Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

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Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby jasonskald » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:13 am

Hello Blueline,

As you may know, bylaw enforcement in British Columbia is largely unregulated, with no provincial standards for recruitment, training, equipment, uniforms, professionalism and conduct. British Columbia also does not clearly establish through legislation that bylaw enforcement officers are Peace Officers. As bylaw enforcement officers are tasked with carrying out increasingly complex and dangerous duties such as inspecting controlled substance grow operations, removing homeless encampments and working with individuals with addiction and severe mental health disorders, this lack of standardization may become a greater issue in the years to come.

In contrast to British Columbia, Alberta has passed legislation (Alberta Peace Officer Act) to create Community Peace Officers. Through greater training, expanded powers and authorities and clear legislation establishing their Peace Officer status, Community Peace Officers are better able to manage conflict, ensure public safety, enforce liquor and traffic violations and achieve compliance with municipal bylaws and ordinances.

https://www.solgps.alberta.ca/programs_and_services/public_security/peace_officers/Pages/default.aspx

As policing costs continue to rise throughout British Columbia and Canada, authorizing the establishment of Community Peace Officers is one possible cost-effective method to supplement and complement overstretched police forces. As front-line officers who are visible and active in their communities, Community Peace Officers could potentially protect public safety by addressing community concerns such as public intoxication, homelessness, individuals with addiction and mental health disorders, petty crime and anti-social behaviour, freeing up police constables to respond to more serious crimes.

In 2013, British Columbia released the "British Columbia Policing and Community Safety Plan", which states on page 28 that "the full spectrum of law enforcement and public safety functions (special provincial constables, auxiliaries, by-law officers, private security) should be examined
in terms of their roles and mandates to potentially reduce the burdens and costs of policing".

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/criminal-justice/police/publications/community/bc-policing-plan.pdf

Do you think that Community Peace Officers will be introduced in BC? To those of you who work in Alberta, do you have any thoughts on the Community Peace Officer model and its usefulness?

regards,
jasonskald

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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby John014 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:43 am

jasonskald wrote:
Do you think that Community Peace Officers will be introduced in BC?


No, not at this time.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Sk82 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:52 am

I don't see it happening in BC. Alberta is a lot more pro law enforcement than BC. BC appears to keep peace officer powers for either police or provincial government departments(ie. corrections, conservation, cvse). Alberta had a long history of special constables long before the peace officer act was brought in.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Boxer Dogs » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:45 pm

There is case law in BC that says Bylaw Officers are Peace Officers. I have noticed that some Bylaw Enforcement departments have "Peace Officer" on their shoulder flashes. One case that I have a link for is Regina V. TURKO. http://liboa.homestead.com/Articles/Tur ... 001120.pdf

As for a Community Peace Officer program like Alberta? That would be nice.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby IndictableChaser » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:36 pm

As previously stated. Bylaw/minicipal law enforcement/ etc ARE already peace officers. Previous court rulings (yes multiple) only serve to solidify that fact. Now specific legislation provincially is a different story. I'm not too familiar with the province of British Columbia, however the Alberta peace officer act is a little bit misleading. As community peace officers cannot enforce the criminal code of Canada (495) despite being labelled as peace officers only (494) as was explained to me by a former traffic Sherrif from Alberta.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Sk82 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:32 pm

IndictableChaser wrote:As previously stated. Bylaw/minicipal law enforcement/ etc ARE already peace officers. Previous court rulings (yes multiple) only serve to solidify that fact. Now specific legislation provincially is a different story. I'm not too familiar with the province of British Columbia, however the Alberta peace officer act is a little bit misleading. As community peace officers cannot enforce the criminal code of Canada (495) despite being labelled as peace officers only (494) as was explained to me by a former traffic Sherrif from Alberta.


It's strictly due to their appointment. Every AB peace officers appointment sets out exactly which acts they can enforce. The criminal code isn't one of those acts.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Von » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:14 pm

Sk82 wrote:
IndictableChaser wrote:As previously stated. Bylaw/minicipal law enforcement/ etc ARE already peace officers. Previous court rulings (yes multiple) only serve to solidify that fact. Now specific legislation provincially is a different story. I'm not too familiar with the province of British Columbia, however the Alberta peace officer act is a little bit misleading. As community peace officers cannot enforce the criminal code of Canada (495) despite being labelled as peace officers only (494) as was explained to me by a former traffic Sherrif from Alberta.


It's strictly due to their appointment. Every AB peace officers appointment sets out exactly which acts they can enforce. The criminal code isn't one of those acts.


I've always found this weird. The courts have consistently ruled that basically all LEOs, regardless of jurisdiction, are Peace Officers, yet for whatever reason that doesn't confer them 495 & other peace officer powers.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Von » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:15 pm

Sk82 wrote:I don't see it happening in BC. Alberta is a lot more pro law enforcement than BC. BC appears to keep peace officer powers for either police or provincial government departments(ie. corrections, conservation, cvse). Alberta had a long history of special constables long before the peace officer act was brought in.


