Canadian policing and terrorism prevention


Queens College, Queens College Police Foundations, Police Foundations, Toronto Police Diploma             Policing in Canada is facing an ever-changing face of internal and external events that are primed to shape the way police departments and internal security agencies operate. Alongside the issues, significant new opportunities are emerging that can help police services in order to make policing even more efficient and effective.

Demographically, in large and diverse cities, such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, Police departments will always face challenges when it comes to communicating with citizens of different races, religions, ethnicities, and intellectual knowledge. Preventive policing is one way that police departments use and rely on nowadays, which encompasses any action carried out by police with the intention of identifying and preventing a specific crime or a type of crime. It is within the “at risk”, communities of the aforementioned cities that many radical ideologies are conceived.


Prevention of terrorism

Police have a very important role in preventing terrorism. Police departments are in a very good position to learn about and investigate local and regional terror threats, and they can co-operate with other government authorities in order to infiltrate terror cells, ensure that vulnerable, also known as “soft” targets, are being protected. As the recent terror attacks in Brussels prove, the great threat that terrorism poses will require police to extend their community policing activities and participate in even more community patrols towards securing their respective communities. Adjustments will need to be made towards more extensive communication with members of communities at most risk of radicalization. As a result, police officers will need to become experts in security matters and enhance their communication skills even further. Police departments will have to develop partnerships with communities in order to educate residents about the demands of police work and that safety of the entire community may be at risk from radical ideologies.


Allocation of security resources

Terrorist attacks and persistent threats to national security require a substantial amount of monitoring and allocation of more resources regarding national security. In many instances, resources are allocated towards the security of critical infrastructure; security for special events and dignitaries; intelligence gathering, analysis and sharing; as well as terror-related investigations. We are confident that Police Departments will perform their duties to the best of their abilities, that is “To Serve and Protect”, granted that other government agencies responsible for safety and security of the nation, will perform their duties and allocate their resources efficiently in order to secure Canada from risks that endanger the very values that we, as a nation, stand for.


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Police officers take cover near Parliament Hilll following a shooting incident in Ottawa October 22, 2014. A Canadian soldier was shot at the Canadian War Memorial and a shooter was seen running towards the nearby parliament buildings, where more shots were fired, according to media and eyewitness reports. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA – Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Law enforcement and social media

Another trend that is seen worldwide is a rise in social media monitoring. Presently, police rely greatly on monitoring of social media accounts which is another way of proactive policing. Social media monitoring may seem like an invasion of one’s privacy, granted we live in a very democratic country like Canada, however, social media monitoring is a necessity. Not only will it help police departments keep a tab over individuals that pose a threat to cities and communities, it will help protect the citizens of our great country and allow us to enjoy the freedoms that we so desire such as living free of fear and terror.


Please, keep in mind that Police Departments must work in partnership with other public and private government agencies. However, the onus is on the local police to identify and capture potential terror suspects operating within their respective jurisdictions. Police and other law enforcement agencies must work together in order to protect vulnerable targets that Canadians rely on with their everyday lives. As a police officer, one can most certainly expect that they will respond to a call concerning public safety such as the discovery of a suspicious package, reports of a suspicious individual, or a house suspected of being a terror cell. The Government of Canada is burdened with securing our borders and keeping our country safe from threats within and abroad. However, the Canadian police departments across our country carry the heavy burden of protecting and keeping our streets, buildings, public transport hubs, and schools safe.