The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

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The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Zero2 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:03 pm

I know most members on this forum are Ontario based and as such may not be aware of (or how) the Community Peace Officer program in Alberta, the Community Safety Officer program in Saskatchewan or, the Constable program in Northwest Territory works.....for those of you that don't, essentially Cities, Counties and Municipalities hire staff internally into a tiered Policing program and they are given unique authorities, far beyond those of By-Law Officers in Ontario and British Columbia to enforce provincial legislation and in some case minor Criminal Code offences they classify as "Enhanced Authority".

The largest part of the work these Officers do is traffic enforcement in and around their respected municipalities. They also provide emergency response to fires, MVCs (where some agencies do the full MVC investigation and lay the charge) and person injuries, they execute court ordered arrest warrants, enforce noise complaints and break up parties, and enforce provincial liquor laws (like open public consumption and public impairment).....they do all of this all the while unarmed, save for OC, stick and handcuffs.

The Alberta Sheriffs who maintain the exact same authorities as these Officers only perform a few of the functions listed, yet they are armed. Alberta commercial vehicle enforcement is on the way to becoming armed as well. Yet, in a recent survey 75% of the municipalities in Alberta said "NO" to arming their Peace Officers.....despite the identified risks. Some agencies have completed risk assessments that clearly spell out the need for firearms.

To address over all training, each applicant is required to submit a lengthy application, background questionnaire, medical form, proof of successfully passing the PARE test and then sent for 8 weeks of training which is followed by numerous weeks of training with an FTO. Each agency maintains a central training program that certifies them and trains them, similar to OPC, to do their jobs and they enter their communities with a high caliber background.....unlike by-law Officers in Ontario and BC where they submit their resume and the next day theyre handed a basic uniform and told to get to work. Most agencies also cross train and nationally certify their Officers in commercial vehicle inspections as well, along with EVOC, RADAR LIDAR, Traffic Stop Tactics, Threat Pattern Recognition, PPCT, legislation, OC, Baton etc etc....as a BASIC requirement by law to do their jobs.

The fact that other agencies are armed who provide the exact same work and these Officers are not armed is a tragedy waiting to happen. The most recent Peace Officer to be killed on duty was strangled to death.

Curious as to what the membership here thinks about this.....or knows about this.....I've been keeping my eye on it quite closely because agencies are getting pretty hostile about the whole subject.

Thoughts!?

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby BSO20620 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:02 pm

I work as a Hospital Peace Officer in Alberta. For those doing traffic 100% agree with arming them. I would like see only one level of Community Peace Officer and stop the different CPO 1 and CPO II programs. Most of the hospital peace officers are CPO II with only Mental Health Act and Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act on our appointment. Our CPO 1's gave Gaming and Liquor, Trespassing Legislation, and the Public Health Act. We all deal with the same violent people and make the same arrest. It seems unfair that only a limited few are given the training at the Provincial staff college.
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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Punisher-One » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:28 pm

Why not just hire Police Officers to do the job? What's the point of having unarmed response to Police calls?
Literally every duty you listed is done by full Police Officers in Ontario.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby BravoZulu » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:41 pm

Punisher-One wrote:Why not just hire Police Officers to do the job? What's the point of having unarmed response to Police calls?
Literally every duty you listed is done by full Police Officers in Ontario.


Well the CPO's in Alberta to my knowledge do smaller towns and M.D.'s so it gives a town or M.D. control over how it's being protected in some capacity at least, without having to create its own police force. Also it's probably cheaper salary wise to have CPO's.
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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Punisher-One » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:22 pm

BravoZulu wrote:Well the CPO's in Alberta to my knowledge do smaller towns and M.D.'s so it gives a town or M.D. control over how it's being protected in some capacity at least, without having to create its own police force. Also it's probably cheaper salary wise to have CPO's.


CPO's carry radios and likely dispatchers, have vehicles, have lights, have radar units, have offices, have places they take arrested parties, etc. That is basically all you need to set up your Police service. Average CPO salary looks like it's $75,000/year. Add the costs of arming and the commensurate wage increase that a union would likely bargain for and you are coming pretty close to base RCMP salary.
I'm not knocking CPOs at all. I am just saying if they need to be armed - which I think they should be - then I think they should be made into local Police Services at that point. I also think Special Constables in Ontario should be Police and armed too though.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Zero2 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:46 pm

This is the modern direction of policing. Tiered Policing. Having CPO's, CSO's and Territorial Constables look after things like traffic, MVCs, arrest warrants, traffic control at emergency scenes noise complaints, liquor enforcement (all of which are provincial offences or by-laws) enable Police to look after strictly criminal issues.

A lot of the larger agencies (6+) Officers carry enhanced authorities for some minor criminal offences, but most agencies have 1 or 2 Officers and only work during the day during the week...and supplement local Police services in those functions during that time....most of these agencies base their Officers out of the local Police service detachments as well.

Police services in these areas are extremely grateful and happy to have these agencies take care of those functions.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Zero2 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:48 pm

Saskatchewan Community Safety Officers have only been around for a couple of years, Alberta CPOs have been around for about 10 or so years with S/Cst programs before and they like to say they pioneered the CPO program....however the NWT has had their Constable program in place since 1969. Long standing tiered policing works, they just need to be equipped properly for the job they do.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Punisher-One » Tue May 01, 2018 8:27 am

I have no doubt Police appreciate the extra manpower but really other than the lower salary these CPO's are doing a Police job without all the tools that Police have to protect themselves. Why take that risk and why would the municipality accept that responsibility? If they are doing arrests and warrants and MVCs and traffic stops they need to armed. Full stop.

