Canada Sets the Date for Anti-Spam Law Enforcement

Since the December 2010 passage of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), marketers have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of a date when the provisions would take effect. Last month, Industry Canada announced CASL will officially take effect on July 1, 2014.

In light of the pending enforcement date, it’s a good idea to review the provisions of the law and any changes you may need to ensure compliance. This post from April 2013 outlines the key tenets of the law, so we’d recommend re-reading it. In the meantime, we’ll provide some additional thoughts about preparing for the enforcement date.

Does it apply to you?

In preparation for the passage of CASL, it’s important to first determine whether you’re subject to its provisions. The law applies to commercial electronic mail either sent from, or received by, a Canadian mail server. If you’re sending commercial email and you’re located in Canada, you’re subject to CASL. If you’re not in Canada, but you have subscribers who are, you are likely subject to CASL, as well.

While CASL does provide some exceptions for senders who have no “reasonable expectation” their recipients would be in Canada, the law leaves room for interpretation on that point. If an address ends in a .ca extension, for example, the reasonable assumption is the server resides in Canada. For domains such as, though, there could be other pieces of information indicating the recipient’s location, such as physical address.

In some cases, non-profit and political organizations are exempt, but only if the intended recipient has volunteered for, donated to, or been a member of the organization in the preceding two years.

Permission is required

Unlike the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, the CASL makes it mandatory senders have affirmative permission before sending an email to a recipient. This means sending messages to email addresses obtained through purchase, harvesting, or list sharing is in violation of the law. Even if the contacts were obtained before the CASL takes effect, these provisions would still apply – if the recipient didn’t specifically request your mailings, it’s a violation to send him or her a commercial email.

The regulations allow limited exceptions for the “transition period.” During the first three years of the law’s enforcement, marketers are allowed to send commercial mail to recipients with whom they have a “pre-existing business relationship.” This means the recipient provided his or her email address while making a purchase, requested information on goods or services directly from your company, and so on.

There are likely some senders who would assert they obtained a list through purchase/sharing/etc. years prior and have been sending regular emails to those contacts, thus constituting a business relationship. However, this isn’t the case under CASL. Any contact who didn’t opt in to receive emails from your company or organization must be sent a confirmation request prior to July 1 to reaffirm his or her desire to receive your mailings.

Another important point to note is the burden of proof lies on the sender. If a complaint is brought up by a recipient, it will be up to your organization to provide the details of when and how the email address was obtained, as well as proof the process was compliant with the law.

Don’t check that box!

In addition to ensuring all your existing contacts have given valid permission, it may be necessary to update your opt-in process for compliance with CASL. A pre-checked box in a checkout process or on a website form isn’t an acceptable opt in – the user must check the box on his or her own in order to be compliant.

The CASL also places some additional requirements about the opt-in process. Not only must the subscriber proactively affirm his or her opt in, but the marketer must convey specific information during the sign-up process. This information includes:

  • Physical mailing address of the marketer (PO Box is acceptable)
  • Telephone number OR web address OR email address
  • A notice the recipient can unsubscribe at any time

Failure to include any of these items in the opt-in form means any email address obtained through the form isn’t compliant with the law and hasn’t given affirmative permission.

If your organization needs to make changes to ensure compliance with CASL, the time to start is now! Reconfirming subscribers, modifying opt-in forms, or beefing up your data retention policies are just a few of the steps you may need to take. Internal processes can take weeks or months for approval and implementation, and the enforcement date is just over six months away. With possible fines of up to $10 million per email, CASL compliance should be a top priority for your organization.

Canada’s First “FCPA” Trial & Increased International Law Enforcement Cooperation

The frequency and scope of international law enforcement cooperation has increased markedly in recent years. Although such cooperation has slowly emerged for decades, the recent explosion of cooperation has been facilitated in large part by the expansion of instantaneous international communications, stationing abroad of FBI and other federal agents from various U.S. law enforcement agencies, and international consensus and cooperation in defining certain criminal conduct. Now more than ever, if your company receives a knock on the door from U.S. investigators or regulators regarding alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (“FCPA”), the Arms Export Control Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or another federal law touching on international sales, purchases, or supplies, your company may also receive a visit from foreign investigators or regulators seeking to enforce their own anti-corruption, export control, trade sanctions, money laundering, environmental, or other laws.

Such cross-border prosecutorial collaboration quietly surfaced during the Canadian government’s recent prosecution of Nazir Karigar—the first individual ever convicted after trial under Canada’s equivalent to the FCPA, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”). The Karigar case arose out of efforts by a U.S. high-tech security company’s Canadian subsidiary (the “Company”) to secure a contract with Air India (a state-owned entity) for the supply of facial recognition software and related passenger-security equipment. The Company hired Karigar as its agent to guide it through Air India’s government tender process, agreeing to pay him 30% of the contract’s expected revenue stream.

