City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

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City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Zybero » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:49 am

I was wondering if anyone could clarify something for me. I am a deputized Private Property Officer with the City of Ottawa and I am fully aware that if a Bylaw officer is assaulted while carrying out their job it is classified as assaulting a peace officer. My question is this, if I am assaulted while carrying out my job is it also classified the same? I phoned Ottawa Police and they told me to phone the city. Phoned the city and they directed me to the below piece of the deputization program but the operator couldn't give me a for sure answer as she and her colleagues haven't really had the issue come up before.

Each nominee for Deputization Program shall:
Have been appointed by Ottawa City Council as a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer to enforce relevant provisions of the Traffic and parking Bylaw Number 2003-530 and the Fire Routes Bylaw Number 2003-499, as applicable;


My understanding is that assaulting me while working would also be classified as assault on a peace officer, but I was just looking for input from others if anyone is willing to give theirs.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby scairns » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:50 pm

From what I've heard with full-time bylaw officers that have been assaulted on-duty, the charge really depends on the the crown in the area. Some use assualt PO, some just call it assault. Its just one more thing for the crown has to establish and the defence will try to twist around.

In either event, anyone intent on assaulting you isnt likely to change their mind because you tell them that they will be charged with assault PO instead of assault. I would focus my efforts into diffusing/escaping the situation.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Bald Man » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:03 pm

scairns wrote:From what I've heard with full-time bylaw officers that have been assaulted on-duty, the charge really depends on the the crown in the area. Some use assualt PO, some just call it assault. Its just one more thing for the crown has to establish and the defence will try to twist around.

In either event, anyone intent on assaulting you isnt likely to change their mind because you tell them that they will be charged with assault PO instead of assault. I would focus my efforts into diffusing/escaping the situation.


No, it depends on what police officer lays the charge. Some lay assault PO, some regular assault. It probably never occurred to the average cop that a bylaw officer is a peace officer, therefore they wouldn't think to lay that charge. I've seen them make this mistake with special constables but are corrected before the brief goes in. the confusion with us is because we are classified as civilian members, just like a receptionist, even though we are sworn uniform members, they still don't see it that way, so this creates confusion.

Section 15 of the Police Services Act does say,

15. (1) A municipal council may appoint persons to enforce the by-laws of the municipality. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, s. 15 (1).

Peace officers

(2) Municipal law enforcement officers are peace officers for the purpose of enforcing municipal by-laws. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, s. 15 (2); 1997, c. 8, s. 13.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Sk82 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:24 pm

I think it would depend on the situation. I've run into the situation a few times at my S/Cst. gig at the U of S.

If the assault happened while I was enforcing an act(i.e. Traffic Safety Act) which is an act I have peace officer status under, the Police officer attending would lay the assault peace officer charge.

If the assault happened while I was escorting someone off the property, which was more agent of the land lord not peace officer status related, then the police officer attending would lay the regular assault charge.
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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Bald Man » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:35 pm

Soon2BRCMP wrote:I think it would depend on the situation. I've run into the situation a few times at my S/Cst. gig at the U of S.

If the assault happened while I was enforcing an act(i.e. Traffic Safety Act) which is an act I have peace officer status under, the Police officer attending would lay the assault peace officer charge.

If the assault happened while I was escorting someone off the property, which was more agent of the land lord not peace officer status related, then the police officer attending would lay the regular assault charge.


So if a police officer was assisting paramedics with a patient and the patient kicked the police officer, is the police officer in the execution of his/her duties? Would it be assault police or regular assault? What is the exact wording on your appointment? I think if you're on duty, clearly in uniform and on university property you are a peace officer just like a police officer would be while on duty whether he or she is enforcing an act or not.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Mongo » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:52 pm

opp2 wrote:You'd get farther and better results if they are simply charged with assault. Everyone knows assault peace officer/police is an expendable charge.

Sure, but it would sound much more cool to him if it were assault peace officer.
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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Bald Man » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:41 pm

Bald Man wrote:
Soon2BRCMP wrote:I think it would depend on the situation. I've run into the situation a few times at my S/Cst. gig at the U of S.

If the assault happened while I was enforcing an act(i.e. Traffic Safety Act) which is an act I have peace officer status under, the Police officer attending would lay the assault peace officer charge.

If the assault happened while I was escorting someone off the property, which was more agent of the land lord not peace officer status related, then the police officer attending would lay the regular assault charge.