Despite AB being arguably more pro LE, they don't give their CPOs (I think Calgary Transit is the only exception) 495 powers. Special Constables with 495 powers are very common in BC, ON and even QC.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Rareform » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:55 pm

As far as I am aware, BC Ministry of Justice and SG/AG were doing an audit and/or study on all provincial law enforcement (Bylaw, SPCs, provincial Peace Officers and security) for the purposes of standardization, off-loading certain duties from police onto other agencies, etc. They were also looking at other provinces models and data based on their programs.

To my knowlegde a municipal peace officer program pilot was done in 5 communities around the province based on the Alberta CPO program.

The audit/study and and 3 year pilot project were canned earlier this year.

TL;DR - Not in the near future. Province looked at the idea but put their study on hold.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Von » Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:26 am

Simplimatics wrote:As far as I am aware, BC Ministry of Justice and SG/AG were doing an audit and/or study on all provincial law enforcement (Bylaw, SPCs, provincial Peace Officers and security) for the purposes of standardization, off-loading certain duties from police onto other agencies, etc. They were also looking at other provinces models and data based on their programs.

To my knowlegde a municipal peace officer program pilot was done in 5 communities around the province based on the Alberta CPO program.

The audit/study and and 3 year pilot project were canned earlier this year.

TL;DR - Not in the near future. Province looked at the idea but put their study on hold.


With the election impending now is the right time to put the pressure on the government to act. Those who are politically involved can actually get a lot of good work done on policy just through grassroots activism.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Code44 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:15 pm

I don't know about having CPOs in BC but BC gov should definitely look at having some kind of security guard or officer program in ALL of their hospitals like they do in AB. It would help out both police and hospital staff a lot.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby IndictableChaser » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:27 pm

Code44 wrote:I don't know about having CPOs in BC but BC gov should definitely look at having some kind of security guard or officer program in ALL of their hospitals like they do in AB. It would help out both police and hospital staff a lot.

Let's start with allowing security staff to carry batons after completing the perceived training set by the province.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby ShadowBrooks » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:22 pm

IndictableChaser wrote:
Code44 wrote:I don't know about having CPOs in BC but BC gov should definitely look at having some kind of security guard or officer program in ALL of their hospitals like they do in AB. It would help out both police and hospital staff a lot.

Let's start with allowing security staff to carry batons after completing the perceived training set by the province.


All my years working security in a hospital.. cuffs and a baton were not required and I would fear that some of my co-workers would be unable to use either of the two when needed, or use them when unnecessary. Having a peace officer in some of the hospitals like AB would be somewhat of a blessing, their is legislation that exists for that to be a reality but I've only heard it done in the Island Health Authority.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby Rareform » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:35 am

ShadowBrooks wrote:
IndictableChaser wrote:
Code44 wrote:I don't know about having CPOs in BC but BC gov should definitely look at having some kind of security guard or officer program in ALL of their hospitals like they do in AB. It would help out both police and hospital staff a lot.

Let's start with allowing security staff to carry batons after completing the perceived training set by the province.


All my years working security in a hospital.. cuffs and a baton were not required and I would fear that some of my co-workers would be unable to use either of the two when needed, or use them when unnecessary. Having a peace officer in some of the hospitals like AB would be somewhat of a blessing, their is legislation that exists for that to be a reality but I've only heard it done in the Island Health Authority.


That seems to depend. I have met a few security guards here and there who carried and actually used cuffs responsibly. I am also aware of some hospitals that required their security staff carry hand cuffs and/or issue body armor to their guards wherein such gear actually ended up being useful in some incidents. Having said that, for those of us who came from security, I think we all knew someone who was useless in a physical altercation and/or would use defensive tools improperly if issued such equipment even after completing mandated training.

Having said that, I do think that increasing the amount of UoF tools available to security (if it meant increasing the training standard and quality of guard) isn't a bad idea.

As for the Peace Officers, Alberta actually modeled their hospital peace officer set up after Vancouver Island Health Authority, since they did it first. VIHA has been back and forth with returning Peace Officer status to their guards over the past several years. Only time will tell..
Last edited by Rareform on Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will British Columbia adopt Community Peace Officers?

Postby NWTLEO » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:36 am

The CPO program in Alberta has been HIGHLY successful, minority naysayers aside. Saskatchewan has recently adopted a CSO program that has taken alot of tasks away from local Police. NWT has had a CPO style program in effect for at least 30 years as well. I think its a program that could work well in all Provinces, problem is there a minority of head shakers that unfortunately call the shots, and a majority of support for it....so chances of it happening are slim to none.


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