Posts Tagged ‘police reform’

“Chicago Courts Drive Back The Mounting Wave of Crime,” Chicago Sunday Tribune. October 15, 1933. Pages 4 & 5.

The ‘War on Crime’ – frequent arrests, violent shoot-outs, harsh sentences, anti-corruption drives, mass incarceration – to break ‘commercialized crime’ in Chicago.

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“They buried Harry Snedden with honor last week. They placed his cap upon a Canadian flag, which lay across his coffin, and from the crowded pews of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in suburban Toronto they sang him to rest, privately measuring the

meaning of his death. Afterward, in a solemn processional, they marched— 1,100 policemen, six abreast, their shoes bright with polish, their hands gloved in white—through the very streets Constable Snedden had patrolled and not far from where he had been shot, with his own gun, while trying to break up a domestic dispute.

At 22, fit and industrious, Harry Snedden had contemplated a long career in his chosen profession and, for his family and friends, his death had the awesome absurdity of random fate. But police forces everywhere viewed it as one more justification for their campaign to restore capital punishment. In fact, Snedden died less than two weeks after a national gathering of police chiefs had urged a federal referendum on the death penalty and only days after Justice Minister Otto Lang and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau—once regarded as firm abolitionists—had themselves mused out loud about just such a possibility.

Ottawa’s apparent turnabout on the issue may have stunned party loyalists, but it plainly tickled the police. “Thank God,” sighed AÍ Evelyn, president of Toronto’s 5,300-member police association. “Let’s have a referendum. There’s no doubt in my mind that the majority wants capital punishment.”

There is no doubt, either, that on the hanging question—as on many others— Canada’s cops have become increasingly outspoken. “We’ve had to,” explains Halifax policeman Joe Ross, the militantly pro-hanging vice-president of the Canadian Police Association. “There’s not a week goes by that police aren’t shot at. We have to be more political—for our own protection.”

And so they are. From St. John’s to Surrey, the nation’s 65,000 policemen are making themselves heard as never before. Frequent conclaves, media blitzes and the long parade of appearances before legislative committees have given this country’s most visible minority a new and sometimes disturbing dimension. The newest centurions are not only peace officers, but lobbyists, influential shapers of opinion.

“Those who would enforce the law are now trying to determine how the laws should be made,” warns Toronto lawyer Harold Levy. “That concerns me. Every time the Criminal Lawyers Association goes to Ottawa to present a brief, the police chiefs have been there before us. This is not public relations and this is not education. It’s very close to intimidation.”

Whatever it is, the police show little inclination to stop. Joe Ross’s 600-member Police Association of Nova Scotia hopes to make capital punishment the major issue in next spring’s federal election. Its Ontario counterpart has set a $100,000 fund-raising target to promote the police viewpoint—one shared by 68 per cent of all Canadians, according to last April’s Gallup poll. Says Toronto Police Superintendent Frank Barbetta (see box): “I think the death penalty is a deterrent and I think it’s a fit punishment, not just for the murder of police officers and prison guards—that was never our contention—but for all premeditated murder.”

The new tempo of police politics does not stop with capital punishment. At almost every level, Canadian police forces are now engaged in a quest for more equipment, more personnel, more money and more -power. Especially power. Among their specific demands: the right to open mail (with a judicial warrant); changes in the Human Rights Act, to prevent criminals from gaining access to federal police files; withdrawal of Ottawa’s freedom-of-information proposals; enough federal aid to double the size of police intelligence units, to fight organized crime; and amendments to the Criminal Code that would make any car owner liable for all offences involving his vehicle—even if it were stolen. Insists Stan Raike, newly elected president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police: “The war on crime is a war indeed.”

Still, the campaign for extra clout comes when the growth rate of crime itself is levelling off. For example, between 1961 and 1967 crimes of violence increased by an average of 12 per cent annually.

But between 1975 and 1977, the average rate of growth plummeted to less than one per cent per year. Asks Dr.

Paul Reed, director of Statistics Canada’s justice division: “You’re wondering why the police need more power? I would encourage you to wonder.”

But statistics are a fruitless game; they yield more questions than they answer. Is the curve dipping because the most crime-prone age group (15 to 24) is maturing? Or is it because in an era of economic restraint, police forces—the source of most crime statistics—see no advantage in reporting new crests in the wave? No one can say conclusively.

One category that shows an indisputable advance, however, is cannabis offences, which now account for one in every eight charges laid against adults (compared to one in 57 nine years ago).

In several American states, possession of marijuana or hashish is no longer a crime and even the Canadian Bar Association—never exactly aggressive in pursuit of reform—and the government’s own 1972 LeDain Commission have called for decriminalization of simple possession. Yet last year alone, more than 40,000 possession charges were laid.

The gargantuan effort expended to curb dubious violations of the Criminal Code is not restricted to cannabis. Laments Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Grant: “Senior officers know they’re catching the mackerel and leaving the whales; that’s what accounts for their frustration.”

