Canadian vs. American Policing Research Proposal

Pages: 10 (2615 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Canadian vs. American Policing

This work intends to compare and contrast policing in America and Canada. Toward this end, an extensive review of relevant literature will be conducted. The literature in this review will show that policing in the United States are similar and yet are very different as well. The work of Hodgson, et al. (2005) entitled: "Public Policing in the 21st Century: Issues and Dilemmas in the U.S. And Canada" states that public police institutions are "now being challenged to develop policies and practices that meet the consumer needs and expectations of the increasingly diverse 21st century U.S. And Canadian publics. These challenges include population changes, the 'homeland security' agenda, police militarization, the public's fear of crime, new types of crime, revitalizing police management and operations, revamping police training, and improving police-community relations." (Hodgson, et al., 2005) the fact is that police agencies are "contending with the lure of becoming more like military operations." (Hodgson, et al., 2005)

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Roles that are "militarized" are being adopted by many law enforcement agencies "in their capacity as first responders to acts of terrorism on the home front." (Hodgson, et al., 2005) Yes, these principles are "often in conflict with the principles and philosophies of community-based, problem-solving; and consumer-service oriented policing models." (Hodgson, et al., 2005) Hodgson et al. relates that the "traditional reactive model of policing emphasizes responding to crimes after they occur without much regard for preventing crime or solving community problems before they escalate into crimes. In contrast, proactive and problem-solving policing strategies includes methods and programs to prevent and deter crimes from occurring." (Hodgson, et al., 2005) Hodgson states that Police act as the gatekeepers for the entire criminal justice system. They determine which individuals enter the web of social control, the criminal justice system, and under what circumstances." (Hodgson, et al., 2005) Stated to be identified "key core problems that are endemic to policing" are those of:

1) corruption;

2)the misuse of force; and 3) racial profiling. (Hodgson, et al., 2005)

Research Proposal on Canadian vs. American Policing Assignment


The work of Parent (2006) entitled: "The Police Use of Deadly Force: International Comparisons" states that the societies of Canada and the United States are "similar in many ways, recent research has noted significant differences in the rates of extreme violence between the two nations." Extreme violence is held to include "the police use of deadly force, the murder of police officers by an assailant, the homicide rate of the general population and violent crime such as firearm robberies." (Parent, 2006) the findings of the study reported by Parent states that police officers in the United States "is substantially higher than for police officers in Canada, and in many other nations. This may explain why police officers in the United States utilize deadly force in greater frequency than most western nations." (2006)

Amnesty International work entitled: "Police Brutality in America" states that "there the work entitled: "Civilian Policing Capacity for Peace Operations -Private Section Solution or Permanent Capacity" states that the United States, unlike Canada "with its Royal Canadian Mounted Police...does not have a national police force. Federal law enforcement agencies are highly specialized, and thus are not appropriate sources of civilian police. (Gantz, 2004) Gantz writes that the U.S. should "support the establishment of a standing civilian policing capacity at the UN..." And secondly that the U.S. "should consider creation of a national policing capacity, including a constabulary capacity, which could be applied to post-conflict settings." (Gantz, 2004) is a widespread and persistent problem of Police Brutality across the U.S.A. Thousands of individual complaints about police abuse are reported each year and local authorities pay out millions of dollars to victims in damages after lawsuits." (Randall, 1998)

Randall relates that police officers have "beaten and shot unresisting suspects, they have used batons, chemical sprays and electro-shock weapons; they have injured or killed people by placing them in dangerous restraint holds." (1998) Some of the instances of brutality stated by Amnesty International and related by Randall (1998) include the following: (1) shooting of unarmed suspects fleeing from minor crime scenes; (2) instances when suspects held in custody are fired upon after already being apprehended or restrained; (3) car chases here vehicles are fired upon when drivers and occupants are unarmed; (4) unprovoked and unwarranted shootings during police stakeouts; (5) torture and ill-treatment inside police stations; and (6) deaths while in police custody following dangerous restraint procedures, including the "hogtie," where the ankles are bound from behind to the wrists. (Randall, 1998)

