School of Criminal Justice & Security

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The Cassandra effect: translating "blood lessons" to the public
Facts often fail to counter the influence of those who are determined to proclaim the worst in situations of police use of force. When examined through a lens informed with an understanding of the limitations of human performance under stress, the actions of the officers involved are typically determined to be reasonable.
Challenges for modern policing: reducing injuries and improving performance
Today's police officer works in a very different environment from a police officer's world twenty years ago. Rapid advances in technology have given police officers additional enabling technology to assist them in conducting their duties. From sophisticated communications equipment and laptops in police vehicles to radios, cell phones, body armour and taser's that are worn on the body. The police officers tool kit is ever expanding. Unfortunately, unlike the construction worker, these tools cannot be put into a tool chest in the back of the truck. The police officer's tools must always be kept close at hand, often worn on their bodies and immediately accessible -- for the protection of the police officer and for the protection of members of the public. In fact, the police motor vehicle has become a mobile office space, giving police officers far more flexibility and ability to respond to a community's needs.
Civil liability and the police use of force in Canada
In Canada, the use of force by police must occur only within the parameters of federal laws, provincial regulations, and organizational policies. There is no obligation on the part of the police to use force in every situation, for which it would be legally justifiable to do so (Sec. 25, CCC). The use of force is dependent upon both the unique circumstances of the incident and the particular decisionmaking strategies of the individual officer.
Confirmation bias: the blue lens viewed through tinted glasses
Several coroner’s inquests and public inquiries have recommended front line police officers wear cameras to assist in determining ‘what really happened’ in encounters with subjects. The underlying assumption is that more information, especially images and audio, can only be better.
Corrections in British Columbia: pre-Confederation to the millennium
For more than 150 years, history was made by generations of public servants who committed themselves to a career with the B.C. Corrections Branch. This printed record captures some of the most significant milestones of their commitment.
Crisis intervention: the police response to vulnerable individuals
Police agencies require a specialised response when dealing with individuals who are vulnerable owing to their emotional, mental or physical state. During their time of crisis, these individuals may be irrational and violent due to factors that include suicidal ideation, psychosis, emotional upheaval and the influence of a substance. In a significant number of these cases the police response has resulted in the wounding or death of the vulnerable individual. As a result, police officers require a comprehensive strategy that will provide an emotionally charged individual an opportunity to calm down or, an individual in a drug/alcohol-induced state an opportunity to regain perspective. By way of specialised training, tactics and less-lethal weaponry the police may be able to facilitate a successful intervention to an otherwise tragic event.
Critical incident stress: the personal impact of a police shooting incident
A recent study of more than 400 fatal police shootings that took place, over a 20-year period in the United States and Canada highlighted the need for police to be aware of the dynamics associated with a police shooting. In many cases, the surviving officer and his or her family were unexpectedly left to come to terms with a life-threatening event that was complicated due to the controversial death of the assailant.
Deaths during police intervention
A 35-year-old male with a history of bipolar disorder fatally stabbed his 9-year-old son on the front lawn of the family residence. After shouting that he had “killed Satan,” he began removing most of his clothing. Summoned to the scene, six officers approached the irrational subject. They employed pepper spray to gain control of the combative male, handcuffed him, and “hog-tied” his legs to restrain him while they placed him in the rear of a police vehicle. As this occurred, the man suffered a massive heart attack and died. A subsequent coroner’s inquest determined that his death resulted from excited delirium.
Decisionmaking and the police use of deadly force
A precarious relationship exists between democratic societies and the police agencies that have been created for the purpose of maintaining law and social order. In an attempt to maintain law and order, police officers may be required to use force in their day-to-day contact with the public. Police have at their disposal the capacity to act as judge, jury, and executioner, if need be.
Disconnected training
The ascendance of online law enforcement training appears to be associated with the economics of policing and the calls for more training to better meet the concerns of identified special needs groups. While online training can provide certain benefits, the limitations for real-world competence and performance impairment must also be acknowledged.
Emotion's role in use of force: wearing the unemotional  mask of professionalism
Decision making for first responders working in environments where normal accidents can be expected due to risk factors is a very complex process. Educating police and the public about emotion and its evolved role in threatening events may better prepare officers and mitigate public response when police must use force.
Final report: Collaborative research exchange proposal: a collaborative approach to ensuring the health and safety of persons with disabilities when interacting with law enforcement officers
It is anticipated that the issues and initiatives identified in this project will form a basis for building better understanding between persons with disability, disability groups and police organizations  that will improve the safety and well being of disabled persons in the community and when interacting with police.  