Karigar allegedly orchestrated a conspiracy to offer a $200,000 bribe to an Air India executive and another $250,000 bribe to India’s Minister of Civil Aviation. Although Karigar apparently believed these bribes would give the Company a leg up on the competition, the Company’s efforts to secure the Air India contract ultimately failed. On August 15, 2013, Ontario’s Superior Court found after its first trial under the CFPOA that Karigar had conspired to offer bribes to foreign government officials in violation of the CFPOA, and convicted him accordingly. Karigar now awaits sentencing and faces up to 14 years in prison.

Two items are of special note for any business with sales, suppliers, agents, distributors, or representatives outside the United States: (1) how the matter came to light, and (2) the role of international law enforcement cooperation in the matter. Karigar’s bribery scheme first came to light after the Company’s parent entity took legal action against Karigar in the United States to recover certain advanced funds. In an ill-conceived plan to retaliate, Karigar apparently sent an “anonymous” tip about the foreign bribery scheme to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Fraud Section (“DoJ”). Using the alias of “Buddy,” Karigar emailed the DoJ and asserted that he had information about U.S. citizens paying bribes to Air India officials. Upon receiving that tip, the U.S. law enforcement officials passed on the information to their Canadian counterparts. Unfortunately for Karigar, who apparently thought himself anonymous and free from the long arm of U.S. justice, Canadian prosecutors then charged and successfully prosecuted Karigar in Canada.

Among other instructive features of the Karigar case, three interrelated lessons are worth highlighting here:

  • Secret wrongdoing among corporate actors is increasingly likely to see the light of day in the face of growing international cooperation among the world’s law enforcement agencies. In the Karigar case, for example, U.S. prosecutors—without fanfare and without seeking “credit”—were more than happy to turn over information and evidence informally and rapidly to a trusted foreign nation. Companies should therefore presume that information or allegations learned by government investigators on one side of an international border—particularly the U.S.-Canadian border—will flow freely to the other side.
  • The enforcement of anti-corruption laws is no longer just a “U.S. thing.” For decades, the United States served as the world’s Lone Ranger when it came to investigating and punishing the international bribery of foreign officials. Although Canada enacted the CFPOA in 1999, Canadian prosecutors pursued only one prosecution under that law prior to 2011. This lack of enforcement activity drew sharp criticism from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), which issued a report expressing “significant concerns” over Canada’s perceived lack of commitment to the OECD’s anti-bribery convention. In response, Canada enacted amendments that strengthened the CFPOA and stepped up its enforcement efforts. For example, Canada recently launched a criminal prosecution relating to a wide-ranging bribery scheme involving alleged payments to government officials in Bangladesh, Libya, Algeria, Cambodia, and Canada. Earlier this week, a Swiss court cleared the way for one of the alleged wrongdoer’s extradition to Canada to face charges under the CFPOA. The Karigar conviction is yet another indication that Canada has joined the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and other countries on the global anti-corruption enforcement bandwagon.
  • Due to the growing number of government whistleblower phone numbers and email accounts around the globe, anonymous “tipsters” and “whistleblowers” can and do expose corporate wrongdoing across international borders. Accordingly, disgruntled former employees and third-party agents have more ways than ever to retaliate against companies by reporting alleged bribery to law enforcement authorities.

The commercially prudent bottom line for companies with any international business is clear. First, adopt and carry out a compliance program based on the principle of transparency—i.e., know your international partners, agents, major buyers, and suppliers. Second, assume that information about international violations will find its way to regulators or law enforcement agencies whether in the United States or a foreign land. As a result, unless compelling reasons to the contrary exist, prudent corporate actors generally should self-report voluntarily their actual or potential wrongdoing to regulatory and enforcement agencies before someone else decides to do so or a bad actor seeks to use the information to leverage an advantage from the business. U.S. regulatory and enforcement agencies have adopted policies lessening and occasionally foregoing entirely any ultimate penalty imposed on a party that self-reports violations. Those policies offering safe-harbor are commonly a business’s best defense against “whistleblowers” such as Karigar.

Systemic barriers to racially representative law enforcement agencies

This paper indicates that partly in response to public pressure, law enforcement agencies have addressed systemic discrimination in law enforcement agencies by giving more priority to quantitative representation goals. However, by focusing on entry-level positions, most employment equity efforts neglect issues of occupational segregation and other barriers to advancement and integration such as racial harassment.

