Case law on "Peace Officer" Definition

Discussion, ideas, questions and thoughts on case law.
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housingcop
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Case law on "Peace Officer" Definition

Postby housingcop » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:41 am

I am interested in learning of any or all case law there is it relates to the definition of "Peace Officer" under section 2 of the Criminal Code.

Specifically, I am interested in the part that states ..."or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process.

I am also looking for examples (good or bad) of how the 'Peace Officer' definition was applied in criminal litigation.

My department currently has a number of officers that hold limited "Peace Officer" status under sec. 15 of the Police Service Act (Ontario).

With the new amendments to the Private Investigator and Security Guard Act, only persons who are Peace Officers as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada are exempt from the new Act.

I am working on a paper that supports ALL members of my department in fact meet the definition of Peace Officer as defined in sec. 2 of the Crininal Code of Canada.

For those who are not aware, my department is responsible for providing patrol and response services to over 164,000 persons living in public housing projects owned by the City of Toronto. We are the largest public housing authority in Canada and 2nd largest in North America (NYC being the largest).

Our job description and daily call volume is that of a police service (although we are not a police service). The majority of our officers have attained Special Constable status, however we have some ''Provincial Offences Officers'' and ''Parking Enforcement Officers'' who have been left wondering about this new legislation born out of Bill 159.

All members of my department are issued body armour, 21 ASP batons, handcuffs and a uniform that is identical to uniform worn by Toronto Police Service Parking Enforcement and Court Officers.

All members enforce municipal by-laws and Provincial Offences Officers lay charges by issuing P.O.N's & Form 104's.

All members have access to C.P.I.C. (as we have our own terminal now).

It does not make sence to me that this new legislation is about to turn professional Law Enforcement Officers into "Security Guards".

Sorry for the long post, but this is an important issue with my agency.

PLEASE, serious replies only...do not make this thread into a pi$$ing match about wannabes, what colour of flashing lights should be on our patrol cars, or who has the best badge! :roll:

Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Postby Campus-Cst » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:38 pm

I think your Provincial Offences Officers are SOL. The new act says " a person acting as a peace officer as defined under the CC". Your SCsts are ok obviously because they are infact a " Constable". R Vs. Laramee from 1979 says By-law enforcment officers are not entitled to enforce the criminal code. Because of that, I think you're out of luck.

Perhaps there is another avenue you can explore. Do these officers respond to calls and do other LE type stuff, or just write notices?

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Postby Dave Jenkins » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:30 pm

Housingcop, over the years there would appear to have been a number of changes to your department’s structure and it has become rather confusing (at least to me). I had thought ( I assumed ) that you all had special constable status now, so for our (my) edification could you perhaps explain the over all structure of your department for us?
…sorry if this has been covered before…..

Example: use XX number of special constables (what authority-general duties) *
use XX number of provincial offence officers (general duties)
use XX number of city by-law officers (general duties) *
use XX number of security guards (officers) with authority per say

* these officers would appear to be exempt from the new Security Guard Act (or what ever it will be called). Further, I disagree with Campus Cst about the Provincial Offences officers as I would think that the Ministry would see fit to lump them in with the by-law group. If they will not then perhaps you department could simply have all the Provincial Offences officers covered as by-law as well!

Does your department have a web site I have “Googled” and found nothing that appears to be a direct site to you department?
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Postby HyJynx » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:10 pm

Housing, I'm in the same boat as you. We can't get a straight answer out of the ministry because they don't know what they are going to do yet.

As for Prov. Officers, we were told that they are not exempt from the new legislation. The def of Peace Officer that they are using does not include the case law definitions, ie. MLEO's, as Munlaw said are not covered, but may be granted exemption by the ministry based on job description. Since Provincial Officers are not peace officers under the POA then they could be covered. If you've read the new act it's a big gut reaction to several issues.

I think that your org may be safe from the new act, since you have the mix of S/csts, MLEO, Prov. Officers. If you need any more info PM me and I'll be happy to discuss as I've been researching since new legislation had first reading.
SIC VIC PACUM PARA BELLUM
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IF YOU WANT PEACE PREPARE FOR WAR

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Postby gogethimjohnny » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:08 am

I think that once the regulations come out we will all see that this will be alot about nothing. The regulations are the key here and they are still being developed. I agree with MLEO on this one, an MLEO is not a security guard and does not do security gurad duties. I would be happy to see many of these security companies lose the marked police like cars and uniforms.
hope to be a cop one day

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Postby gogethimjohnny » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:12 am

Im sure the spirit of the legislation has nothing to do with various agencies that have a law enforcement capacity.

The problem seems to be the public preception of these security guards that act and portray themselves as police.
hope to be a cop one day

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Postby housingcop » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:23 pm

Thanks for all your responses and questions.

