation of the HUB and COR model:
One of the things we’re asking for – and it’s possibly a role for the federal government – is to have funded First Nations representation in our CORs. We have them there now, First Nations government, but it’s a hardship for them. I think they have a role in being part of a greater solution of problem solving. I think when we’re in on the ground and we’re working exclusively with First Nation providers, that gives us a better understanding of culture and a better understanding of solutions, and we can actually remove some of these conditions that are driving the problems.
The Committee heard evidence raising concerns with respect to potential impediments to the success of early intervention models and crime prevention strategies. Some of the challenges include program maintenance and sustainability. Another common theme brought forth by the witnesses involved in multi-agency collaboration strategies was that privacy issues can pose barriers to the sharing of information that would be needed to ensure the success of the wraparound service delivery model:
The number one barrier to the success of hub service delivery models – coordinated service delivery, wraparound service delivery, whatever you want to call it – is not the willingness of police and public sector partners and not-for-profits to partner with each other and look at these cases from a prevention standpoint. It’s the legislative inability to share information across those silos. Information sharing and the lack of a legal framework around which we can share information about individuals or families or communities that are displaying risk factors stop us from properly analyzing and assessing the risk and deploying the right combination of service interventions to prevent that risk from becoming a real problem. 
In conclusion, the Committee strongly believes that we need to approach community safety by looking at things comprehensively in order to better address policing, mental health and health care issues. The Committee would like to echo the words of many of its witnesses, including Tom Stamatakis, President of the CPA and Dr. Alok Mukherjee, President of the CAPB, who underscored the need to favour a collaborative, holistic, whole-system approach.
The Committee agrees that issues of mental health and addiction are an increasing challenge to the work of police officers, and recognizes the success of the community mobilization model (also known as the HUB and COR model) in reducing crime rates, reducing calls for service, and allowing police officers to focus on core policing responsibilities.
In light of the above:
The Committee recommends that police forces seriously consider developing more innovative and community-driven collaboration of agencies, such as Community Mobilization Prince Albert, or the general HUB and COR principle highlighted within this study.
Tasked with piecing together numerous hours of committee meetings and an impressive array of documentation, the Committee’s aim was to identify ways of reducing the overall costs of service delivery while maintaining high standards in policing and criminal justice services for Canadians through this period of fiscal restraint and into the future. The Committee hopes that this report on the economics of policing will help to foster a sustainable path for the future.
 House of Commons, Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU), Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 18 June 2013 (Christopher Murphy, Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University).
 The word Aboriginal is used in this report as an all-encompassing term that includes Inuit and First Nations, unless the context requires otherwise.
 Half of the Committee travelled to the United Kingdom and the other half travelled to Western Canada and the United States to hear witnesses. A list of witnesses can be found in Appendices A and B and a list of briefs in Appendices C and D of the report.
 Although not studied by the Committee, the Canadian policing landscape also includes the Canadian Forces Military Police, which provides a variety of operational, law enforcement, investigative and security services at bases and units where the Canadian Forces serve, the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway police who enforce federal laws on railway property and within 500 metres of such property and transit police.
 Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, S.C. 2005, c. 10, ss. 4(2) and 5.
 Ibid., s. 5.1.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 12 February 2013; see also Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Towards Equity and Efficiency in Policing: A Report on Police Roles, Responsibilities and Resources in Canada, p. 4.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 29 January 2013 (Steve Graham, Deputy Commissioner East Region, Royal Canadian Mounted Police); see also Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Contract Policing.
 According to the 2009–2010 Evaluation of the First Nations Policing Program, the following two legacy programs provide policing services to Aboriginal communities, and were in place prior to the creation of the First Nations Policing Program (FNPP):
Band Constable Program (BCP) agreements are funded at 100% by the federal government. These are bilateral agreements between a First Nation and the federal government. Band constables undertake such activities as the enforcement of band by-laws and areas of local concern not looked after by the RCMP or provincial police and the referral of cases involving offences to the RCMP or provincial police.
The Aboriginal Community Constable Program (ACCP) provides for designated peace officers managed by the RCMP to serve certain Aboriginal communities. The ACCP program is cost-shared, with the federal government contributing 46% and the provincial or territorial government contributing 54%.
 The term “self-administered Aboriginal police forces” includes self-administered First Nations police forces, as well as the Kativik Regional Police Force in the province of Quebec. The Kativik Regional Police Force is the only Inuit police service funded under the FNPP pursuant to a self-administered agreement.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 7 June 2012 (Shawn Tupper, Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Safety Partnerships Branch, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 29 January 2013 (Shawn Tupper).
 Municipalities may be parties to Community Tripartite Agreements. These arrangements are referred to as Municipal CTAs or Municipal Quadripartite Agreements (MQA).
 Public Safety Canada, 2009–2010 Evaluation of the First Nations Policing Program, Ottawa, 2010.
 Public Safety Canada, Comprehensive Review of the First Nations Policing Program, National Report from the Community Engagement Sessions, 2010.
 Christian Leuprecht, Professor, Royal Military College of Canada and Queen’s University, Shaving the Iceberg: The Costs, Politics and Economics of Policing, Document provided to the Committee 27 August 2013. See also “The Curious Case of the Fall in Crime”, The Economist, 20 July 2013; SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 11 June 2013 (Christian Leuprecht, Professor, Department of Political Science, Royal Military College of Canada, appearing as an individual).