Something certainly accounts for it. Although, as University of Saskatchewan law professor Brian Grosman notes, “public support for the police in this country is at an all-time high,” police morale is with few exceptions at an all-time low. Easy bail, plea bargaining, criminals acquitted by loopholes in the law, soft judges, quick parole—these are the verses of the policeman’s complaint. Staring into a coffee cup in northern B.C., an RCMP constable reflects: “Out of 20 charges you might get five or six convictions. We don’t get any support from the court. You spend hours on an investigation, paper work, court time. There’s no incentive for initiative. That’s why the guys are getting out.”

Even beyond the courtroom, though, a policeman’s lot is not a happy one these days. In Moncton, for example, Chief Greg Cahoon, a former RCMP sergeant, has upset his force with sweeping policy changes. Several senior officers have resigned. More recently, Cahoon has tried to force team policing upon the department.

In Charlottetown, friction between Chief Donald Saunders—imported from Ontario in 1974—and his staff continues. A 1977 provincial inquiry said the force was flying on a wing and a prayer, had lost public confidence and should immediately adopt formal rules and regulations—a code it had astonishingly managed to do without.

The Newfoundland Constabulary wants the right to carry guns; Halifax cops are threatening a strike; and the Quebec Policemen’s Federation (9,800 members—among the most militant blue-knight organizations in the country) predicts politicians will soon try to destroy police unions. “The storm clouds are forming,” says Guy Marcil, the federation’s executive director. “For the next three years, we won’t be fighting to gain new things, but to keep what we have won in the past.”

All of that is but a barely audible murmur to the raucous vibrations touched off by police forces in Ontario. At week’s end, the province’s police commission had completed one investigation (finding “management by crisis” in Thunder Bay), had two more under way and two others were contemplated. In tiny Ingersoll (pop. 8,200), Chief Ronald James had the temerity to suggest recently that epileptics be barred from the town’s restaurants. “Some guy barfing on the floor is not good for business,” the chief maintained.

Even Metro Toronto’s well-greased operation is sputtering. Three killings by police officers last month have raised anxious questions about police racism, emergency task forces and the adequacy of training techniques.

The most serious abuse occurred in Waterloo, Ont., former home of the Henchmen motorcycle gang, a group whose lifestyle blended into the community as punk rock blends with Beethoven. In 1977, the Waterloo Regional Police Commission hired a new police chief—Syd Brown. He was a daring and controversial choice, in part because he had been a constable—and only a constable—for 23 years.

Brown made numerous changes in Waterloo, many of them positive. He gave junior officers more authority, believing then and now that officers on the street are more in tune with reality than desk-bound administrators. But he also set up an eight-man tactical squad. This past March, it raided the Henchmen clubhouse. Ostensibly, it was a drug raid. In fact, it was an exercise in terrorism. Gang members, an Ontario Police Commission inquiry was subsequently told, were handcuffed and forced to kneel against a wall while police walked on their legs. They were made to run a gauntlet of police punches. They were beaten with nightsticks. Their clubhouse was destroyed. An improperly trained police dog inflicted more than 20 bites. Only one charge, for possession of marijuana, was laid.

“Hell, even the Pope made mistakes,” offers Constable Charles Neegy, now standing guard outside the coronary unit of Kitchener-Waterloo General Hospital where Brown, with pulse rate of 28, was admitted last month. “I tell you, Syd brought policing out of the dark ages. None of this hiding behind bushes to trap some motorist for speeding. We were doing police work.” The commission inquiry is expected to recommend next month that Brown be relieved of his duties.

The Henchmen affair and other probes have made the whole process of police investigating themselves a matter of considerable debate. Two Ontario commissions in recent years have urged formation of a citizen review board to monitor complaints of police conduct. So far, the cops have lobbied successfully against its creation.

Out west, the B.C. Police Commission has established an enviable track record, overseeing an average 1,100 citizen complaints a year, about 25 per cent of which involve allegations of police brutality. Most are unfounded. “The police are more cautious now,” says Vancouver’s senior Crown Prosecutor Bruce Donald. “The squads set up under the Police Act can lead to formal hearings. The guy on the street is thinking: ‘Why should I put my ass on the line? All I face is a truckload of grief.’ ”

Indeed, police relations with the publie, the press and the courts seem generally more amicable west of Ontario. The central grievance of Winnipeg’s 1,007 cops is wages (they rank about 50th nationally), but it hasn’t affected performance. Violent crime in the. city’s core declined 9.7 per cent last year, thanks largely to Operation Affirmative Action, which took policemen out of their cruisers and put them back on two-man foot patrols.

Still, tension is the rule. New recruits are better trained and better educated, but they are still governed by old ideologies. They are especially puzzled by what they regard as Canada’s double standard on police morality: it’s okay to beat and harass—it’s even expected. But woe unto the constable who gets caught. Says York University sociologist Hans Mohr: “We ask them to do a lot of the dirty business we can’t be bothered with and then we say, ‘Why did you shoot? Was that chase necessary?’ But the examination is healthy. We are finally zeroing in on the issue: what police powers are really needed?”