Dave, you are absolutely right...we have undergone so many changes in the last few years. We have also underwent several changes in management (all of who have their own ideas on how to run things).

Initially, we were a Crown Agency of Ontario (MTHA). Then Mike Harris downloaded public housing on to the local municipality and we became a City of Toronto agency (no level of government wants direct contol of public housing so they make arms length agencies to administer public housing their behalf).
Then we merged with two other public housing providers in Toronto (Cityhome and Toronto Housing Company) to make up one organization called ''Toronto Community Housing''.

Toronto Community Housing does have a public INTERnet site but our department is not listed there (http://www.torontohousing.ca). We also have an internal INTRAnet in which we have our own section on it.

Specifically in our department (called "Community Safety Unit") the frontline officer is called a "Community Patrol Officer".

Community Patrol Officers have basically the same job responsibilities whether they have Special Constable status OR Provincial Offences Officer status however the Special Constable has more 'tools' to do the job.

Special Constables have 10% OC foam as part of their issued equipment and they have the authority of a police officer under the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled & Substances Act, Trespass to Property Act, Mental Health Act, Provincial Offences Act and Liquor Licence Act.

Provincial Offences Officers issue P.O.N's and 104's for offences under the Trespass to Property Act and Provicial Offences Act. We can also seek provincial probation orders against repeat offenders and lay charges of "Breach Probation" under sec. 75 of the Provincial Offences Act. This can lead to jailtime for convicted offenders.

Also ALL Community Patrol Officers enforce municipal parking by-laws.

In terms of calls, we have our own dispatch centre (24/7/365) and we get the same calls as Toronto Police Service. This can include anything from gunshots, domestics, assault in progress, disturbances, mentally ill persons going berserk to ambulance calls, noise complaints, unknown trouble calls, stuck & occupied elevators, fires, etc. Infact we often get calls directly from Toronto Police radio room or Toronto EMS communications to attend calls on their behalf or assist their members at the scene.

In addition we work closely with TPS on all major investigations such as robberies, homicides, sudden deaths, drugs and weapons offences.

I hope this paints a clear picture for those who had questions about what we do.

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Postby Dave Jenkins » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:42 pm

Good Lord, it sounds like a right mess with six of this, half dozen of that it is amazing that you guys get anything done there. It is simply too bad that Toronto does not make you all special constables with all the authority you would need to do the job properly and safely.

Good Luck!
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Postby housingcop » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:27 pm

Hey Muni;

2) Depending on the MLEOs duties, MLEOs MAY fall under the definition of a Peace Officer under s.2 of the Criminal Code (I found that very strange)



This is exactly what I was getting at in my original post...

Based on our job description, calls responded to, etc, I firmly believe that we meet the definition of PEACE OFFICER as defined in the criminal code as
or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process.


Our job as a Community Patrol Officer is the closest thing to being a police officer without being one...if that makes sence.

I guess my original question is if there is any case law that supports a person or class of persons as PEACE OFFICERS under this section.

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Postby HyJynx » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:01 pm

housingcop wrote:Hey Muni;

2) Depending on the MLEOs duties, MLEOs MAY fall under the definition of a Peace Officer under s.2 of the Criminal Code (I found that very strange)



This is exactly what I was getting at in my original post...

Based on our job description, calls responded to, etc, I firmly believe that we meet the definition of PEACE OFFICER as defined in the criminal code as
or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process.


Our job as a Community Patrol Officer is the closest thing to being a police officer without being one...if that makes sence.

I guess my original question is if there is any case law that supports a person or class of persons as PEACE OFFICERS under this section.


Hey see PM just sent you, there is case law as Munlaw and others have posted before for MLEO's, but Provincial Officers are not peace officers, no case law that I could find. The problem lies with the below definition of a peace officer:
PSISA:
Peace officer”

(9) For the purposes of clause (7) (c),

“peace officer” means a person or a member of a class of persons set out in the definition of “peace officer” in section 2 of the Criminal Code (Canada). 2005, c. 34, s. 2 (9).

I read the debates when the bill was being considered and a friend was there for one of them. What the above means is that only the people listed in section 2 CCC are exempt, no one else, no case law definitions and that is where it gets to be the grey area. How can you not accept a definition without the accompanying case law to help clarify it. They were very carful to exclude the case law as it could mean that guards who are mleo's (ie private comapnies w/ parking control contracts) could be exempt when performing that duty. It is just one silly little word "MEANS" is only the listed definitions "INCLUDES" would have meant case law. That is what they originally had but someone decided to change it to means.

Your non s/cst patrol officers certainly fall within the "other persons" category, but realistically if that were the case, TPS would have appointed them Peace Officers for the CCC.

