2019-01-23 by NAHB
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 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?
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2018-09-19 by NAHB
A career in public service requires dedication, compassion, and a strong sense of principles. For Roger Clowater, his lifelong career in law enforcement inspired him to prepare the next generation of students looking to make a difference. Thanks to his dedication and commitment, many of his students have earned their Certificate of Results and gone on to protect and serve in a variety of fulfilling careers.
Read on to learn more about Roger’s career and how he goes above and beyond for his students.
2018-09-12 by NAHB
Between 2016 and 2017, the Crime Severity Index (CSI) in Canada reported over 1.9 million police-reported criminal code incidents. For police officers working on the frontlines of law enforcement, having a keen understanding of criminal law is essential. In addition, under certain circumstances they may be called upon as a witness during civil cases. Developing an in-depth understanding of both is therefore an essential part of training for this career path.
Here is a quick guide to some of the differences between civil and criminal litigation for students interested in beginning a career in law enforcement.
An Overview of Criminal Law for Students in Police Foundations Training
In Canada, once a Crown prosecutor decides to bring charges against someone who has allegedly committed a criminal offence, this person then becomes the defendant, and their case is brought to trial. The prosecutor represents the community at large and acts as a public employee who is provided to the victim by the Crown counsel’s budget.
Criminal law involves a Crown-appointed prosecutor and a high burden of proof
Additionally, during trial the defendant’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, meaning that the judge or jury must be convinced that there is a high probability that the accused in fact committed the crime. As students in a police foundations program know, criminal law addresses offences which were committed with intentional harm against an individual and the community at large. For instance, a home invasion is considered a criminal offence because although it involves property, it violates the privacy and safety of the home’s occupants as well as the community’s notion of the home as a safe space. In order for a defendant to be convicted of a crime, it must be proven based upon the evidence presented that it was committed intentionally. It is important to remember that in Canada, the defendant should be considered innocent until a guilty verdict has been determined.
A Quick Overview of Civil Law
Civil law, in contrast to criminal litigation, concerns a dispute between private parties. In addition, the defendant may be held responsible for damages or injury which occurs as a result of their negligence. A majority of civil law presented to the court includes family law, which involves divorce, child custody, as well as spousal and child support. Allegations of medical malpractice, distribution of estate, and employment complaints are also covered in civil court. Students in police foundations training should be aware that they can be called a witness in a civil trial if they serve a subpoena to anyone involved or acted within the dispute in a law enforcement capacity.
If a case is found to have merit, the court may order the losing party to pay for sufficient damages, which usually involves financial compensation. Other means of resolving a civil case, known as a remedy, are through a declaration which states the rights of the parties, and an injunction, which is a restraining order that states a party has or does not have the ability to take a certain action.
What Are the Main Differences?
Generally, the main difference between civil law and criminal law is that to find the accused at fault, more evidence is required in criminal cases than civil ones. To prove that a crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution must also demonstrate that the act was committed with intent. Civil cases, however, must be proven on what’s known as a balance of probabilities, which indicates if it is more probable than not that the defendant can be held liable for causing harm or loss to the plaintiff. There is a lower standard of proof involved because a civil trial does not use incarceration or jail time as punishment, but instead settles disputes financially.
Standards of liability and punishment differ between criminal and civil court
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2018-08-15 by NAHB
When considering how to contend with young offenders in Canada, the criminal justice system focuses on protecting communities while simultaneously favouring rehabilitation and reintegration over incarceration. The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) outlines all the rights that young offenders would be entitled to in court. Sentencing and other aspects of law enforcement are also covered by the act, which places emphasis on more lenient sentences, such as community service or volunteering, for non-violent crimes.
When coming face to face with a young offender as a police officer, there are many important points to consider. Keep reading to learn more about what law enforcement keeps in mind when working with youth.
1. Young Offenders Are Not as Mature as Adults
There is a reason that the YCJA doesn’t treat adolescents aged 12 to 17 the same way as an adult. Youths lack the maturity of an adult, and may commit crimes for reasons such as peer pressure or bullying. In fact, on a physiological level, teenage brains are different from those of adults. As young teens enter puberty, their brains undergo dramatic changes that begin in areas like the limbic system and other emotional centres. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for complex decision-making and planning ahead, is the last part of the brain to undergo this development. This means that emotional regulation is often more difficult for teenagers than it is for adults.
2. Young Offenders May Come from Troubled Homes
Young offenders, particularly those dealing with family violence or abuse, might be at greater risk of committing crimes than peers with a larger support network. For troubled youths, shoplifting or other non-violent crimes may be a non-healthy coping mechanism they use as they navigate a difficult time.
