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Municipal Policing in Canada - A Developmental Perspective

NCJ Number
Canadian Police College Volume: 8 Issue: 4 Dated: (1984) Pages: 315-385
T J Juliani; C K Talbot; C H S Jayewardene
Date Published
71 pages
This text investigates the duties and functions of the municipal police forces in Canada with attention to the influence of environmental factors on these duties and functions.
The origins of municipal policing in Canada are traced, and significant events in the history of municipal policing are identified. Municipal police forces are shown to have been established at a time when the country was moving from a stage when its economic activity was determined by Britain's demand for raw material to a stage when the infrastructure for industrialization was being developed. The duties of the municipal police force are analyzed over time, and three basic functions are identified: (1) intervention in and prevention of open conflict between groups, (2) establishment of moral order, and (3) apprehension and punishment of criminals. Changes in Canadian society in the 20th century, brought about by the influx of immigrants, the shifts in population from rural to urban areas, and by growth and development of economic activities, are chronicled. The performance of duties by the municipal police is shown to be related to their interpretation of peace and order; their interpretation is revealed to have remained the same over time. Nonetheless, the changing nature of Canadian society is shown to have forced changes in attitudes and in strategy. Thus, the duties of the municipal police have not changed, but the way they perform those duties has. Included are 220 references.