That question is not likely to be settled soon. If anything, the debate over police powers and accountability seems certain to swell in the months ahead, changing the way Canadians view their policemen and adding new meaning to the year’s cosmic salute: may the force be with you.

– Michael Posner,

“The New Centurions: Law and order on the march,” Maclean’s. October 2, 1978.

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“Between the early 1990s and 2015, the homicide rate in America fell by half. Rates of robbery, assault and theft tumbled in tandem. In New York, Washington and San Diego, murders dropped by more than 75 percent. Although violence has increased over the last two years in some cities, including Chicago and Baltimore, even those places remain safer than they were 25 years ago. And crime has continued to fall in other cities, most notably New York, where shootings are at a record low.

This long-term trend has fundamentally altered city life. It has transformed fear-inducing parks and subways into vibrant public spaces. It has lured wealthier whites back into cities. It has raised the life expectancies of black men. And even in an age of widening urban inequality, it has meant that the daily lives of the most disadvantaged are less dangerous now than they were a generation ago. These poor neighborhoods, Mr. Sharkey has found, have been the greatest beneficiaries of this tectonic change in safety.

The same communities were participating in another big shift that started in the 1990s: The number of nonprofits began to rise sharply across the country, particularly those addressing neighborhood and youth development.

Mr. Sharkey and the doctoral students Gerard Torrats-Espinosa and Delaram Takyar used data from the National Center for Charitable Statisticsto track the rise of nonprofits in 264 cities across more than 20 years. Nonprofits were more likely to form in the communities with the gravest problems. But they also sprang up for reasons that had little to do with local crime trends, such as an expansion in philanthropic funding. A spike in nonprofits addressing subjects like the arts and medical research occurred in this same era.

Comparing the growth of other kinds of nonprofits, the researchers believe they were able to identify the causal effect of these community groups: Every 10 additional organizations in a city with 100,000 residents, they estimate, led to a 9 percent drop in the murder rate and a 6 percent drop in violent crime.

In a criminology field that has produced some eyebrow-raising ideas, this one is actually not so surprising. That national finding echoes local studies of some individual programs, like one run by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society that converts abandoned lots into green spaces and that has been linked in Philadelphia to reduced gun violence.

The research also affirms some of the tenets of community policing: that neighborhoods are vital to policing themselves, and that they can address the complex roots of violence in ways that fall beyond traditional police work.

“It’s absolutely consistent with what I would argue is probably the prevalent theory of policing among the major cities today,” Richard Myers, the executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said of the new research.

Local organizations also say Mr. Sharkey’s results validate what they have already witnessed.

“Any time people’s basic needs are met, violence goes down — that’s not new,” said Noreen McClendon, who directs the nonprofit Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles.

The group, led by Ms. McClendon’s mother for many years, was formed in the 1980s to fight a proposed waste incinerator in the neighborhood. It evolved in the 1990s to address many of the neighborhood’s other challenges. The group created dozens of block clubs to care for individual streets. It cleaned alleys and repaired potholes, and hired local ex-offenders to do that work. It established a credit union, sponsored a jazz festival and developed hundreds of units of affordable housing.

During a time of major disinvestment in cities, and severe cuts in federal support for urban programs, residents of the neighborhood believed no one else was coming to help. “Nobody,” Ms. McClendon said. And if the group had not done this work itself? “There would have been a lot more death,” she said, “between violence amongst people, violence from police brutality, just drugs.”

Many similar groups did not explicitly think of what they were doing as violence prevention. But in creating playgrounds, they enabled parents to better monitor their children. In connecting neighbors, they improved the capacity of residents to control their streets. In forming after-school programs, they offered alternatives to crime.

In the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, the crime rate in the mid 1990s was 18 times the national average. The drug market in the neighborhood was estimated to be doing $35 million in business a year. There hadn’t been a new building permit issued in the neighborhood in nearly three decades, a sign of how little anyone had invested in the community other than to buy drugs there.

Then the newly formed East Lake Foundation developed new mixed-income housing to replace a decaying public housing project. It started a golf program for neighborhood children on a nearby but long-deteriorating golf course. The foundation eventually opened a charter school, where the first class of seniors had a 100 percent graduation rate in May.

“We knew we wanted to see violence and crime go down in the community,” said Carol Naughton, who led the foundation for years and today is the president of a national group, Purpose Built Communities, that is trying to teach East Lake’s model in other cities. “But we’ve never had a crime-prevention program.”

Today violent crime in East Lake is down 90 percent from 1995. But Ms. Naughton is momentarily perplexed by the question of whether she believes groups like hers have gotten enough credit for contributing to that outcome.

“We’re not part of the crime-reduction world, or the public safety world, in the same way that we’re part of the health and education and housing world,” she said. “It never occurred to us that we’re not getting the credit, because we don’t even know that world is out there.”

The lesson in that response, and in Mr. Sharkey’s work — that effective crime prevention doesn’t necessarily look like stop-and-frisk, or hot-spot policing, or mass incarceration — is particularly relevant today as cities rethink policing.”