This is one of the reasons why the Youth Criminal Justice Act places such a strong emphasis on rehabilitation. Many pilot programs have also explored alternatives to punishment through counselling, volunteering, or other approaches that aim to help young offenders understand the consequences of their actions and avoid becoming repeat offenders. After your police foundations training, you may come across such programs as you work with your community.
3. The Consequences for Young Offenders Can Be Severe
For young offenders, sentences are less severe than they are for adults. However, this is not to say that the consequences of their actions won’t have a profound impact on their lives. To start with, young offenders may not be allowed to travel to certain countries. In addition, some universities may also refuse acceptance on the grounds of an offense committed.
In addition, while clemency is often emphasized, graduates of a police foundations program know that the safety of the community is also an important aspect the Youth Criminal Justice Act considers. Particularly violent crimes or repeat offenses that keep escalating in nature may present too great a risk, and so judges may decide that a prison sentence is most appropriate. In extreme cases, judges may even consider trying a youth as an adult.
While these aspects of law enforcement can often be emotionally challenging, working in this field offers the potential to truly make a difference in the lives of troubled teens and their communities.
Are you ready help youths after you become a police officer in Ontario?
Contact the National Academy of Health and Business for more details!
2017-12-27 by Isabelle Schumacher
For individuals who are looking to begin their careers or find a new path after some time in the workforce, the prospect of becoming a police officer may be an appealing option. Police officers are highly visible and important figures in every community, making it no surprise that this is a popular prospective career path.
However, working as a police officer is a unique job with characteristics that many individuals may not be aware of, and it is important to work toward a new career path with all the information you will need to succeed. Keep reading to learn about a few factors that you should keep in mind before you decide that becoming a police officer is the right option for you.
There is No Typical Day When You Become a Police Officer
The workday of a police officer can often be quite unpredictable. While you may be assigned to specific units or neighbourhoods, you will have no way of knowing what type of calls will come in on any given day. Police officers need to be ready to fill whatever duties are required of them, whether this means a shift of traffic direction beginning at 5:00am, or responding to violent incidents late at night. If you intend to pursue police foundations training, you should know that every day as a police officer will come with unique experiences.
Police Foundations Training Is Part of a Rigorous Learning Process
Another important thing to keep in mind is that police officers are highly-trained professionals. Your police foundations program will provide just that—the foundational knowledge needed to succeed as a police officer. From there, different police forces require recruits to attend their specific academies, such as the Ontario Provincial Police Academy. Police academy training is rigorous, and having completed a police foundations program is essential to students who want to pursue this path.
A police foundations program is excellent preparation for specialized police academy training
When You Become a Police Officer, You Serve Your Community
One of the most critical aspects of the job of any police officer is the opportunity to serve one’s community. Whether helping victims of crimes, questioning witnesses, giving tickets, participating in community events, or providing support to vulnerable people, police officers engage with their communities in extremely valuable ways on a daily basis. Community service is a rewarding component of being a police officer, and individuals interested in this career path should make sure that this is something they will value in their careers.
Police officers engage with and serve their communities every day on the job
Work After Police Foundations Training Requires Strength of Character
Finally, if you are interested in pursuing a career as a police officer, you should keep in mind that this is a role that comes with both respect and responsibility. Police officers have to deal with challenging and sometimes unpleasant situations. While this takes awhile to get used to, it also offers valuable opportunities for personal growth. Further, the difficulty that comes with this career garners police officers significant respect from their colleagues and other community members, which can serve as a strong motivating force to consistently strive for excellent work. With foresight and a clear understanding of the role of police officers, you can move confidently toward this career goal!
Do these considerations appeal to you?
Contact us at NAHB to learn more about the steps you can take to become a police officer!
2017-01-04 by NAHB
Many law abiding citizens believe they know the law. However, many would be surprised to find out a lot of what they think to be law is actually myth. When people hear the same rule repeated over and over, it can be hard to distinguish reality from false information. The longer this goes on, the more people believe the mythical law and come to accept it as fact. This is why so many fall victim to believing in laws that might not even exist.
As an aspiring police officer, it will be your job to uphold the law in the line of duty. While your training will help make sure that you are well-versed in which laws are fact and which are fiction, you might sometimes encounter citizens who might not have the same in-depth training.
Here are three common myths you might encounter throughout your career.
Myth #1: U-Turns Are Illegal and Can be Punished by Professionals with Police Foundations Training
The U-turn is a hot topic of debate amongst drivers. Many believe pulling such a maneuver violates the law. However, U-turns are completely legal unless there are signs stating otherwise. After police foundations training you won’t be ticketing drivers for pulling a U-turn as long as they are performed safely. This mean the intersection must not be within 30 metres of a railroad crossing, and oncoming drivers must be able to clearly see from 150 meters away.
