Police in Canada

The Real Story

by John Sewell

A thoughtful, independent discussion of a subject where facts and analysis are scarce.

What's going on with Canada's police? Once an institution that commanded respect and trust, the police are now widely regarded with skepticism and even suspicion. The dramatic death of Robert Dziekanski at the hands of the RCMP at Vancouver's airport, accusations of racial profiling, and the resistance of police to independent civilian oversight have created the impression of organizations and individuals accountable to no one and above the law.

For the past twenty years, John Sewell has been an informed, independentminded observer of Canada's police. He was an early advocate of civilian review and has urged politicians to be as tough on police spending as they are on other government departments. His first book on this subject, published in 1985, was a pioneering outside analysis of police work. Now he offers readers a book built on his research, experience, and knowledge. Police in Canada gives readers an understanding of the role of police forces that goes far beyond public relations exercises and the portrayals shown in the media.

Addressing topics that include effective recruitment and training, police culture, accountability, surveillance, the use of tasers, racial profiling, complaints against the police, private policing, and governance, Sewell draws together the most up-to-date research in order to open the door on Canada's various police forces, including the RCMP.

His book provides the foundation for finding a new basis for police work in Canadian society.

About the Author

John Sewell
JOHN SEWELL is a former mayor of Toronto who was responsible for helping to establish the city's first independent police complaints commission and the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, an organization that encourages debate about police policy issues. For more than twenty years, he was an urban affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail, NOW, and Eye Weekly Magazine. He is also the author of eight previous books, including Mackenzie: A Political Biography of William Lyon Mackenzie (2002); Doors Open Toronto: Illuminating the City's Great Spaces (2002); The Shape of the City (1993), with foreword by Jane Jacobs, and The Shape of the Suburbs (2009). He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2005.

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