– Emily Badger, “The Unsung Role That Ordinary Citizens Played in the Great Crime Decline.” The New York Times, November 9, 2017.

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“Les policiers de Verdun apprennent le jiu-jitsu,” Photo-Journal. April 28, 1938. Page 02.

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In the traditional training academy, trainees were shaped by a highly visible
status-dependent authority which asserted itself in a hard binary between the
superior and the compliant and obedient servant. Rules and regulations acted
as a dispensation of the right to act, and there was the notion that all action
could be regulated through such rules. One thus trained up through code and,
in gradual increments of permission, played the role of the superior, always
understood in the terms of this status distinction between the order-giver and
the order-taker. This distinction also denoted how discipline was perceived:

it was understood according to the police themselves as a ’training to obey’. Discipline comprised the means by which trainees became police officers: it
was only through various rote exercises in order-taking or subservience and
obedience that the neophyte could develop the appropriate understanding of
police authority and thus become a capable police officer. 

Indeed, if one reviews the conferences of the Canadian chiefs of police in
the first third of the century, ’discipline’ is understood as ’the self-control
[resulting from] a series of acts of obedience to authority’ (Archibald, 1912).
It is also the ’state of being under perfect command’ (Barnes, 1936: 77). Discipline
was also useful in perpetuating the systemic continuity of this hierarchical
control of men. According to a Montreal police executive and training
expert Charles Barnes, ’if foot drill is carried out by thoroughly competent
instructors, it practically makes every member of the squad a potential
instructor himself, as the ability to respond promptly and intelligently to
command is the first step in the making of a finished instructor’ (Barnes, 1936:
76; emphasis added). Discipline ’teaches a man the value of being able to
respond so quickly and intelligently to a command that it prepares him to be,
in turn, in a position to impart to others the importance of instant obedience’. 

This definition of discipline as a training to obey or training through obedience
and the attendant use of the binary power relation has been gradually
eclipsed. We noted that developments in management elsewhere have reconsidered
the agency of the worker and undertaken to deploy his/her will rather
than to view this as an obstacle to efficiency. We also just noted that the ’discovery’
or the ’outing’ of police discretion forced a new approach to the regulation
of the police, one which could no longer present this as a simple binary relation, one which, instead, placed the subjectivity of the police officer front
and centre. In the police academy itself the slippage between the regime of a
discipline and the reality of the culture became notoriously apparent and the
subject of internal probes. That the traditional training academy glorified individuality and personal authority whilst operating under cover of the
presentations of bureaucratic and depersonalized practices was, during the
1970s and 1980s, becoming an unwieldy irony. Consequently, and also in the
context of larger social and political movements, the understanding that regulation
itself could be equated with discipline could no longer hold. 

Beginning in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, there began a re-evaluation
of discipline and of the styles of management of police. In 1974, the
Task Force on Policing in Ontario reviewed the methodology of reinforcing
’appropriate behaviour’ on the part of the constable. It noted that ’military
personalities and military structures’ have been influential to policing
in Ontario. It credited the military tradition in bringing uniformity,
improved standards and ’forced objectivity’ to police officers. The military
tradition also ’gave forces the ability to deploy men swiftly and efficiently to
meet crisis situations’. The Task Force argued, however, that there were
’new requirements today’ which were inconsistent with this tradition and its
assumption ’that the important decisions are taken at senior levels’. It noted

that motivation under the military tradition was generally ’negative’, stressing
sanctions while underutilizing positive motivators. Deploying an evolutionary
model of policing, the Task Force concluded that while traditional
discipline was useful in its time, it was no longer consistent with ’modern

Concurrently, in the Report of the Steering Subcommittee on Police Training
in Ontario
(1975) and in the International Association of Chiefs
of Police
’s (IACP) (1976). Major Recommendations for Management of Effective
Police Discipline the term ‘discipline’ was being revised according to
similar profiles. In the former, the concept was divided according to two distinct
sets of circumstances. According to the first of these, it was understood
that there was a persistent need to have police officers ’act as one body’ in
obeying orders ’without question’ (Ontario, 1975: 61 ). Under the conditions
of large demonstrations, for instance, a public order policing mobilization
still needed to prevail, and ’discipline, training and good leadership’ (p. 61) was understood to ensure that optimum force would be used. According to
the peacekeeping function, however, the term ’self-discipline’ best described
the ’self-control’ and appearance management which was necessary for the
individual ’job at hand’.

In the report by the IACP, it is only this latter ’discipline’ which is perceived
– not as a ’technique to prevent negative behaviour on the job’, but
rather as a ’much needed management tool’ which might ’replace a system
which too often acts to reduce morale and motivation, and which strains
police-citizen relations’. The IACP noted, in the same way
the Task Force did, that the military model is unsuited to these police-citizen
relations. They say that the military has different sources of motivation and
control, and different patterns of work and working environments. In a clear
break with this ’past’ they noted that, indeed, the police have more in
common with business. ’[B]oth police and business exist to deliver a service
or a product to the same market – the public’.

Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, discipline was being reframed. In a 1991 Royal Canadian
Mounted Police (RCMP) discussion paper by Queens University management
professors, ’positive discipline’
is discussed as aimed at ’educating the employee’, in contrast to the ’punishment and deterrence’ focus of ’negative discipline’. Rules and regulations are
recast as ’responsibilities’ which are ’of benefit to all’. The
discussion paper cites B. B. Boyd, who argues in Management Minded Supervision
that ’discipline is the training and development of the cooperative
workforce striving together for the realization of management goals’. It adds
that ’punishment has no place in thinking about discipline’.

These documents illustrate a movement from a conduct-shaping grounded on strict discipline to one rooted in co-management. ’Discipline’, though still
too much a central feature of police administration to be thrown out
altogether, was reframed as one piece of an administrative and human resources arsenal: it is something exercised by the individual employee in the
furtherance of managerial goals. The earlier version of discipline is shunted
to the less visible (to reform discourse) arena of public order policing. While
the craft of policing is being colonized by action-structuring technologies like
judgement drills and templates, supervision was
also being reconceived. The discipline of trainees is well under way to no
longer being considered a management problem.


– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” Social & Legal Studies. Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 267-71

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In policing reforms in the nineteenth century, there was a pronounced effort
to restructure the subjectivities of police constables by installing disembedding
technologies. Technologies like drill and prohibitions on gossiping on
the beat had the intention of insulating the constable from horizontal influences
and accesses and of muting his reliance on personal charisma. It was the
aim of nineteenth-century reforms to build a vertical pillar of authority
through which police officers would be graduated up, thus ensuring constables’
dependence on institutional sources for communitarian intimacy and
personal validation. At the same
time, the welfare state was promoted as a vehicle in the standardization of
individuals (their citizenship), and police were also agents of this discourse
of standardization. The police institution in which the
subjectivity of the police officer was shaped therefore stressed adherence to
procedure, personal detachment and the rational separation of public/private, personal/official, objective/subjective. 

One of the primary vehicles of the shaping of police officers as disinterested
and depersonalized subjects has been the traditional training academy.
We all have images of the police academy, and these are much like what we
think of when we picture boot camp or military training. The trainee has his
hair cut, is made to wear a uniform, is assigned a bunk in a dormitory (and to peer group or troop), and is subjected to a rigorous regimen of drill training,
intended, ideally, to fill his whole waking day. The neophyte thus enters
into a near-total institution, is stripped of previous
identifiers, is subjected to a military command (told he knows nothing and is
nothing until he passes through basic training), and is incessantly corrected
according to an ideal of obedient, unquestioning response. In short, what
occurs is a stripping and infantilizing, a vigilant correction and surveillance, a deployment of peer group loyalties in the service of conduct regulation, and
a reinforcement of impersonal, status-dependent authority. 

One way of characterizing this depersonalizing training is that it subjects

the body and the mind to endless routines, but still misses the soul. Rose  has documented the emergence of an expertise on subjectivity and the
development of its use by the military and educationalists. With this expertise,
brought on by ’psy’ sciences, souls, once the province of the Church and
associated with ’the private’, could become the province of routine organizational management. Rather than leaving individual interpretation and ’personality’ out of the equation of governing, new nomenclatures became
available which offered probing penetrations into how people interpreted themselves into roles and identities. Previous to such probing, interior landscapes
were more easily depicted in contrasts of black/white and good/evil. 

Indeed, the records of the Chief Constables’ Association of Canada include
a remarkable paper in which ’personality’ appears to be discovered by Canadian
police executives. In the convention of 1938, Chief Goodman asks,
’what is personality?’. Goodman then offered to explore the concept of ’personality
in police work’ by dividing it into three dimensions: mind, language
and appearance:

There are none of us so blind as not to visualize the necessity of making our
respective departments the best that we possibly can, and place it upon the
highest dais possible in the estimation of our public. Besides Police Curriculum,
there are other abstract things that play just as important a part in bringing out this much desired condition, and Personality is one of them.

The traditional training institution and its paramilitary order did not attend
to the souls of trainees and its governance was thus partial. This can be seen
in two features of the traditional training regime. Firstly, it excludes a whole
category of training from its purview. The training academy was limited to
formal training, and this formal training was comprised of proper procedure and appearance management. Excluded from its jurisdiction
was informal training or the apprenticeship learning. This took place ’on
the street’ in the assignment of the rookie to a coach or training officer. A
consequence is that the traditional training academy has been ill-equipped to
guide the use of judgement or discretionary decision-making. Discretion
requires a decision about whether and how to deploy a set of rules (the
decision to invoke to the law). However, trainers in a bureaucratic structure
are responsible for the content of their training and overstep their jurisdictions
at their peril. This division of formal and informal learning between the
academy and the street gives the street privilege over discretion, or interpretative
profiles of the ’way things are done’ or the ’ways and means’. The training
academy, like management in general, is limited to an appearance
management or a training in the proper presentation of police work, and this
is not to be confused with the way things must be done in reality. We see the
stark contrast between the management of appearances in the drill halls and
classrooms, and the rough language, off-colour humour and cynicism of the
’bull-sessions’ after class.