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 25 April 2013 (Rod Knecht, Chief of Police, Edmonton Police Service); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 23 April 2013 (Jean-Michel Blais, Chief of Police, Halifax Regional Police).
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 29 January 2013 (Mark Potter; SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 25 April 2013 (Rod Knecht); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 25 April 2013 (Geoff Gruson).
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 14 February 2013 (Curt Taylor Griffiths, Professor, School of Criminology, Coordinator, Police Studies Program, Simon Fraser University, appearing as an Individual).
 See, for example, The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage and Michael Code, Report of the Review of Large and Complex Criminal Case Procedures, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2008 and Report of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Charge Screening, Disclosure and Resolution Discussions [the Martin Report], Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 1993 and Proportionality Discussion Paper, by the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Justice System, 1 June 2012.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 31 January 2013; SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 23 April 2013 (Jean-Michel Blais). Such decisions are said to include R. v. Stinchcombe, R. v. Askov, R. v. Collins, R. v. Feeney and R. v. McNeil.
 D. Geoffrey Cowper QC, Chair, BC Justice Reform Initiative, Final Report to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General the Honourable Shirley Bond, August 27, 2012.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 30 April 2013 (Doug Lang); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 30 April 2013 (Robert Riches, Assistant Deputy Minister, Community Justice and Public Safety, Department of Justice).
 SECU, Evidence, 2nd Session, 41st Parliament, 21 November 2013 (Chief Lloyd Phillips, President of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador and Representative, Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake).
 George Gascón and Todd Foglesong, “Making Policing More Affordable: Managing Costs and Measuring Value in Policing,” New Perspectives in Policing, Harvard Kennedy School, National Institute of Justice, December 2010.
 KPMG is a private consulting firm that provides audit, tax, and advisory services.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 18 June 2013 (Mark Potter); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 18 June 2013 (Matthew Torigian, Chief of Police, Waterloo Regional Police Service).
 R.S.C., 1985, c. R-10.
 Document provided to the Committee during its travels, United Kingdom Home Office, Overview of policing in England and Wales, Presentation for the Canadian Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Presented by Tim Hallett, Police Reform Unit, 28 May 2013.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 7 February 2013 (Joseph Schafer, Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Southern Illinois University, appearing as an individual).
 Document provided to the Committee during its travels, The What Works centres, May 2013.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 23 April 2013 (Jim Chu); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 23 April 2013 (Rick Hanson); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 7 June 2012 (Steve Graham); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 18 June 2013 (Matthew Torigian).
 Document distributed to the Committee during its travels, Oakland Crime Reduction Project, Bratton Group Findings and Recommendations, 9 May 2013 [available in English only].
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 18 June 2013 (Matthew Torigian); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 7 February 2013 (Angela Workman-Stark, Director, Federal Policing Re-engineering, Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
 These two paragraphs were taken from the CrimeSOLUTIONS.gov website, “San Diego (Calif.) Drug Abatement Response Team (DART)”, Program Profile. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.
 This information was taken from START Evaluation Highlights, National Crime Prevention Services funds START Evaluation, Distributed to the Committee during its study.
 START Evaluation, Submitted 28 January 2013, Principal Investigator: Jonathan Franklin, Instructor, Department of Criminology, Department of Sociology, Research Assistant: Cara Isaak, PHD Candidate, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba.
 START Evaluation, Submitted 28 January 2013, Principal Investigator: Jonathan Franklin, Instructor, Department of Criminology, Department of Sociology, Research Assistant: Cara Isaak, PHD Candidate, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba.
 Tammy Thompson, START Program Coordinator, Request to Appear sent to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, 11 April 2013.
 START Evaluation, Submitted 28 January 2013, Principal Investigator: Jonathan Franklin, Instructor, Department of Criminology, Department of Sociology, Research Assistant: Cara Isaak, PHD Candidate, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba.
 Mental Health Commission of Canada, Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, 2012.
 See Appendix E of the report for a description of programs under this model.
 Document provided to the Committee during its travels, Calgary Police Service Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum, Addressing Crime Through Innovation, Viable Partnerships and Enforcement, Overview of CPS Programs, April 2013.
 Prince Albert Community Mobilization, Community Starts Within, Leaflet provided to the Committee during its travel.
 The CMPA partner agencies include: Social Services Child Protection, Social Services Income Assistance, Mental Health, Addition Services, Prince Albert Police Service, Catholic School Division, Saskatchewan Rivers School Division, Prince Albert Grand Council, RCMP, City of Prince Albert, Mobile Crisis, Public Health, Adult Probation, Youth Probation, Corrections, Prince Albert Fire Department, Bylaw Services, Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and the Prince Albert Housing Team. (Prince Albert Community Mobilization, Community Starts Within, Leaflet provided to the Committee during its travels).
 Prince Albert Community Mobilization, Community Starts Within, Leaflet provided to the Committee during its travels.
 SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 23 April 2013 (Peter Sloly); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 16 April 2013 (Dale McFee); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 12 February 2013 (Kimberley Sharkey, Deputy Mayor, City of Brooks, Alberta); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 31 January 2013 (Tom Stamatakis); SECU, Evidence, 1st Session, 41st Parliament, 25 April 2013 (Walter Tielman).