Police Foundations and Law Enforcement Program of Study

by rogerclowater

I started my law enforcement career right out of Holland College’s Atlantic Police Academy by going to work in Saint John, New Brunswick. During my early years I attended many in-service training programs. The prevailing opinion at the time regarding careers was that it will be normal for our generation to have three or four careers.

When I was presented with this idea I began planning what mine would look like. After some careful consideration I thought, ten years in policing, ten years in law, then I would teach at either a police academy or in law school for another ten years to round out my career.

I never made it to law school because both times I wrote the LSAT’s and applied to law school I was never in the upper percentile and got overlooked.

There was a role in policing I began to look more closely at and that was the work of a Public Information Officer. I took the steps to pursue this Public Relations training and assume that role. I graduated from Seneca Colleges Corporate Communications Management Program with High Honors and recognized for my commitment to professionalism with the Doris Whiteside Award from the Canadian Public Relations Society. A few years later while completing a Master’s of Science degree in Public Relations at Stirling University in Scotland, an opportunity to teach the Research Program at Seneca College in Toronto presented itself. I was thrilled!

This brings me to the point of this particular installment on my Learning to Teach blog. I have completed what many would say is a complete circle. I am now teaching, not in public relations, as I have for a number of years, but in a police foundations / law enforcement program at the National Academy of Health and Business and it has surpassed my expectations and interest. I liked teaching public relations but this is even better because I am teaching students about my first love… policing! It is not work, it is a calling or something higher… a purpose!

Here are some of the subjects I cover over a 43 week period to introduce students to law enforcement and the criminal justice system. In the coming blogs I will deconstruct some of these topics. Please check back one in a while or follow for updates.

Introduction to Police Foundations

This section will introduce the student to law enforcement and the criminal justice system. They will also understand the duties and responsibilities of police administrations, services and agencies. Subjects include:

    • Police terminology
    • The history, role and function of policing in Canada
    • Corrections
    • Contemporary issues
    • Police administrations, services and agencies

Criminology

This section will introduce the student to the study of criminology and the role of law enforcement. The student will be able to define and understand the concepts of burden of proof and standard of proof. Subjects include:

    • Criminology
    • Criminal justice
    • Law enforcement
    • Community Based Policing

Hierarchy of Laws and the Canadian Constitution

This section will introduce the student to the structure and content of the Canadian Constitution in order to understand how laws are made. The relationship of the hierarchical structure that relates to specific offenses holds practical applications for law enforcement. Subjects include:

    • The Canadian Constitution – An Overview
    • How laws are made
    • Structure, function and powers of the federal, provincial and municipal governments

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms/Law and The Criminal Code

This section will examine the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with specific focus on the protection of human rights as they relate to law enforcement. Subjects include:

    • Study of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    • Case Study
    • Law and the Criminal Code
    • Interpretation of the Criminal Code
    • Criminal and Civil Law

Laws of Evidence

This section will introduce the student to the laws of evidence required to prove an offense. The student will be able to distinguish various types of evidence and examine the admissibility of each. At the end of this session the student will be able to explain the role of evidence law and the roles of the judge, jury and counsel with respect to the evidence. Subjects include:

    • Laws of Evidence
    • Disclosure Obligation
    • Corroborative Evidence
    • Admissibility of Evidence
    • Physical and Documentary Evidence
    • Oral evidence and witnesses

Elements of Offences

This section will introduce the student to specific elements of offenses and the role of case law. The student will study the differences in offenses to persons, property and the public. Subjects include:

    • Elements
    • Offenses against persons, property, public order
    • Proving the offense
    • Criminal offenses
    • Domestic violence
    • Facts in Issue
    • Hate Crimes/Ethnic Diversity

The Criminal Code, Federal and Provincial Statutes

This session will introduce the student to the Canadian Criminal Code and Federal and Provincial Statutes. At the end of this session the student will be able to interpret the Criminal Code and understand the theories of civil law, prosecution and defense as they relate to properly obtained evidence. Subjects include:

    • The Criminal Code
    • Federal and Provincial Statutes
    • Theory of Civil Law
    • Examination vs. Cross Examination Theory of Prosecution Theory of Defense

Prejudice Hearsay and Privilege

This section will examine how prejudice, hearsay and privilege affect the outcome of law enforcement and the probative value of evidence. Subjects include:

    • Prejudice
    • Hearsay, privilege
    • Improperly obtained evidence
    • Probative value of evidence
    • Case study

Young Offenders

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the Young Offenders Act and Child and Family Services Act in order to discuss and analyze current relevant issues as they relate to law enforcement. Subjects include:

    • The Young Offenders Act Historical Overview
    • Child and Family Services Act Sentencing and Corrections
    • Alternative Measures

Written and Verbal Communications

At the end of this session the student will be able to communicate accurately, persuasively and credibly with individuals, groups and multi-disciplinary teams. The student will also be able to demonstrate the ability to apply and practice professional business and legal writing skills. Subjects include:

    • Theories of communication
    • Effective English and listening skills
    • Making effective presentations
    • Interviewing for investigation
    • Written communications
    • Business and legal writing skills
    • Maintaining an accurate diary

Psychology

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of psychology and how it affects behavior, implement team-building methods and develop a practical approach to dealing with difficult behavior. Subjects include:

    • Psychology
    • Factors affecting human behavior
    • Cognition, perception and motivation
    • Team building
    • Interpersonal relationships
    • Theories of criminal and deviant behavior

Sociology and Ethics

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate and practice occupational and professional ethics and understand social issues by demonstrating sensitivity to cultural differences.

