Essay on Community Policing in Canada

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Community Policing in Canada

 Community policing is a relatively new model of service delivery that is employed by the majority of police forces across Canada.  Community policing however, is not a “new” approach, it is more correctly a renewal or re-emergence of the old approach developed in Metropolitan London (Leighton & Normandeau, p.21).

The amendments to the current system are evident in Leighton & Normandeau’s (1990) review of the future of community policing.  The ideas behind the move to community policing was;

 “a vision in which the ultimate consumers of police services, the citizens themselves, have input into the setting of priorities by their local department and play an active role in dealing with crime and other community problems… policing then becomes an interactive endeavour between the police and the community rather than a unilateral activity, p.1).”

The vision for the future of community policing sees the police and community working together.  This differs from the more traditional/hierarchical model where the police serve as the law-enforcing authority in the community. Instead we will see the two groups (police & community) as proactive partners. The move to community policing entails major restructuring and changes within the existing hierarchical structure.  Duties of line level officers changed from more general duties to a specific area assignment.  Community policing gives these officers are given a sense of empowerment and responsibility.  To more adequately illustrate the changes that an agency has to undergo in the transition, the specific example of the Edmonton Police Service will be discussed.  Griffiths, Whitelaw & Parent conducted a case study of the Edmonton Police Service(EP...

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...ence in them,  (2)there was a noticeable improvement amongst the morale, motivation and job satisfaction of the officers involved,  (3)crime levels decreased, (4) there was an increase in clearance rates, and (5) a reduction in complaint line calls, which led to a decrease in dispatches.  Overall, it can be concluded that the EPS reform towards community policing was advantageous for both the members of the community as well as the police officers involved.


C. Griffiths, B. Whitelaw, R. Parent.
1999  Canadian Police Work.  Toronto:  Nelson.

Leighton, Barry & Normandeau
1990 “A Vision of the Future of Policing in Canada:  Police Challenge 2000.”  In, Canadian Community Policing Series.  Ontario:  Ministry of the Solicitor General and Correctional Services of Ontario.

“Community Policing Information”web site,

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