Off the Shelf
Ethics and Canadian Law Enforcement by Richard Parent and Catherine Parent
August 21, 2019 By Dr. Galib Bhayani, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Ethics and Canadian Law Enforcement
By Richard Parent and Catherine Parent; 2018, 346 pages
Ethics and Canadian Law Enforcement is a cogent and current text that speaks to the important issue of public confidence and police competence as well as the transformation of police services over the last three decades. Where this text stands out above others is the chapter on police oversight. The use of civilian-led oversight models versus police-led oversight models is a topic of great debate within Canada and the authors do not hold back in an analysis of the contentious issues with respect to holding the police accountable for their actions.
Each chapter builds on the previous, allowing the reader to fully grasp the theoretical concepts of legitimacy, governance and ethics within law enforcement as real examples are used to vividly describe the current state of affairs in Canada. The work traverses the areas of community and restorative justice with significant discussion around the concerted efforts by police to build trusting relationships with our Indigenous peoples.
The text ends with a discussion around ethical police leadership, which the authors argue is key to building trusting policing organizations free of internal issues, such as harassment, while externally viewed by the public as respectful and professional in all aspects. There has never been such a time in Canadian policing history where ethics, oversight and values are so critical. The nascent trends with respect to radicalization to violence, increased scrutiny of police use of force, collaborative responses to mental health and social issues, and the importance of recognizing diversity and gender within policing is vital to public safety.
Rick Parent’s experience as a former police leader is evident within this text as he guides the reader through the complexity and challenges of policing in Canada and the “right” way forward. This is an excellent teaching textbook and one that every criminal justice student and pracademic should reference when they speak to Canadian police and accountability.
Rick Parent’s experience as a former police leader is evident within this text as he guides the reader through the complexity and challenges of policing in Canada and the “right” way forward.
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