Introduction to Policing

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CRIM 1120
Introduction to Policing
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, small groups and class discussion.  Police practitioners may be utilized when appropriate.

Course Description
This course covers the historical development of policing as a component of the total justice system. Specific topics examined include: the police function, police community roles, authority, police stress, and the organization and structure of policing in Canada. Key issues including the use of force, corruption, accountability and the political dimension of police work are examined in detail.
Course Content
  1. History of Policing
    • Policing in the Agricultural Era
    • The effects of the Industrial Revolution
    • Sir Robert Peel and police reform
    • Policing in the Informational Era
  2. Police Development in Canada
    • The beginnings
    • The NWMP
    • Provincial Police
    • Municipal policing
  3. The Structure of Policing in Canada
    • Federal policing and the function of the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness  
    • The function of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
    • RCMP and the National Police Services
    • Provincial Police
    • Municipal Police
    • Private policing
  4. The Police Function
    • Introduction
    • Cultural development
    • Functional perspective
    • Conflict perspective
  5. The Police Role
    • Order maintenance
    • Law enforcement
    • Service
  6. Accountability
    • Politics and the police
    • Role of the Civilian Governing Authority
    • Oversight
  7. Authority
    • Moral authority
    • Legal authority of police and the citizen (arrest and search)
  8. Use of Force
    • Legal authority of police and citizen
    • Use of Force Model
  9. Discretion
    • Police discretion
    • Discretion criteria
    • Stereotyping
  10. Police Deviance
    • Corruption
    • Legal aspects
    • Corruption prevention
  11. Police Stress
    • Police stress and stressors
    • Stress management
  12. Community Policing
    • Concept and origin
    • Creative solutions
  13. First Nations Policing
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Understand the function and role of the police in society.
  2. Appreciate the place of the police in the criminal justice system.
  3. Develop in the student an understanding of the legal and moral authority of police.
  4. Be familiar with the historical evolution of the police and contemporary approaches to police work.
Means of Assessment

The evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  At the beginning of the semester the instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria.  Evaluation may be based on some combination of the following:


  1. Short answer tests
  2. Exams
  3. Research paper
  4. Library assignment


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Exam 1  30%
Exam 2  30%
Research Paper  20%
Library Assignment      10%
Final Quiz  10%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Texts will be updated periodically. A typical example is:

Griffiths, Curt T. (2008).  Canadian Police Work. 2nd Edition. Thomson Nelson.

Which Prerequisite

CRIM 2220