Myth #2: A Signed Contract Is Always Enforceable Once You Become a Police Officer
Contract law is intricate and can be confusing, which is why there are many myths about what constitutes a binding contract. After you become a police officer you may notice that in some cases, a judge may choose not to honour a contract signed by both parties. If important conditions are not met, it can unravel the contract. For example, in contract law, parties must have the “capacity” to participate in a contract. This means they are of sound mind, age, and ability to understand what they are signing. If a judge believes one party’s capacity and judgement was hindered, the judge could refuse to uphold the contract. This also applies to contracts signed under duress, pressure, or as a result of threats.
Myth #3: Driving Over the Legal Limit is the Same as Impaired Driving
Many do not realize that being charged for having a blood alcohol level above the legal limit is not the same charge as driving impaired. In Canada, the maximum legal blood alcohol content is 80 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08). This is oftentimes referred to as “over 80”. For some drivers, operating a vehicle with this much alcohol in their system won’t hinder their function, but for many it could render them completely useless at the wheel. This is why impaired driving is an additional and separate charge. If someone is over the legal limit but driving normally, they will be charged for driving over the legal limit, but not for impaired driving. On the other hand, someone can be charged with impaired driving because of erratic driving behaviour while being within the legal alcohol limit.
Driving while over the legal alcohol limit is different than driving impaired
Are you interested in enrolling in police foundations training?
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2016-09-21 by NAHB
Police work is increasingly focusing on partnerships with communities in order to produce better-informed and better-connected police forces as well as safer and more cohesive neighborhoods. Community based policing focuses on partnerships with community organizations, not-for-profits, local politicians, community leaders, private businesses, and local media outlets. These partnerships involve circulating information to maintain the safety of the local community.
Read on for a brief introduction to the practice of community based policing.
Students in Police Foundations Courses Might Know That Community Policing Is a Philosophy
Community based policing isn’t necessarily a program or set of guidelines that are implemented in the day-to-day activities of policing, but rather an overarching philosophy that informs conduct. Community policing is a philosophy and strategy that promotes partnerships and friendly interactions with community organizations and community members. These partnerships utilize problem-solving techniques to address public safety issues including social disorders and crime.
One example of a community based policing solution includes ‘Citizen’s Patrol’ groups that can observe interactions and assist police in addressing suspicious activity. These types of community organizations can be joined while you’re still in your police foundations program!
Community based policing focused on partnering with different community leaders
Teamwork Is Imperative for Successful Police Foundations Training and Community Policing
A huge part of the community policing philosophy is the recognition that effective policing can’t be done alone; teamwork is essential for safe communities. As you’ll soon learn throughout your studies, teamwork in an important part of any police officer’s career—so much so that you’ll even learn effective team building techniques as part of your program.
Community policing also involves teamwork, but on a much bigger scale. Community partnerships with local politicians and organizations mean that all members of the community work together to find solutions for public safety issues. These partnerships help develop the public’s trust in the police force by making forces more visible in the community and by having community leaders openly endorsing police work. This work also helps improve public trust by ultimately making police work more effective, therefore demonstrating that police forces are working hard to make their neighborhoods even safer.
Effective Community Policing Addresses the Causes of Crime
When you graduate from police foundations courses, keep in mind that community policing doesn’t necessarily look to solve crimes. Rather than seeking to address crime only after it occurs, community policing looks to respond to underlying conditions that give rise to deviance and crime. Community policing tries to touch on only things it can have an immediate impact on. One such thing is increased guardianship for children or students that may not have a support system in their life. By acting as a mentor to a young child, or inspiring the next generation to avoid illicit substances, you can make a tangible difference throughout your community by employing a community based approach.
Integrating police as guardians in the community is a great way to prevent crime
Want to explore how police foundations training can help you make a difference in your community?
Contact an advisor today to discover more!
2016-03-09 by NAHB
Earning a police foundations diploma is personally rewarding, since this line of work can provide you with the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others. Whether you choose to work behind the wheel of a patrol car, respond to domestic disputes, or work with teenagers at a local youth center, your role will focus on upholding the safety and security of Canadian citizens. While police officers are required to manage difficult situations daily, they also reap the benefits associated with helping others.
If you’re planning to enroll in a police foundations college, you’ll receive the training needed to launch a wide variety of law enforcement careers—some may even take you across the country! Read on for a closer look at the responsibilities of municipal, provincial, and federal police officers.