While formal protocol and appearance manage- ment comprise the formal agenda, an informal agenda of the traditional
academy is gaining an understanding of discretion.

Secondly and consequently, the traditional training academy has been
partial in penetrating the occupational culture. The management/street division has been solidified on a
long-standing disbelief in the possibility of quantifying the ’intangibles’ of
street knowledge. There is also occupational scepticism towards the motives
(disengenuous, political) of administrators who confuse or blur the division
between managing appearances and doing good police work. Nevertheless,
the socialization of police is accomplished and begins in earnest at the training
academy. It does indeed facilitate the transmittal of the ’working personality’  of the police officer and has been an instrument of
the regeneration of the occupational culture, but only inasmuch as the informal
curriculum has also been off the books. The informal lesson is that
appearance protocols and representations are indeed useful as a shelter or
cover for backstage activity. ’Discretion’ comes to mean not only the exercise
of a practical knowhow on the slippage between rules and practice, but
also of a respect for secrecy and the usefulness of this cover. In the traditional
training academy, discretion, while central, has been more or less avoided as
an explicit curricular topic. Instead, it has been learned as a kind of counter-discipline
after classes and after hour bull-sessions. 

It has been this slippage between rules and interpretation, formal protocols
and practice, and appearances and reality which has undermined the
integrity of this traditional training. The bureaucratic ideal was exposed most
dramatically with civil rights agitation in the 1960s. Under the pre-eminence of a rights discourse, the differential treatment of women (domestic assault),
blacks and aboriginals, the poor, and the young became a focus of reform,
Policing research began to switch focus from analyses of top-down reform
to looking into the operation of discretion in conditions of ’low visibility’. The ’discovery’
that discretionary practices were at the core of policing and that this
core was left unstructured by formal or routine procedures and training, produced
a rift between the past and the future of police management.

– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” Social & Legal Studies. Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 267-68

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The history of policing is a series of retranslations of its objects and purposes.
One such retranslation stemmed from the adoption of a disciplinary discourse
in the movement to a bureaucratic organization in the mid-nineteenth
century. The purpose of policing was reframed to place emphasis on
adherence to rules, the cultivation of impersonal authority, and the develop- ment of technologies in the neutral delivery of service (cf. Walker, 1977).
Under occupational professionalization in the early twentieth century,
another retranslation was promoted. The crime-fighter was touted and
encouraged through the adoption of industry standards and professional ethics, self-regulation, and the continuation of highly stratified bureaucratic
structures. Recently, there has emerged a model which can be called new
managerial policing. 

New managerialism rests on a number of premises or assumptions. One of
these, which is sometimes the least obvious, is a privileging of the product producing
organization – assumptively a corporate and for-profit organization
– as the root unit of society. A related assumption of
a managerialist discourse is a de-emphasis of the state. As Enteman argues,
the ’social decisions’ produced by managements of corporate organizations are not oriented to the furtherance of a national ethos,
but are instead aimed at global markets, clients or consumers. Regulation, it
is the prevailing view in new managerialist literature, is best achieved in the
proactive (re)construction of the organization, and this requires not standardization,
rules and punishments in a (hopeful) representation of objective
and literal truth, but rather dialogue and engagement in a recognition of
dynamic processes and positive ’imaging’. New managerialism is given meaning through its putative evolution
out of bureaucratic organization. 

Various mechanisms give substance to this anti-bureaucratic ethos of new
managerialism. Drawing from Japanese corporate and organizational models
of the 1960s, and from the organizational systems work of the late 1960s and
early 1970s, management moves discipline and authority behind the lines and
diminishes their use as first-instance reasons for compliance. Instead, intermediary
devices are installed, implicating the worker in the managerial
agenda of the organization. These include peer review, organizational missions,
quality circles, team problem-solving, network-building and organizational
learning. In addition,
while bureaucracies are seen as punitive and past-possessed, new managerialism
is future (or loss prevention) focused.

New managerialism understands the corporate organization in terms of 

dynamic change or ’learning’, and individuals in terms of the tailored competency
profiling the organization needs. Key to the transformation of police
agencies according to a new managerialist ethic is the importance placed on
training, missions and competencies both at the organizational level and at
the level of the individual.
In this way, the discourse of new managerialism is consistent with neo-liberal
strategies of governance and is pushed ahead by them. Neo-liberalism ’reactivates
choice’ as the ’fundamental human faculty’. It is
through this ironic re-articulation of choice that the individual is seen as an
enterprise, an enterprise, moreover, who presumptively cares for her own self. Enterprising individuals are putatively free to
negotiate working conditions and continuously to adapt their competencies to changing demands in quickly saturated markets (Harvey, 1989). Work is
redefined as the translation of innate and learned competencies and skills into
value as enterprise. So fully is the individual responsibilized that leading edge
organizations develop rigorous training programmes which continuously test the worker’s ability to manifest pro-organizational values. During such
training workers ’freely choose’, as du Gay puts it, to partake in a ’reflexive
self-monitoring’ on their progress.