    • Theory of social behavior
    • Types of functions of social services
    • Community programs
    • Issues in diversity
    • History of race, ethnic relations in Canada concepts of culture, ethnicity and race
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Ontario Human Rights Code

Principles of Ethical Reasoning

At the end of this session the student will be able to apply ethical reasoning ability to their personal and professional decision-making process. Subjects include:

    • Principles of ethical reasoning
    • Basis of moral reasoning and ethical behavior
    • Occupational and professional ethics

Criminal statistics and trends

At the end of this session the students will understand how to read and analyze criminal statistics and trends. The student will demonstrate the ability to collect evidence while respecting the rights of the witness. Subjects include:

    • Criminal statistics and trends
    • Psychological and social impact of crime and violence
    • Legal rights of the witnesses and of the accused
    • Respecting Rights in the Collection of Evidence
    • Search warrants and wire taps

Public Administration

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate the ability to understand and apply theories of public administration and public sector management. Subjects include:

    • Theory of public administration
    • Theory of public sector management
    • Public administration and the political process

Acts and Regulations – Offenses

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the acts and regulations that create offenses and how they relate to law enforcement. Subjects include:

    • Controlled Drug and Substance Act Young offenders Act
    • Provincial Offences Act Highway Traffic Act
    • Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
    • Trespass to Property Act
    • Liquor License Act & Regulations

Acts and Regulations Administrative

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the acts and regulations that are administrative in nature and the role of law enforcement. Subjects include:

    • Police Services Act
    • Mental Health Act
    • Tenant Protection Act
    • Coroners Act
    • Child and Family Services Act

First Nations People

At the end of this session the student will be able to understand social issues related to First Nations People and demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences and laws. Subjects include:

    • Laws, demographics, culture and current issues
    • Ethnic composition and the history of race relations in Canada
    • Culture and sensitivity training
    • Racially motivated conflict
    • First nations policing, use of force, law and legal issues
    • History, sovereignty, land titles, cultural history, current issues

Police Procedures

This section has been designed to introduce the student to basic police procedures and prepare them to be able to promote and facilitate partnerships within the community. At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate the ability to exercise officer safety in use of force training. The student will also demonstrate the ability to manage traffic and understand traffic law and issues, affect an arrest, issue a warrant, interview witnesses, obtain evidence, maintain a diary, conduct an investigation and maintain a personal fitness program. Subjects include:

    • Basic police procedures
    • Officer safety and use of force training
    • Community Based Policing
    • Fitness
    • Powers of arrest, arrest authorities
    • Search and seizure authorities
    • Warrants
    • Interviews, statements and confessions
    • Police discretion – implications
    • Police governance and accountability
    • Disclosure obligations to the public
    • Police management and labour relations
    • Police Services Board
    • Police complaints
    • Interviewing and investigation
    • Legal issues in investigation
    • Observation and listening skills
    • Maintaining a diary

Community Policing

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of community based policing and facilitate partnerships within the community. Subjects include:

    • Theory of community policing
    • Models of community policing
    • Public relations
    • Alternative dispute resolution strategies
    • Community involvement in dispute resolution
    • Crime prevention strategies
    • Volunteerism

Conducting an Investigation

At the end of this session the student will be able to collect and preserve evidence and demonstrate a working knowledge of rules and evidence. Subjects include:

    • The preservation, collection and continuity of physical evidence
    • Evidentiary value
    • Investigation of death
    • Forensic evidence

Lifestyle and Stress Management

At the end of this session the student will be able to maintain a personal fitness program, demonstrate problem solving and conflict management skills, understand and follow standards of occupational health and safety issues, and demonstrate team building skills in group dynamics. Subjects include:

    • Stress management
    • Lifestyle management
    • Substance abuse
    • Nutrition

Occupational Health and Safety/Tactical Communication

    • Occupational health and safety
    • WHMIS
    • Team building
    • Dealing with aggression
    • Conflict management
    • Theory of tactical communication
    • Mediation
    • Conflict resolution
    • Interpersonal and group dynamics

Traffic Control

At the end of this session the student will be able to demonstrate the ability to manage traffic and understand traffic law and issues. Subjects include:

    • Highway Traffic Act and Accident Investigation Traffic law enforcement
    • Public relations
    • Crowd control
    • Traffic management
    • Traffic law and issues

Job Preparation and Preparation for the Standardized Police Examination

At the end of this session the student will be prepared to write the Standardized Police examination as approved by the Police Learning System Advisory Committee. The candidate will be prepared with a professional resume and interviewing skills. Subjects include:

    • Preparing a Resume
    • Interviewing techniques

Practical Placement

During the on-the-job practical work placement, the student will be required to participate in a volunteer community based project focusing on one or more of the above modules.

Advertisements