So if a police officer was assisting paramedics with a patient and the patient kicked the police officer, is the police officer in the execution of his/her duties? Would it be assault police or regular assault? What is the exact wording on your appointment? I think if you're on duty, clearly in uniform and on university property you are a peace officer just like a police officer would be while on duty whether he or she is enforcing an act or not.


Just to be clear, I don't think a police officer stops being a police officer while on duty just because he/she is not enforcing laws every second of the day. If you're in the execution of your duties (on duty) and some assaults you regardless of how you came in contact with that person, it's assault PO. In regards to the example above with University specials, I think the same would apply to the University special constable while on university property whether enforcing a law or not, you're still a special constable regardless, on duty and on property. If you're on duty and step off property, then your not a special constable/peace officer.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby GPZ » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:34 am

Who cares? There's no cash prize coming your way because someone got charged with assault PO. And as opp2 already said, assault PO gets tossed all the time. All defence has to do is create doubt that the suspect knew the victim was a peace officer in the execution of his/her duties, and it's gonzo. Better off doing common assault and trying to build aggravating circumstances that the victim was simply doing his/her job at the time.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Sk82 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:13 am

I found a thread from a while back. People where talking about the "on duty at the time" of the assault topic.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=24471&hilit=assault+peace+officer

Our appointment is a very different S/Cst. appointment than what the S/Cst's in Ontario have. We don't have any criminal code status other than Section 254 which allows us to made a breath demand. Our S/Cst's appointment covers lots of provincial acts like Traffic Safety Act, Alcohol and Gaming Act, Tobacco Act, Litter Control Act, Trespass Act, and etc. The only explanation I can think of why they would lay a regular assault charge if we were assaulted while not enforcing an act we have peace officer status has something to do with our restricted criminal code powers and that we only fall under the definition of a "peace officer" under the criminal code while enforcing some kind of act.
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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Sk82 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:26 am

To save some time reading, here are a few cases from the link I posted above.


Assault is defined under Section 265 of the Criminal Code as an application of force done without the consent of another person; either directly or indirectly to that person. Furthermore it goes on to include threats or attempts of assault through a gesture that causes the other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has the present ability to affect his purpose. In addition, if a weapon is used or carried while approaching another, it may also be interpreted as assault.

Assaulting a Peace Officer is found under Section 270 C.C. In it the offence is described as an assault against a public/peace officer or a person aiding such an officer that is engaged in the execution of his duty. As well as assaulting a person with intent to resist or prevent the lawful arrest or detention of himself or another person. An essential part of this offence is the proof of the peace officer being engaged in the lawful execution of his/hers duties. The list of official titles that are recognized legally as being Peace Officers is found in Section 2, of the Criminal Code of Canada. In includes: mayors, wardens, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, police officers/constables, bailiffs, custom officers, Canadian forces officers etc.

To help understand how this definition translates into the reality, one has to look into the courts interpretation of the previous sections. This is found in past legal cases, where the accused was found guilty in committing an Assault against a Peace Officer.
Cases:

R vs. Hansen (Saskatoon, 2011) – An off duty RCMP officer approached a vehicle car that was squealing his vehicle’s tires in the officers neighborhood. The officer knocked on the passenger’s window and told them to stop. The passenger (accused), got out of the vehicle and said “'You think you're tough, you think you're tough,' to the officer, at which point he punched him in the face and got on top of him. The officer’s wife that was present on the scene yelled many times “ he is a cop, stop, you're assaulting an officer. Officer down!” Yet the accused continued, causing a broken ankle and broken nose to the officer. It was pointed out that the officer was not identified as Police until the incident was over. “An off-duty officer is a civilian until he identifies himself”, said the defence. The Judge agreed, as the constable provided poor testimony regarding him identifying prior to the alleged assault.

R vs. Joseph Ronald McGraw - Constable was investigating a 911 call made from the accused’s residence. Constable knocked on the front door, but the accused refused to let him in, becoming verbally and physically combative and eventually starting to push the constable away from the front door. It escalated to a scuffle between the constable and the accused, ultimately leading to the constable arm being bitten by the accused. The judge stated: "Here is a man who has his teeth in his (the officer) arm and won't let go, I think it is clear the officer had to use whatever force necessary to subdue Mr. McGraw." Acknowledging the assault on peace officer.