Other instances include excessive force that has been used against individuals with mental illness or those who are disturbed and who are engaged in behavior that is non-threatening in nature. Furthermore, Randall relates that many times bystanders become victims of violence of the police. Randall (1998) states the fact that racial minorities "bear the brunt of police brutality and excessive force in many parts of the U.S.A." Abuses that have been reported include "racist language, harassment, ill-treatment, unjustified stops and searches, unjustified shootings and false arrests...The problems are not confined to inner cities." (Randall, 1998) Additionally, black motorists "are far more likely than whites to be stopped and searched without cause, and a significant number suffer injury at the hands of the police." (Randall, 1998) Generally, police officers and police departments in the United States "guilty of acts of most cases go unprosecuted and unpunished." (Randall, 1998) Randall (1998) relates that a "code of silence operates in many police departments, in which officers fail to report instances of brutality, or cover them up." Randall's work highlights three primary areas of concerning relating to policing in the United States:

1) death by less-than lethal weapons is high;

2) a pattern of racial discrimination exists; and 3) a system that protects the abusers when they are police officers. (Randall, 1998)


According to the Justice Watchdog website, the United States "incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country of the world." (2007) Privatization of the prison system has created new incentives which result in private groups attempting to impact politics, politicians and laws passed down by the courts because the more prisoners needing a prison cell the more money the privatized penal system is able to collect. One of the largest market pools for private prison corporations are non-violent offenders and the large majority of these being drug offense which have mandatory minimum sentencing and which are the focus of longer sentencing terms than even for murder and other much more heinous crimes. Among the 37 states who have legalized prisoners being contracted for work are corporate stockholders who "have lobbied successfully for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce." (Justice Watchdog, 2007)

Companies operating and creating operations in State prisons include: (1) at&T; (2) Boeing; (3) Compaq; (4) Dell; (5) Hewlett Packard; (6) Intel; (7) Lucent Technologies; (8) Macy's; (9) Microsoft; (10) Motorola; (11) Nordstrom; (12) Revlon; and (13) Target. The prison labor industry is a "$1 billion industry." (Justice Watchdog, 2007) Stated specifically by the Justice Watchdog is:

In 1995 there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; today, there are more than 100, with over 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade (2010), the number will have reached 360,000. Neither Stalinist Russia nor Nazi Germany imprisoned as many people at one time as the United States does today. Even China, with a population five times greater than the population of the United States, has fewer prisoners. With only 5% of the world's population, the United States currently has more than 25% of the global prison population." (Justice Watchdog, 2007)


The work of Tim Newburn entitled: "Handbook of Policing" states that while the tradition of policing in the United States and the "direct influence of Britain on the Canadian system, from the beginning differences between the U.S.A., Canada and England and Wales have been recognized." (2003) Newburn states: "Differences between the current police systems of England and Wales, the U.S.A. And Canada are best understood in a historical context." (2003) the development of the systems of police in the countries of Canada and the United States were not so different the primary difference according to Newburn "was the relationship held with the British government. While the U.S.A. had attained independence in 1788, before the establishment of paid police in Britain, Canada's independence was ratified in the North America Act 1867. Before then, early policing was directly influenced by the British government; afterwards as part of the British Empire, Canada continued to be subject to British influence." (Newburn, 2003)

Police forces in Canada were town forces paid and established approximately the same time they were established in England. According to Newburn, of greater significance was the "policing of the vast underpopulated areas of rural Canada, where control of the Indian and Inuit populations, protection of the territory from foreign incursions and the need to impose order within the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Canadian vs. American Policing.  (2008, July 10).  Retrieved October 19, 2020, from

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"Canadian vs. American Policing."  10 July 2008.  Web.  19 October 2020. <>.

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"Canadian vs. American Policing."  July 10, 2008.  Accessed October 19, 2020.