That could be something to bring up, just appoint as PO for CCC and let them contiue to do their job as normal, however if charges/arrests are made turn over to S/cst to help with the paper..maybe just a thought
SIC VIC PACUM PARA BELLUM
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IF YOU WANT PEACE PREPARE FOR WAR

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Postby HyJynx » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:59 pm

munlawenfofficer wrote:
HyJynx wrote:That could be something to bring up, just appoint as PO for CCC and let them contiue to do their job as normal, however if charges/arrests are made turn over to S/cst to help with the paper..maybe just a thought
Don't forget under the New Act, the Minister may by regulation, exempt people/classes of persons from the Act...



10-4, I would think that they would exempt places like TCHC, Ontario Place or anyother public/semi public enforcement agency that enforces any muni/prov/fed stats. But then again although the politicians might not want to do that to anyone other then their own enforcement staff :P

It's hurry up and wait Munlaw, same old same old game with the government.
SIC VIC PACUM PARA BELLUM
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IF YOU WANT PEACE PREPARE FOR WAR

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Postby housingcop » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:27 am

I think that the goal of our department is to have all officers appointed as Special Constables.

Without getting into specifics, the problem appears to be that Toronto Police Service holding up Special Constable applicants at the background stage.

In some cases, TPS refuses to give any reason why an applicant is being denied, despite Freedom of Information Act requests being filed.

Unfortunately, the Police Services Act does not compel a police service to do anything with respect to applicants for Special Constable status.

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Postby housingcop » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:52 am

Having said all that I have thus far, I think that the new amendments to the PISGA are good for the "security industry"...hopefully it will shut down some of these flaky security guard companies out there and hold others to account and be more professional. I also think that it was high time that in-house security, bouncers and other security industry staff become accountable and legislated, but they went a little too far when lumping law enforcement officers in the same group as security guards becuase their duties include "some security work".

I think that the biggest issue is that the security industry in Canada has such a bad name (due to poor wages, no or poor training of staff, unprofessional behavior, etc.) that any professional law enforcement officer would not want to have anything to do with it.

In the U.S., being a security guard is not such a taboo as they tend to be more professional and many are armed. Most 'public entities' in the U.S. have sworn peace officers that are armed and have full police authority.

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Re: Case law on "Peace Officer" Definition

Postby Canadianknowledge » Sat May 07, 2011 7:11 pm

Hey, not to sure if u r still working on your paper bit it's a fairly straight forward answer. Forget about special constable and forget about even being a security guard or by law enforcement. this is covered under section 494 of the criminal code sub section 1 and 2 then follow that to section 34 of the criminal code followed by section 24 ( to avoid same flaws of the 1960 bill of rights) of the charter and section 9 of the charter. Stay within those laws and u can be wearing a t shirt that says, "I'm with stupid" and sandals on with a smoke in your mouth. Followed by the immediate call to your local police division or simply dialing 911. Either way you look at on the scale of law enforcement you need the opp, Ottawa police badge ( or whatever province you may reside in, yes, you are good province to province, policing act is federal regulation) military police badge, RCMP badge, or if ur lucky and ur a pilot and the crime happens in the air or on a boat ( you fall in the auronautical act or naval act) and as a pilot or given permission by the pilot to lawfully detain an individual
who is or has committed a crime at the time. BUT you must follow section 34
at all times with a police badge and even regardless of the badge. The perp
could launch criminal charges and more than likely civil action against you.
Always be careful and if provoked upon a lawful detention under section 494
follow section 34 and be aware of the perps rights under section 24 of the
charter as well as section 9. Everyone, regardless of badge has rights, yes,
even people who are 100% guilty of an infraction. However, unless you are a
judge, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Stay within all of those laws
and rights and you won't face any convictions. doesn't stop you from being
charged at the time for any of the above laws and rights or stop civil law suits
at any time within statute of limitations concerning the situation. Christ you
can be sued because you yelled at someone and caused them mental distress,
regardless of its frivilous nature, it can happen. stay within those laws and
rights listed above then call the cops make a statement ( informative
statement , show good character and don't back track or change your
statement, and you SHOULD be fine). Always be aware, don't lose your cool
and don't act like king of the police because even officers who make the lawful
arrest and charges still face the same criminal and civil charges that regular
citizens do.

Peace officers: peace officer appointed by the court (only within the court setting or surrounding property, normally, bailiff or the dude who watches you pay your municipal and provincial tickets), military police, rcmp, pilot or captain of a vessel ( if crime is committed on the air or boat vessel), csis ( under terrorist act only). Other than that you fall under 494 of citizens arrest if you witness a crime and call the PROPER authorities immediately.

Have fun on your paper,

Canadianknowledge

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Re: Case law on "Peace Officer" Definition

Postby Angerman » Sat May 07, 2011 7:32 pm

:shock:


....well, that clears that up then.


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