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Social Science Criminology

Police in Canada

The Real Story

by (author) John Sewell

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
Criminology, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2010
    List Price

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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 served as an alderman on Toronto City Council during the 1970s and was mayor of Toronto from 1978 to 1980. He chaired the Metro Toronto Housing Authority from 1986 to 1988 and the Commission on Planning and Development Reform in Ontario from 1991 to 1993. Sewell wrote an urban affairs column for The Globe and Mail from 1984 to 1986, currently writes for Now, a Toronto weekly, and is the author of Up Against City Hall, Police: Urban Policing in Canada, and the recently published The Shape of the City: Toronto Struggles with Modern Planning.

John Sewell's profile page

Other titles by John Sewell