Archive for the ‘Police history’ Category

How We Remember

In Tuesday I was in Ottawa on business. When the meeting ended I walked to Parliament Hill to the memorial for Canadian police and peace officers killed in the line of duty. It was late afternoon in bright sunshine. Few people were in the area. The names of the fallen are etched in glass panels against a fence adjacent to the Memorial Pavilion.  Running my eye down each panel I searched out the names of officers who lost their lives during my experience, either from personal knowledge or attendance Read more [...]

Passing the Torch

  My friend and colleague Brian Sawyer passed away on September 30, 2012 in his 82nd year.  Brian was a 21 year veteran of the RCMP who left that force at the rank of Superintendent to accept an appointment as Chief of Police of Calgary in 1973.  No sooner in office he began the process of change that placed Calgary in the forefront of police reform.  He introduced zone policing, dividing the city into four districts of 28 zones as an early adaptation of community policing.  Read more [...]

Policing: Art or Science?

When Sir Robert Peel created the first civil police force in 1829, he clearly envisioned the service as a craft and not a profession.  The tasks assigned to these forerunners of modern policing were in the gritty business of keeping the public peace and bringing thieves and other law breakers to justice.  In fact, Peel designed the starting pay scales so low to ensure that men accustomed to a gentile life would not be attracted. (A condition that later triggered the first police strike.)  Read more [...]