In the last two decades, the following five important national developments have affected the debate on racially representative police services:

  • The enshrinement in s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which helps shield affirmative action programs from legal challenges of reverse discrimination;
  • The release of Equality Now, the report of the parliamentary committee on the participation of visible minorities in Canadian society (1983), which “nationalizes” the concept of visible minorities and the imperative need for racially representative law enforcement and justice institutions;
  • The holding of the national conference on policing a multicultural and multiracial society by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (1984), which created a consensus, albeit fragile, among police chiefs across Canada on the importance of positive police race relations and a representative police service;
  • The release of the report of the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment (1984), which formalizes the concept of employment equity in Canadian public policy and
  • A series of police fatal shootings of racial minority and Aboriginal men in different cities that sparked public outcries and forced authorities to act through the creation of numerous public inquiries and eventually institutional equity measures.

The adoption of a federal Employment Equity Act in 1986 finally established a national statutory as well as social foundation from which measures should be enacted in most government and business organizations to ensure their representativeness and responsiveness to a changing population.

Policing in Ontario

Despite the setback in Ontario experienced in the mid-nineties, engendered by the Common Sense Revolution where employment equity was systematically removed from or even forbidden in provincial laws, it has become accepted by most police managers as well as political authorities responsible for policing, that a multicultural, multiracial and diverse police department makes good “business” sense, in the name of efficiency in police service delivery and good community or public relations.

As a result, conventional criteria and procedures for police employment have been gradually replaced as they are increasingly viewed as barriers that directly and/or adversely impact upon members of racial minorities and Aboriginal peoples. Some of these barriers include:

  • Canadian citizenship requirements;
  • Height and weight requirements;
  • Successful credit, background and investigation checks;
  • Selection tests that were culturally biased,
  • Negative image, fear, and distrust that deterred minorities and Aboriginal peoples from joining the police profession and service; and
  • A restrictive selection pool engendered by the requirement for pre-employment police technology training (as in Quebec), where the same employment criteria exist.

Mostly as a result of human rights complaints, public inquiries and other public pressures, these conventional criteria and procedures have gradually been corrected.

For instance:

  • To overcome a restrictive selection pool of police recruits where minorities and Aboriginal people are underrepresented, alternative selection, or fast-track employment measures are now established to allow for more mature candidates with pertinent and related social science backgrounds to be selected, sent to the police academy for training, and hired upon graduation;
  • Selection panels for interviews are now more diversified to include civilians coming from under-represented groups;
  • Pro-active community outreach and advertising campaigns are now developed to attract the attention of equity group members and to overcome negative images of law enforcement; and
  • Permanent residents are allowed to enroll in pre-employment training during the process of their citizenship application.

Lingering Barriers

While existing equity efforts have led to a greater number and percentage of racial minorities and Aboriginal people being employed within police services, serious barriers of exclusion and discrimination remain. The experience of civil actions before human rights commissions and tribunals has helped to identify at least six remaining barriers that need to be addressed in efforts to further address systemic racism in police employment:

  1. A quasi-exclusive focus on entry-level constabulary positions at the expense of integration and promotion and of the diversification of civilian employees;
  2. Job ghettos;
  3. Racial harassment in the workplace;
  4. Supervisor’s support as a condition for promotion;
  5. Security requirements and
  6. The lack of police union support.

1. A Limited Focus on Constabulary Hiring

Often, employment equity is limited to recruiting and hiring, i.e. increasing the number of entry-level police candidates with the overriding purpose of meeting quantitative objectives, at the expense of fair representation throughout all levels of the organization. As a result, turn-over and occupational segregation are often overlooked and under-reported. A racial vertical mosaic still exists in many police departments, despite two decades of employment equity.

Since departure is often a persuasive indicator of an organization’s general equity performance, public appraisal or an independent audit of a police service’s equity record should no longer be solely or principally based on numbers at the selection and hiring levels alone. An equal degree of scrutiny should be placed on the overall internal workforce representation, including civilian employees, since one of the fundamental objectives of employment equity is to change conventional organizational values and standards.

2. Job Ghettos

In law enforcement, it is well known that most minority and Aboriginal officers (not to mention women) are still largely concentrated at the constable level, but that few are found at the higher levels of sergeants/detectives, lieutenants, inspectors, and superintendents, or in more specialized, powerful or prestigious sectors such as drugs, organized crime, or internal affairs.

Most equity efforts tend to ignore obstacles for retention, advancement or career progression, factors that play a powerful gate-keeping function to access to influence within and outside the organization. Therefore, qualitative representation issues need to be raised as quantitative data often mask and even perpetuate the existence of race-based occupational segregation.