Neo-liberalism and new managerialism are thus close bedfellows in promoting
a compelling version of subjectivity. In these emphases new managerialism
takes a post-structuralist view to the continual (flexible) reproduction
of, not individual agents and social institutions, but corporate organizations
themselves. As Morgan puts it, ’images and ideas people hold of themselves
and their world have a fundamental impact on how their realities unfold’. Breaking from the public power/private enterprise distinction
of nineteenth-century liberalism, new managerialism, in language
and in emphasis, rejuvenates the power of ideas and creativity in the social
construction of reality. Neo-liberalism, appositely, understands personal choice not as opposed to, but of a piece with, corporate power. Neo-liberal
empowerment also sees the individual not as made up by others or as depen- dent on social-structural conditions, but as freely adapting to market transitions, a free adaptation favourably termed ’lifelong

But although appearing to promote individuality and creativity and the
unfettered enterprising visionary, new managerialism is a discourse directed
not at the articulation of the individual in society but at the organization in
the free market. While individuals and essences are not the foundation of
society, individuals can nevertheless be discursively made up in the service
of organizational ends. New managerialism likewise aligns all the virtues of
autonomy and enterprise with the character of the mission-driven ’learning
organization’. Against a neo-liberal backdrop, new managerialism offers an
antidote to the problem of the spirited ’individualist’ straining against an
external authority. Spirit, initiative, enterprise and charisma are recast as
qualities belonging not to the individual standing opposed to organizations
and their collective thinking, but rather as virtues which individuals acting within organizations may partake of. Today, one is most likely to encounter
words like ’iconoclast’ or ’rebel’ in the marketing or promotion of organizationally aligned individuality. Individual expression comes to be understood,
with empowerment politics, as the self’s maximization of corporate privilege.

 Indeed… we can better appreciate subjectivity under new managerialism by viewing it in contradistinction
to its cultivation under the bureaucratic organization. The manager in the
bureaucratic organization was ideally impersonal, objective, dispassionate, detached and knowledgeable: an expert. He was insulated by rules and by rank in a vertical hierarchy, and through clear delineations of diminishing authority which passed down through the ranks of the vertical pillar. In turn,
the worker in the bureaucratic organization was separated in his work and
life, bifurcated into reason and emotion and between pleasure and duty, and
knew very clearly the limits of his authority, knowledge and competence. 

An outcome of bureaucracy’s ’foundational exclusions’ and ’constitutive
splits’ was a worker who was said to lack initiative and was also ontologically
(as opposed to presentationally) under-identified with the public missions of
the organization. A rule-driven shaping of subjectivities rewards rote
adherence to procedure while punishing creative enterprise. Skolnick identified this dilemma as a key organizational problem of policing. A further
consequence (with further relevance in policing) has reputedly been a subjectivity
characterized in a split between a public self of impersonal proceduralism
and austerity and a private self of abuses and secret excesses
(where initiative finds expression).
Liberal oppositions have helped to shape subjects as neutral agents through the application of bureaucratic rules and in the distinction between public and
private expression. But in being so shaped, individual enterprise has been
understood as the cost, expression being associated with favouritism, abuse
of office and corruption. 

New managerialism has offered a new image of subjectivity, one which
is conceptualized in opposition to the rational separations and forced objectivity and neutrality of liberal oppositions and bureaucracy. The executive
in the new learning organization is characterized by risk-taking, entrepreneurship,
involvement and a ’calculatingly charismatic’ personality. Rather than being seen as a commander, he is seen explicitly as
a people- and organization-shaper: s/he shapes ’the conduct and self-image of employees … encouraging them to acquire capacities and dispositions that will enable them to become enterprising persons’.
In contrast to the foundational exclusions and subjectivity splitting of the
bureaucratic worker, the worker in a new managerialist organization is
made whole again through work-based participatory technologies such as
work teams, continuous learning and peer review procedures. S/he is made
up to be ’empowered’ and personally interested.
S/he is to find ‘pleasure in work’ rather than pleasure through work. Finally, s/he is to be made responsible or responsibilized to care for the self and take pleasure by making herself a project or enterprise.

– Willem de Lint, “New Managerialism and Canadian Police Training Reform,” 

Social & Legal Studies.

Volume: 7 issue: 2, 1998. pp. 263-266

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“Les Officiers de la Circulation Provinciale A L’Entrainement,” Photo-Journal. March 17, 1938. Page 34.

“Jacques Langevin, professeur de culture physique bien connu et instructeur en chef de la culture physique de la division Montréal et Québec, que l’on voit ici, a été chargé de donner des cours aux officiers de la circulation provinciale. Ces cours durent une période de trois mois.  Les cours consistent dans les exercises suivants: entrainement militaire, les premiers soins aux blessés, l’usage de bombes lacrimogène, le tire au révolver, la culture physique et le Jiu-jitsu.  Tous ces officiers sont sous la direction du major Charles Girouard, directeur de la circulation pronvinciale.  Les présentes photos ont été prise au cours d’une séance à la salle militair angle des Pins et Drolet.”

