Archive for the ‘Policing’ Category

Somebodies and Nobodies

A friend and colleague retired as Chief of Police in a mid-West U.S. city.  He became a police consultant and travelled often.  One night he returned from a trip and took a seat in the shuttle bus to the airport parking lot.  One other man joined him and after a searching look, said, “Didn’t you used to be somebody?”  My friend replied, “Yes, and someday I hope to be somebody again.”  Interesting question: If you are not a somebody, does this make you a nobody?  And who gets Read more [...]

Organizational Character

During my term as Chief of Police for the Region of Peel I had many reasons to be proud of the accomplishments of members of the service, often related to success with police operations. At other times it was satisfaction with attaining an organizational goal. For all our success and awards, in my view our most inspiring achievement was development of a Statement of Organizational Character, because its purpose was to recognize and elevate the status of every sworn officer and member of police staff Read more [...]

Peel’s Principles Today

Conceived by British statesman Sir Robert Peel in 1829, nine principles of policing have served as the cornerstone of police practice in countries with governance systems derived from the United Kingdom. Re-stated, they are: Peel’s Nine Principles of Policing To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and by severity of legal punishment. To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public Read more [...]

The Poor People’s Police

There is much talk of income inequality in Canada.  According to Globe and Mail columnist Jeffery Simpson, between 1980 and 2009 the top 20 per cent of the population captured more than half of Canada’s income growth. The bottom 20 per cent could claim just one per cent. Most gains have gone to the very small group of “super-rich.” In both Canada and the United States politicians are beginning to focus on income disparity, calling attention to the relative failure of the middle class to sustain Read more [...]

Policing the Civil Society

Millions of people in democratic countries go about their business on a daily basis with no police intervention in their lives and most often no police officer in sight. The essential element that enables this cordial state of affairs is public civility, that passingly casual and perfunctory politeness characterizing the daily relationships between strangers in public places; showing regard to others in a courteous manner. The result is an agreeable self-correcting social environment that respects Read more [...]

Colour Me Miffed

Every now and again something comes up that really sticks in your craw.  One of my pet peeves relates to data collection practices for research on racially biased policing.  Thirteen years ago many police services in the United States were impelled into various data collection schemes mandated by law.  Most continue to this day and there are two more recent examples in Canada.  The objective is to determine the extent to which enforcement actions by police are related to racial bias.  There Read more [...]

The Elegant Solution

The word elegant is most often used as an adjective meaning fine quality.  It also implies refinement and simplicity.  To an engineer, an elegant solution means solving a problem with the least possible waste and effort.  For a mathematician or a computer programmer an elegant solution is one that delivers the desired effect with the smallest or simplest effort.  Elegant solutions are also pursued by leaders of organizations.  The criteria are the same, that is, the search is for initiatives Read more [...]