AuthorKent Roach
| 1
Canadian policing needs to change. It needs to become less violent and dis-
criminatory, better governed, and more eective. All of this needs to be done
for the sake of both the public and the police.
Policing in Canada has produced the overpolicing of Indigenous, Black,
and other disadvantaged groups while at the same time failing to protect
those groups and women from disproportionate violence.
Police conduct is reviewed by independent investigators for criminality,
by courts deciding Charter of Rights and Freedoms issues, in civil lawsuits,
and through police complaints and discipline proceedings. ere are also
many systemic reviews calling for change. Yet police misconduct — now oen
recorded on video — persists.
e police need to be better governed to address misconduct before it
occurs. is will not be easy as policing in Canada involves multiple levels
of governments. Moreover, responsible ocials are oen reluctant to take
responsibility for controversial policing policies or to send clear signals about
what they expect from the police.
Police budgets can no longer be exempted from scal restraints that will
be felt by all other public agencies as we emerge from the COVID- pan-
demic. Policing needs to become cheaper, more eective, and evidence-based.
ere is a role for the public police, but it needs to be integrated into a
broader approach to community safety and well-being. is will not be easy
given entrenched bureaucratic silos and divided jurisdiction over these matters.
Allowing Indigenous communities to engage in self-determination with
respect to community safety and well-being has promise. At the same time,

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