Police Foundations Training Could Lead to a Career With The Municipal Police
Municipal police officers are required to perform a wide range of duties. Most of these revolve around protecting citizens and property. If you decide to become a municipal police officer, you will have plenty of opportunity to move up in the ranks, and to work in different areas of your city.
Once you become a municipal police officer, you’ll be responsible for patrolling neighborhoods, responding to calls, working at the police station and more. While on duty, municipal police officers also perform clerical work, such as filling out various forms and writing reports. They sometimes testify in municipal court for ongoing investigations, make arrests and issue citations. Police foundations training will provide you with working knowledge of municipal laws, criminology, and much more in order to prepare you for a career as a police officer in your community.
The primary function of a municipal police officer is to keep the peace in the community
Work With The Provincial Police After Completing Police Foundations Courses
Once you’ve completed your police foundations courses, you might find work on a provincial police force like the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). Provincial police provide services to the entire province and they offer specialized support to municipal police forces in dealing with some crimes.
As a provincial police officer, you would have the chance to work on province-wide investigations. Rather than patrolling city streets, you would be responsible for law enforcement on provincial highways. Provincial police officers often team-up with other provincial agencies, such as the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Natural Resources to enforce highway safety and conservation laws.
Working with provincial police like the OPP will have you enforcing highway laws and much more
Apply For Work With The RCMP After Your Police Foundations Training
Working with Canada’s national police force means you would be responsible for ensuring public safety and security country-wide. RCMP officers are also required to enforce the law, conduct investigations, create community awareness and more. In your police foundations courses, you’ll examine criminal statistics on a national level and gain a solid understanding of Canadian legal acts and regulations. Receiving this knowledge is a great starting point and will prepare you for a career as an RCMP officer.
New recruits with the RCMP begin their career by performing patrolling and law enforcement duties that are similar to those of municipal officers. However, because this police force is nation-wide, there are opportunities for many specialized jobs down the line, such as working on drug enforcement investigations or administrative positions. The RCMP has locations throughout Canada, so if you’re considering working with the RCMP, you might be asked to relocate.
RCMP officers are highly-respected by law enforcement agencies all over the world
Looking for a police foundations program in Ontario?
Visit NAHB for program details, or to speak with an advisor.
2015-02-11 by NAHB
Author Malcolm Gladwell in his novel “Outliers” writes about a gathering of criminologists in 1940s New York. The finest minds in the detective world are gathered to understand the motives and nature of the Con Edison bomber.
In the nick of time it seems, a young psychiatrist by the name of James Brussel forwards a theory. “The bomber,” he said, “would be of Polish decent, unmarried, and when you catch him he will be dressed in a buttoned double-breasted suit.”
Sure enough, the police arrested the man, George Metesky, and he was indeed dressed how Brussel described.
This story was cited on CBS’s hit show Criminal Minds, which has been famous for bringing the practice of criminology into the public sphere. However, the truth of the matter is that much of the criminology seen on television is the work of elaborate guessing and suspenseful story-telling. Students taking police foundations training to enter the police force will discover for themselves that criminology is, in fact a science – one which requires professional training and in-depth knowledge of criminal patterns.
The Purpose of Criminal Profiling
Criminology is also known as criminal profiling, which means typecasting a criminal’s behavioural patterns in order to solve a crime. Criminal profiling is used to catch criminals who have committed crimes of all types – whether they are single or serial cases. These crimes could range from robberies, arson and serious threats, to crimes such as assault and fraud.
One of the first steps to profiling a criminal is to form a personality profile. Police may determine specific characteristics and traits of the criminal, which will allow others to recognize him or her. After determining the personality profile, police will assess how to approach confronting and interviewing the suspect. Police will consider:
- The suspect’s strengths, weaknesses
- What interviewing techniques would be appropriate
- Trial and courtroom strategy
Reviewing the Evidence
Before an investigation can truly begin, law enforcement professionals must retrieve evidence from both the scene of the crime and any witnesses. This means investigating the crime scene for clues which could hint at either who the criminal is or their behaviour pattern. Graduates of police foundations courses know that it is not until police begin bringing witnesses into the station for interviews that they can start piecing together a profile of who the perpetrator may be.
Interviews and Trial
Once witnesses have given police enough information to begin narrowing down potential suspects, law enforcers can begin the interview process. The process of interviewing will help determine who the perpetrator may be – after which the interrogation process can begin. An interview can reveal important information about the suspect’s thoughts and behaviour patterns, and in some cases may lead to an admission of guilt.
When enough evidence is gathered, the police have the right to make an arrest and charge the suspect. The profile built around the criminal leading up to the charges all help create a trial strategy which law enforcers and legal professionals will use to convict the criminal in court.
What makes you interested in learning about criminology at police foundations school?