NEW WESTMINSTER, BC, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Recommendations from the
first-ever national survey and study of ethics and professionalism in
Canadian police forces were released today by the Canadian Association
of Chiefs of Police (CACP), a non-profit organization representing 90%
of the police community in Canada.
The study, which started in 2009, includes a national survey with over
10,000 respondents in 31 Canadian police services, as well as 80
interviews and a literature review.
"Across the country police chiefs are committed to improving police
professionalism, and this study will be an important resource for our
members" says Chief Dale McFee, president of the CACP. "As society
grows and values evolve, so too should the profession of policing."
The survey of sworn members, ranking from Constable to Staff Sergeant,
asked about issues such as work environment and conditions,
supervision, decision-making, management and community engagement.
"Police chiefs across the country wanted a comprehensive look at
evolving issues, like the importance of supervisory support, as well as
answers to the tough questions such as how the front line feels about
the behavioural integrity of their colleagues," says Assistant
Commissioner Norm Lipinski, head of the CACP ethics committee. "The
goal was to provide a benchmark for all police forces, and guidelines
on how we might better structure policing."
The study was conducted by Carleton University's Dr. Stephen Maguire and
Dr. Lorraine Dyke, with financial support from the CACP and the Sheldon
Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.
The survey focused on which programs and practices have the most impact
on sustaining officer integrity and organizational commitment. Key
78% of police officers are willing to put in a great deal of effort to
ensure their agency is successful
65% feel there is a good match between their colleagues' word and
actions, (25% had no opinion on that question) and 10% felt that words
and actions did not align
78% of front line police officers agreed that their agency had a good
relationship with the community, for example partnering with the
community to solve crimes (20% had no opinion) and 2% disagreed
68% of respondents felt citizen complaints were dealt with fairly (20%
had no opinion) and 12% disagreed
17% of respondents indicated concerns re the quality of supervision, for
example if their supervisor would help them solve work related problems
(24% were neutral) and 59% felt their supervisors were supportive
34% expressed concerns about whether their organization cared about
their well being
48% indicated dissatisfaction with ethical leadership of their senior
management team, for example whether senior management explains
decisions to employees, or whether employees felt listened to
After analyzing the results of the survey, reviewing literature and
conducting interviews Dr. Maguire and his team felt it was important
for Canadian police agencies to spend more time communicating about
their agency's programs and expectations.
"The good news is that I found very strong indicators of professionalism
already within policing practices and programs across the country.
Relationships with the community are strong. Where improvements need
to be made, the most salient general recommendation is to improve
support for and communication with the front line," says Dr. Maguire.
Dr. Maguire developed 52 recommendations for police agencies across
Canada to consider. The recommendations have been accepted by the CACP.
Broadly speaking, the top recommendations are for agencies to:
Develop a program for managing ethics - set standards to guide
discretionary judgment, develop in-house ethics expertise, and develop
interactive ethics sessions for all in-house training.
Support professional development.
Provide more support for the front line by reducing span of control and
by providing timely training to supervisors in supportive supervision.
"This study provided all Canadian police agencies with valuable
insights. It underscored the importance of strengthening our commitment
to ethical leadership, and showed us we need to do a better job of
communicating that commitment internally to our front line police
officers," says Chief McFee.
Individual police agencies who participated in the study now have the
opportunity to request data specific to their agency.
Please find the full list of recommendations at http://www.cacp.ca/index/news
SOURCE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE
For further information:
A/Commr. Norm Lipinski
Chair, CACP Ethics Committee; and
RCMP Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service
(Interviews can be booked through Sgt. Peter Thiessen at 604-614-6177)
Dr. Stephen Maguire
Acting Director, Centre on Values and Ethics