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“A policeman’s life is not always a happy one in Chicago – that’s why the Lincoln Park patrol have been supplied with war-like accoutrements, including gas masks and hand-grenades,” Toronto Star. February 24, 1933. Page 21.

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“Quebec’s Reorganized Provincial Police,” The Montreal Standard. January 8, 1938. Page 21.

Quebec’s Reorganized Provincial Police,  now in training, are here shown for the first time through The Standard camera eye as seen at the Palestre Nationale gymnasium.  After 24 days’ drill the rookies are one of the finest bodies of potentional officers seen locally, being hand-picked men, as the camera shots at left and right show.

Colonel P. A. Piuze (above middle), new director of the Montreal District Provincials and previously warden of St. Vincent de Paul Penitentiary for 12 years, selected the rookies, two from each county, without political interference.  They will graduate at the end of February with a thorough knowledge of the law, first aid, jiu-jitsu, swimming, general drill, fire arms, etc. A number of them have attended universities while most of them are high school graduates.  The Colonel has a heavy course of studies ahead of them and hopes to introduce G-Man and R.C.M.P. criminal investigation over a period of years.

(Right[bottom]) Young Provincials At Drill. The 50 French and English speaking rookies are seen drilling at Palestre Nationale under Sergeant-Major R. Marion (in civilian clothes), head of the school, and Sgt. Joe Gilbert, instructor.  There are 69 Provincial detectives now on duty in this District, who are scheduled for special ‘refresher’ courses.  Colonel Piuze will then appoint one resident detective to each country.  This will faciliate case-handling besides giving each county a specialist in that section’s problem.  Of course, the Montreal headquarters will send support to these ‘County Chiefs’ when needed.”

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“Crime Tracking Made Scientific By Ontario Plan; Provincial Police Training Is Akin to That of Scotland Yard; Merit Promotion; Already Roebuck-Williams Regime Makes Notable Clean-Ups,” The Toronto Globe. December 12, 1934.

“Ontario is to boast of a Scotland Yard of its own.

Attorney-General Arthur Roebuck and Provincial Police Commissioner V. A. S. Williams, are working, out the details of a plan which is designed to make the members of the Criminal Investigation Branch second-to-none in the Dominion in the work of crime detection.

Paying high tribute to the work of the Provincial Police, the progressive attitude of General Williams, has been Commissioner for fourteen years, and the untiring industry during forty years of service of Inspector Miller, Attorney-General Roebuck declared his intention of leaving no stone untuned in his efforts to broaden out and increase the efficiency of the Provincial Police organisation. The most friendly confidence and co-operation between the Attorney-General and the heads of the Police Department, states Mr. Roebuck, has contributed very materially to the department’s efficiency.

Two-Months Course.
Under the new scheme, certain men on the Provincial force will be presented with the opportunity of taking a two-months course at the Queen’s Park headquarters.  This course will be conducted under the guidance of noted instructors.  the men will hear lectures delivered by eminent authorities on all branches of criminal investigation and, at the end of the course, will be examined.  The results of the examination, it is understood, will serve as a barometer of merit when promotions are considered. Mr. Roebuck has suggested that they may be certain lectures which should be of benefit to men on the Toronto force.  Chief Constable D. C. Draper is to be consulted on this matter in the near future.

The scheme, it was learned, is based on proven principles adopted by Scotland Yard in Great Britain.  When in the Old Land a few years ago, General Williams spent three months at Scotland Yard studying these principles.

Praise for Force.
Questioned by The Globe, the genial Commissioner admitted that the new plan would result in a ‘miniature Scotland Yard’ being established at Queen’s Park. In the course of conversation, he commented upon the very fine calibre of men in the Provincial Service. Pointing to a large map on the wall of his room, General Williams remarked, ‘Do you see all these flags?’

‘Yes,’ replied The Globe reporter, taking in at a glance clusters of flags in the southern portion of the Province and the more-isolated emblems in the North. 

‘These flags,’ proceeded the Commissioner, ‘represent men.  There are places, as you can see, where a man may be far removed from civilization.  That man has to be a detective.  He has to know exactly what to do when a crime is committed, and, believe me, they are doing great work.  There are, of course, some who are better detectives than others.  These men cannot just pick up a telephone and say, ‘What do I do next?’ They have to use their own initiative and guts.’

General Williams pointed out that all men who wish to enter the Provincial force have to submit to an examination in arithmetic, English and general knowledge.  At the end of the probation period, the men are examined and those who pass are given positions.  He also indicated the physical and health requirements of all applicants.  The Commissioner said the new scheme is being worked out under the direction of the Attorney-General with the idea of maintaining the maximum efficiency in the Criminal Investigation Branch.”

Underlying these kinds of reports is the reality that the OPP were NOT well-trained, ‘scientifically’ organised or effectively manned before this program was instituted.  

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