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Understanding the Standard of Proof in Your Police Foundations Courses

2019-01-23 by NAHB

police foundations training

One of the central principles law enforcement professionals can rely on during and after their training is the standard of proof, which uses available evidence to prove a legal claim or argument in a courtroom. In Canada, the burden of proof lies with the government, which means that the prosecutor must prove their case against the defendant for the crime being adjudicated.

Since the standard of proof is split into three different categories, it can be hard to understand how they all work. If you’re interested in police foundations, read on to learn about the standard of proof, and how it relates to your career in law enforcement.

Students in Police Foundations Training Know the Importance of Prima Facie

Prima facie is a Latin phrase which means the equivalent of “at first sight”. It is a standard of proof in both criminal and civil law which indicates, upon examination, that there is sufficient evidence to corroborate or support a case in court.

This does not mean, however, that it should be assumed that the defendant is guilty just because they’re accused of something. After the Crown has established a prima facie case, because the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, the defendant does not need to prove their innocence, but rather establish consistent, reasonable doubt about the evidence being presented, and whether or not it indicates their guilt.

Police foundations training can help you learn and understand judicial terminology

Police foundations training can help you learn and understand judicial terminology

Police Foundations Explores the Meaning of ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’

One of the most well-known aspects of the standard of proof is what’s called ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ (BARD). This is also one of the most common standards of proof in law, and means that there must be almost or absolute certainty based on the evidence that someone is guilty of committing a crime.

As students taking police foundations courses know, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ is not something that can be based on sympathy, prejudice, or feelings, but instead is something that must be a logical conclusion. If, for instance, a defendant is on trial for robbing a store, it’s not enough to say that you know they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because of the colour of their shirt. Instead, you should rely on definitive evidence such as a security recording showing the robbery.

Proof on a Preponderance of the Evidence

Professionals with police foundations training know that the standard of proof can be applied differently in criminal cases than in civil cases. Also called the ‘balance of probabilities,’ the proof on a preponderance of the evidence is used in civil trials to determine that a specific conclusion based upon the evidence is more probably or likely than the argument of the other legal party.

For example, a defendant is taken to court over a dispute with their neighbour. The neighbour claims that the defendant has damaged the fence they share by running it over with their lawnmower, but the evidence shows that there are actually lawnmower tracks coming from the neighbor’s side of the fence. This means that the balance of probabilities is in favour of the defendant. While this form of the standard of proof operates in a ‘binary’ system—either it is true or false—it is still important to be able to distinguish between the two.

Are you interested in starting a career in law enforcement?

Contact NAHB for more information about earning your police foundations diploma.

Getting Serious about a Job in Law Enforcement

2016-01-27 by NAHB

Police Foundations Diploma

A Police Foundations Diploma is a terrific career choice for people interested in the fields of policing and law.  There are virtually hundreds of stable and well-paying career paths that cross-over and extend from the many rewarding roles available in these sectors.

The first step is obtaining your diploma in Police Foundations because the majority of job positions list relevant post-secondary education as a mandatory requirement in obtaining a job within law enforcement – this diploma opens-up a world of possibilities that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you.

Did you know that acceptance into the Ontario Police College requires all recruits to have been hired and sworn in by an authorized police agency in Ontario?
Obtain your Police Foundations Diploma and show potential employers you’re serious about your decision to work in law enforcement. And, get to work faster by enrolling in NAHB’s Police Foundation Diploma program to be armed with everything you need in only 9-months – a shorter and more concise program than those offered by community colleges (which can last up to 2 years).

Once hired, a candidate is classified as a Cadet in Training and will receive a salary of $58,220 while attending the Ontario Police College.1

Interested in policing services and not attending Ontario Police College?
You’ll still need to show potential employers you’re serious about your career choice.  Obtain your Police Foundations Diploma and start applying for civilian positions straight away. In addition to sworn police officers, police services reported employing 28,409 civilians in 2014, representing 29% of total personnel. The proportion of civilians employed within police services has been increasing since data was first collected in 1962.2

Here’s a snapshot of the career streams open to you after you obtain your diploma:

  • Bylaw Enforcement Officer
  • Canine Response teams
  • Communications Dispatch
  • Community Policing
  • Court Prisoner Transport Officer
  • Enforcement of Traffic Safety and Bylaws
  • Forensics Officers and Crime Scene Investigator
  • Military Police Officer
  • Negotiators
  • School Resource Officer
  • Special Constable
  • Specialized Response Teams for Emergency, Aviation and Marine Services

Every course, every job and every skill you learn in the field garners you experience that remains relevant as you progress into more senior roles.

Do you care about your community?
Translate your passionate about making a difference to those in your community.  Being exposed to and working with our marginalized community gives you ample opportunities to help impact lives in a positive manner.  In some cases you’ll be the only touch-point for someone who has nowhere else to turn, you’ll have an understanding of community resources and available programs to help lift people out of desperate situations and moreover you’ll be armed with the know-how to help people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Are you interested in obtaining your Police Foundations Diploma? Visit the NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor.

For more information please visit:

National Academy of Health & Business
Phone and email:
Mississauga: 1.888.306.0991
Hamilton: 1.888.446.4649
Toronto: 1.866.797.6312


The Importance of Communication Skills in Law Enforcement

2015-04-29 by NAHB

skills for law enforcement

After completing law enforcement courses and stepping into your first role as a police officer, it’s important to remember that one of the best aspects of any good police officer is their ability to communicate. Yes, your physical ability and understanding of legal codes and procedures is all very important, as is a calm temperament and an analytical mind. However, these must be combined with top notch communication skills for you to be truly effective and safe when dealing with the public.

Formulating Trust and Positive Relationships

It is an unfortunate truth that some people hold suspicious or negative attitudes toward police officers. Some are based on previous encounters with law enforcement and others are culturally based. In some cases, law enforcement training can help overcome these inherent prejudices by teaching new officers how to formulate trust through strong communication abilities. For example, if a potential witness trusts a police officer, they are likely to open up and offer information without coercive force being used.

Good Law Enforcement Starts With Listening

Active listening is not only a good communications tool to have; for a police officer, it could literally be a lifesaver. A police officer could use the information they glean from listening to determine if the person they are speaking with is reliable or possibly a threat. They can then use that assessment to determine if they need to take a more authoritative and aggressive stance or a compassionate approach. Non-judgemental listening, where the police officer gives the person they are speaking with their undivided attention, is the first step in establishing trust.

Verbal Communication

There are four main types of people a police officer will have to communicate with verbally on a day-to-day basis. Each requires a different tone. These are:

  • Dispatchers: This communication needs to be clear, curt and right to the point. Just the facts.
  • Suspects: When dealing with suspects, verbal communication needs to be authoritative and direct.
  • Victims: The tone of verbal communication when speaking with victims should be compassionate and soft-spoken, though still as clear as possible.
  • Civilians: When communicating verbally with witnesses and other members of the general public who have not been identified as victims or suspects, the tone will vary. Active listening is really important in determining what tone to use.

Non-Verbal Communication

Police officers must communicate their authority and command respect before even uttering a word. A police foundations diploma and a job on the police force gives professionals a key tool that helps in this goal: the uniform. A police car helps magnify this authority even more.

In order to solidify and reinforce this image of authority, a police officer must use their posture and other body language elements. Looking someone directly in the eye when speaking to them is crucial as well.

Are you ready to develop your communication skills with police foundations training and become an effective law enforcement officer?


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