Harm reduction in policing: responding to persons under the influence of illicit drugs
The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates between 75,000 and 125,000 injection drug users are addicted to drugs that include heroin, cocaine or amphetamines. Over fifteen thousand drug users are estimated to reside in the Greater Vancouver area; 69% have reported sharing needles. The Greater Vancouver region, with special consideration for the Downtown Vancouver Eastside, Canada's poorest neighbourhood and the epicentre for injection drug use (IDU), has a high rate not only of illicit drug use but also illicit drug possession and trafficking. It is estimated that nearly half of Vancouver's IDUs ( 4, 700 ID Us and 1,000 street youth) reside in this area covering approximately ten city blocks. On a day-to-to day basis, police officers routinely interact with individuals that are under the influence of illicit drugs placing themselves at risk not only of potential violent confrontation but also of inadvertently exposing themselves to communicable diseases.
Hazards of police firearm: accidental and mistaken discharges
A recent study analyzed 843 incidents where police personnel within the United States and Canada discharged their firearms, typically while facing a lethal threat (Parent, 2004). In 417 of these incidents, police personnel killed a total of 419 people. The remaining cases that were examined reflect firearm discharges that resulted in the wounding or non-injury of an individual. One of the interesting findings of this study is that in roughly eight percent of the cases examined (69 incidents) police personnel either accidentallv or mistakenly discharged their firearm. This number is believed to be higher as some of the police agencies likely did not disclose all of their accidental and mistaken discharges within their reporting.
How might a culture of appreciation be cultivated at JIBC?
An appreciative workplace culture has been demonstrated to increase the health of its employees which in turn increases the health of the organization by reducing absenteeism caused by sick leave, stress leave, and turnover (Chapman & White, 2011). Although limited, all previous literature demonstrated positive impacts for organizations that develop and sustain a culture of appreciation. By exploring appreciation within JIBC through employee dialogue, the opportunity existed to enhance the health and functioning of the organization.
Identification of potential risk factors for injury to police officers in using new technologies
This research explored the possible links between injuries to police officers, their equipment, and technology (on personnel duty belts and in police vehicles), and musculoskeletal injuries and motor vehicle accidents. The researchers aimed to identify, develop, modify and support workplace safety and well-being initiatives, contributing to injury reduction among police officers. The researchers set out to identify police vehicle and equipment design issues that contribute to on-the-job injuries, and to make recommendations addressing these concerns. They discovered that while police vehicles are increasingly becoming mobile work stations, complete with computers and other new equipment – both in the vehicles and attached to officers’ duty belts – little has been done to address the ergonomic and safety problems arising from such changes. Through observation and consultations with members of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and Justice Institute of B.C. (JIBC) recruits, the researchers developed a series of recommendations for improving police vehicle safety and comfort. Based on their findings, the researchers propose that immediate action be taken on issues identified as having low-cost, common-sense solutions, and that ongoing partnerships be built to address questions that require more complex strategies.
Identification of potential risk factors for injury to police officers in using new technologies
This research explored the possible links between injuries to police officers, their equipment, and technology (on personnel duty belts and in police vehicles), and musculoskeletal injuries and motor vehicle accidents. The researchers aimed to identify, develop, modify and support workplace safety and well-being initiatives, contributing to injury reduction among police officers. The researchers set out to identify police vehicle and equipment design issues that contribute to on-the-job injuries, and to make recommendations addressing these concerns. They discovered that while police vehicles are increasingly becoming mobile work stations, complete with computers and other new equipment – both in the vehicles and attached to officers’ duty belts – little has been done to address the ergonomic and safety problems arising from such changes. Through observation and consultations with members of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and Justice Institute of B.C. (JIBC) recruits, the researchers developed a series of recommendations for improving police vehicle safety and comfort. Based on their findings, the researchers propose that immediate action be taken on issues identified as having low-cost, common-sense solutions, and that ongoing partnerships be built to address questions that require more complex strategies.
Identification of potential risk factors for injury to police officers in using new technologies - summary
This project is aimed at identifying the limitations in police vehicle and equipment design that contribute to on-the-job injuries, and culminates in a set of recommendations for addressing those concerns. While police vehicles are now being used as mobile work stations, complete with computers and other new equipment, little has been done to address the ergonomic and safety problems arising from such changes. Additionally, as police officers become more representative of the greater population, differences related to sex, age, and body size need to be taken into consideration when designing police vehicle interiors and equipment. By tackling these issues, vehicles and gear can be improved to reduce the rate of equipment-related musculoskeletal injury (MSI) among police officers.
The police chaplaincy program: assisting others during a time of need
The law enforcement chaplain is a clergy person with special interest and training for providing pastoral care to all individuals within a police agency, regardless of race, national origin, creed or religion. These services are provided without any financial cost and without any degree of proselytizing.
The police use of deadly force: international comparisons
While the societies of the United States of America and Canada are similar in many ways, recent research has noted significant differences in the rates of extreme violence between the two nations. Extreme violence includes 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. Despite the differences in crime rates, trends in crime in the two countries are quite similar. The findings of this study illustrate that the perceived threat and calculated risk for police officers in the United States is substantially higher then for police officers in Canada, and in many other nations. This may explain why police officers in the United States utilise deadly force in greater frequency than in most western nations.

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