R vs Jerron Alexander (Toronto, 2010) – The accused was pulled over by the police for failing to indicate a lane change. During this stop, 27.2 g of crack was found in his car. Constable attempted to arrest accused who got loose and started running. The accused, then, tried to hide $1000 in the ground and jumped over fences in an attempt to evade arrest. He then pulled a board off a fence and used it to assault the constable that was chasing him, by swinging it at him. Judge ruled that the accused’s rights were violated, as the crack was obtained through an illegal search, dismissing the charge of assault on PO, making the arrest unlawful. The constable testified that the crack was located beneath the passenger seat, and that the accused had a record for drugs and assault with a weapon, at the time of the traffic stop. The judge dismissed the constables comments, and went on to say that the accused had a legal right to resist the unlawful arrest, and that waving the board was a reasonable use of force to defend himself against an unlawful arrest as he was unarmed and faced with an armed police officer.

R. v. Brisson (1999 – Edmonton) - Constable was working as a School Resource Officer. She caught the accused loitering in a local high school, where there are strict rules regarding it. When she tried to establish his identity and reason for being there, the accused became confrontational and evasive, rising constable’s suspicions. The constable advised the accused to come with her to the office, to ensure he is indeed a student and not a trespasser. He refused and the constable took hold of his right elbow to escort him to the office. The accused ripped his arm away, and gave the constable two handed shoves into her chest area, causing the constable to step back. The accused was immediately arrested for Assaulting a Peace Officer. The accused then resisted arrest which resulted in his bleeding lip and a scratch mark on his neck. The judge was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did indeed assault the constable by shoving her in the chest, and any force of the accused could not be justified as self defense of any kind.

Queen v. Young - Toronto officers were enforcing the trespassing act at a private property where they were agents of it. Constable A located a loiterer (the accused) who immediately started running away upon seeing the police. Constable B was notified by the Constable A that the accused was running towards him, and to stop him. Constable B shouted at the accused to stop. The accused did not obey, but instead pushed Constable B on the chest and then ran off. That push led to a charge of assaulting a peace officer. The accused was tackled, arrested and searched. (Cocaine was found). The Judge held that, officer B did not have sufficient grounds to suspect trespassing, however once the accused assaulted Constable B by shoving him, the constables has reasonable grounds to arrest him. Despite the fact that Constable B had no right to stop the accused from running, the accused had no excuse in applying force against him.

R. v. Cooper (2008, Iqaluit)- RCMP Constables were responding to a reported domestic assault call. Constables arrived at the location, and knocked on the door, the accused ( husband that allegedly beat his wife that night) answered the door. He refused the constables the entrance, and attempted to close the door. One constable put his foot in the door to prevent it from being closed. The accused then pushed the chest of the constable with his hand to prevent entry. The push was described as insufficient to push him back, but enough to prevent him from moving forward. The accused was then arrested and handcuffed. Judge was satisfied that the accused did assault the Peace Officer; however the officers performed forced entry, allowing the accused to defend his property.

Winnipeg Cadets Assaulted (2011)- Two cadets responded to a disturbance at a bus shelter. They located a man that was yelling and swearing at other people. They asked him to leave the area, at which point the accused became confrontational, lunging at one of the cadets, slamming his shoulder into the cadet. He then shouted threats at both of the cadets, and eventually shoved the second cadet as well. The man was arrested and charged with two counts of assaulting a Peace officer (cadets) and other charges that followed after the arrest (disarming). Trial is pending. (CBC, accessed March, 2011)

Conclusion
Assaulting a Peace Officer is defined in the Criminal Code of Canada as any administration of force without consent of a person who is legally recognized to hold the label of a Peace Officer in Canada to that person. The Peace Officer has to be engaged in legal execution of their duties at the time the alleged assault took place, otherwise the charge will not be valid. The physical act that is interpreted as an assault can be as simple as an intentional shove or a push towards the peace Officer.
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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Bald Man » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:21 am

Even though they don't give you criminal code arrest powers, is it not your mandate to protect persons on campus in your role as a campus special constable? You would be doing this by just being there in uniform patroling whether you pull a car over or not.

Sounds to me like your job is as I indicated, to protect people on campus. ie crime prevention, Bomb Threat Management and Bomb Searching. This is beyond the role of a simple security guard who only protects property, not people. So to this, I would argue you are a peace officer when on campus period, with some enforcement limitations.