Like I said I think all positions like this (Special Constables here in Ontario too) should be fully armed and tooled. If the resistance is that "they aren't technically Police so why arm them" then figure out a solution. Transit Police, Municipal Constable, University Police, something. These people are already screened and background checked and handed Crim Code authority.

Special Constable services in Toronto have already removed red/white lights from their vehicles. What's the point of having an Agency responsible for responding to issues on specific property if that Agency can't respond quickly to said emergencies and thus the Police go? Does that not defeat the purpose? I mean come on "powers that be" that's completely illogical. Either give them the authorities and tools (firearms, red/blues, tasers, training in PPV, etc) they need to really do the job or don't have them do it.

This isn't a knock on those working the job everyday. I want them to have all the tools and protections because they do a dangerous job very well.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Zero2 » Tue May 01, 2018 9:11 am

Absolutely right, on all counts. That's a major difference with CPOs, CSOs and Territorial Csts from S/Csts in Ontario. THey all have the authorities needed to do their jobs (traffic, red/blues, emerg response etc) I can't for life of me figure why Ontario wouldn't give their S/Csts those authorities.....I read a post MTO Officers in Ontario, that they have red/white lights to stop vehicles, but they cannot close the gap quickly or breach any traffic laws to effect their authorities....that in itself is ridiculous! "Sure go on out there and pull over highway traffic....but don't speed and don't cut any red lights"....give me a break.....this is where western CPOs get an edge because they can do all that. They patrol major highways and county roads with posted speed limits of 110kmh.....imagine not being able to go after someone who is speeding....laughable at best, fortunately that's not the case for them.....but.....a shared pain between east and west is not being armed. Like you said, they've already been vetted, screened, security checked and psych evaled....the next step is equipping and training, and they aren't because Municipal bosses have a panic attack everytime its mentioned. Nevermind that these people come across firearms everyday.

The biggest grinding rub is that Alberta Sheriffs who have the same authorities as CPOs no more or less, and actually do less than CPOs and have a slightly lower risk category as CPOs are armed....how the **** did that happen??

Sad part is CPOs are staying quiet on the matter for fear of being disciplined or losing their authorties...IE "Well if its too dangerous we'll just remove your appointments" and THAT is ridiculous.

Not sure what its going to take to get these people the tools they need.....but I hope its not going to take yet another LODD

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby BravoZulu » Tue May 01, 2018 12:10 pm

Punisher-One wrote:
BravoZulu wrote:Well the CPO's in Alberta to my knowledge do smaller towns and M.D.'s so it gives a town or M.D. control over how it's being protected in some capacity at least, without having to create its own police force. Also it's probably cheaper salary wise to have CPO's.


CPO's carry radios and likely dispatchers, have vehicles, have lights, have radar units, have offices, have places they take arrested parties, etc. That is basically all you need to set up your Police service. Average CPO salary looks like it's $75,000/year. Add the costs of arming and the commensurate wage increase that a union would likely bargain for and you are coming pretty close to base RCMP salary.
I'm not knocking CPOs at all. I am just saying if they need to be armed - which I think they should be - then I think they should be made into local Police Services at that point. I also think Special Constables in Ontario should be Police and armed too though.


I think they should all be armed too. But some towns only have one CPO, so if you had a police department you'd likely have more people because there aren't many one man detachments anymore. I think there might be one actually unless it's closed now. These areas are also already protected by the RCMP in theory. I think if they just made everyone police then they'd stop doing the bylaw stuff which is part of the point of the CPO's. Also if you have an RCMP detachment you have less say over how you're policed. With CPO's the town can dictate how it's protected.

It's the way things are going. Police are expensive. My city department even has an operational support section to gather evidence and take statements etc, without having to get a regular member to do it. By far the largest line item on my property tax goes to policing. I think it's almost 50% of my property tax goes to the police, but I haven't looked since last year so don't quote me.

Also I'm sure if these towns could have their own police departments AND have it make fiscal sense then I'm sure they'd be doing it already. The fact that all of these towns use CPO's tells me that it doesn't make sense to have a police department.
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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Zero2 » Tue May 01, 2018 2:40 pm

Theres definitely a cost factor to it....but salaries are right on par. I know of many CPOs that cleared 100k, so its not a salary pay out issue, definitely general admin....but I do know of an agency in Alberta that has over 20 CPOs and admin support staff.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby AHP309 » Tue May 01, 2018 6:12 pm

Zero2 wrote:Saskatchewan Community Safety Officers have only been around for a couple of years, Alberta CPOs have been around for about 10 or so years with S/Cst programs before and they like to say they pioneered the CPO program....however the NWT has had their Constable program in place since 1969. Long standing tiered policing works, they just need to be equipped properly for the job they do.


With all due respect, Alberta Special Constables were first formed in the 1920's, where they reported to the Alberta Provincial Police.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Zero2 » Tue May 01, 2018 8:41 pm

Yep for sure! I think I mentioned that above how they started that way, but I think the program was much much smaller and there were limited authorities.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby AHP309 » Tue May 01, 2018 10:25 pm

Before 1987, Alberta provincial special constables had appointments that said "all Provincial Statutes" and then listed any Federal Legislation they were appointed for. There were no limited authorities.

The bigger counties employed "police officers" that were S/cst's with all provincial statutes and full CCC authorities.

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Re: The subject of arming western Community Peace Officers

Postby Rareform » Thu May 03, 2018 2:34 pm

They should be armed - the end.

AHP309 wrote:Before 1987, Alberta provincial special constables had appointments that said "all Provincial Statutes" and then listed any Federal Legislation they were appointed for. There were no limited authorities.

The bigger counties employed "police officers" that were S/cst's with all provincial statutes and full CCC authorities.


I wonder why they changed that...
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