You have an investigative section, security guard companies do not.

Vehicle patrol

Emergency call out 24/7



Peace Officers

Members of Campus Safety are Peace Officers and Special Constables, as appointed by the Minister of Justice. With this designation, our members are better able to serve the needs of the University community.

We are empowered to enforce the regulations of the University Act, the Traffic Safety Act, the Saskatchewan Alcohol and Gaming Regulations Act as well as sections of the Criminal Code of Canada.

There are currently 24 Special Constables assigned to uniform patrol. They patrol on foot, vehicle and bicycle and provide the initial response to all calls for service from assaults to lockouts.

Beyond the regular policing aspects of our duties, however, we pride ourselves on being of service to the community we serve. We attend all medical emergencies, fire alarm and intrusion alarms on campus, and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 966-5555.
Details:

There are 31 Special Constables at the University of Saskatchewan campus including the director, assistant director, 3 management and 2 non-uniform positions. We have officers dedicated to Information Technology Investigation, General Investigations and Special Projects, and Dispatcher/Communications.

The average length of employment of our officers is 10 years.
22 of our officers have attended some form of post-secondary education at the college or University level.

We have Special Constables who are certified instructors in training programs, including:
Standard First Aid
Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Level C
Automated External Defibrillator
Police Safety Systems
Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
Stationary and Mobile RADAR
EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operator Course)
LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)

We currently have members who are trained in the following special skills:
Collision Investigation
Crime Prevention Specialists
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
Statement Content Analysis
Bomb Threat Management and Bomb Searching
Information Protection and Security
Threat and Risk Assessment

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby Zybero » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:46 am

Not to discourage the slight change of discussion as all the posts have been great reading but I'd like to redirect the conversation to another question.

Bald Man wrote:No, it depends on what police officer lays the charge. Some lay assault PO, some regular assault. It probably never occurred to the average cop that a bylaw officer is a peace officer, therefore they wouldn't think to lay that charge. I've seen them make this mistake with special constables but are corrected before the brief goes in. the confusion with us is because we are classified as civilian members, just like a receptionist, even though we are sworn uniform members, they still don't see it that way, so this creates confusion.

Section 15 of the Police Services Act does say,

15. (1) A municipal council may appoint persons to enforce the by-laws of the municipality. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, s. 15 (1).

Peace officers

(2) Municipal law enforcement officers are peace officers for the purpose of enforcing municipal by-laws. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15, s. 15 (2); 1997, c. 8, s. 13.


So at least from a written law standpoint since Municipal law enforcement officers are peace officers while enforcing a municipal bylaw and I am a municipal law enforcement officer while I am issuing a parking infraction notice then if I am assaulted while writing the ticket it would be assaulting a peace officer?

The only reason for my confusion is what GPZ pointed out here:

GPZ wrote:All defence has to do is create doubt that the suspect knew the victim was a peace officer in the execution of his/her duties, and it's gonzo.


As I myself could even see someone "not knowing" I'm a peace officer if something were to go to court for assault PO; given it reads SECURITY all over my body in giant block letters...

I just wanted to try to get some clarity on this so I can be a little more informed. Everyone has been incredibly helpful thus far though.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby red_coat » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:23 am

I had a whole response written out, and then realized I was on the public side and didn't want to get into a huge debate about it.

Basically, my post said this: it doesn't mean anything to be a "peace officer" as defined in the PROVINCIAL Police Services Act, if you aren't deemed a peace officer under the criminal code as well. Call your boss they will tell you whether you are deemed a peace officer or not, and if they can't, they should be able to find out for you.
Last edited by red_coat on Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: City of Ottawa Bylaw Deputization Program

Postby red_coat » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:28 am

Bald Man wrote:No, it depends on what police officer lays the charge. Some lay assault PO, some regular assault. It probably never occurred to the average cop that a bylaw officer is a peace officer, therefore they wouldn't think to lay that charge. I've seen them make this mistake with special constables but are corrected before the brief goes in. the confusion with us is because we are classified as civilian members, just like a receptionist, even though we are sworn uniform members, they still don't see it that way, so this creates confusion.


How about you stop making assumptions about police and go back to being a jail guard...

As stated before, there are probably reasons that only common assault was laid. If you have a question about why they chose assault and not assault PO, they will tell you - there is probably a reason.


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