For this reason, human rights investigators involved in employment discrimination cases need to accept less readily employers’ arguments or overall equity data that are based mostly on entry level alone as a legitimate defense or proof of non-discrimination. Familiarity with the paramilitary and highly hierarchical culture and the glass ceiling for career progression within the police culture can also help.

3. Racial Harassment

Once hired, a racial minority or Aboriginal constable enters the daily life of a police organization and culture known to be historically the domain of white heterosexual Christian males. Police organizations are often called the Blue Wall behind which certain rules of conduct cannot be trespassed, such as challenging authority, or formally complaining against a colleague for violating police ethics or civil rights. Racialized minority, women, and gay constables who experience subtle or explicit offensive jokes and slurs, pictorial representations, and other degrading acts complain at their own peril.

Power or hierarchical relationships infused with racial and related bias can produce a destructive work climate. Racial minority or Aboriginal officers may be constrained both personally and professionally when a law enforcement workplace has no effective policy and mechanism to address race-based harassment, especially where it practices what the Commission of Inquiry into Systemic Racism in Ontario’s Criminal Justice System qualifies as passive toleration, collusive toleration, or plain disregard of racial harassment.

There is a special challenge for victims of racial harassment. Generally, human rights investigators unfamiliar with racism tend to confuse the dynamics of racial harassment at work with those of sexual harassment. Their investigation focus is often erroneously placed on explicit words or gestures of harassment and differential treatment, despite clear jurisprudential guidelines that indicate that racial harassment is often more systemic and more subtle than sexual harassment. Investigators who are untrained on racial harassment often tend to omit more subtle, unspoken elements of harassment by unconsciously focusing instead on a person’s so-called faulty performance or personal deficiency, particularly in the absence of racial jokes, slurs, or other open biased conduct.

4. Supervisor Evaluation as a Barrier to Promotion

The traditional performance appraisal method of according great weight to one’s supervisor’s opinion about a candidate for promotion can be fraught with arbitrariness and racial bias. As previously indicated, one of most formidable barriers to fair representation in the upper echelons of law enforcement agencies is the police organizational and professional culture, where the old-straight-white-boy mentality often operates at the exclusion of the “others.” The requirement of positive evaluation or approval by one’s (often white) local commander or supervisor may become an obstacle. Without objective appeal procedures this method constitutes one of the most evident barriers for many and also one of the most elusive to human rights investigators untrained in systemic racism in police employment. Once again, the risk of victimizing the victim is omnipresent as investigators may inadvertently focus on the victim’s personal history and performance instead of organizational practices and norms.

5. Security Requirements

Security requirements still remain largely unchanged despite general legislative prohibitions of discrimination based on previous criminal records for which a pardon has been granted. The Oakes test allows police employers to resort to strict or absolute security clearance as a condition of hiring by claiming that that it is a fair criterion that is rationally connected to or essential to determining candidate suitability.

This poses major problems for groups that are highly criminalized and economically disadvantaged, as it reduces the pool of available candidates from which the selection is made. For some inner-city racial minorities in particular that are often stereotypically associated with “gangs” and highly vulnerable to racial profiling, the current standard background and credit check, or the use of certain new and vague criteria such as “being associated with or frequenting criminalized persons”, can adversely impact upon minority representation within law enforcement agencies.

Human rights investigators thus need to pay special attention to the rejections of applicants or the suspension and dismissal of officers from racial minorities on the basis of security. Particular vigilance is needed in rejections of racial minorities whose levels of criminalization are associated with systemic racism in the criminal justice system, or with the widespread but often secret use of information related to juvenile misconduct and less serious penal charges such as violations of city ordinances. Similarly, vigilance is needed where racial minorities are subjected to excessive background checks and surveillance due to origins from countries arbitrarily linked to terrorism.

Judicial definition of new parameters for security requirements is therefore welcome.

6. The lack of police union support

Racial minority and Aboriginal workers who encounter racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace often find their unions to be less than supportive. This is partly due to the lack of knowledge of racism on the part of labour officials, and partly due to evident bad faith and discrimination in fulfilling the union’s duty of fair representation.

Even if racial minority and Aboriginal workers succeed in convincing their union to file grievances, a host of other problems emerge: poor representation; conflict of interest (especially in cases where the alleged harassing person also belongs to the same union as the victim); and delays (some grievances can take more than a year to be heard).

The catch-22 is that many human rights laws and regulations require that complainants file grievances first and also give human rights commissions the discretionary power to reject a civil rights complaint on the grounds of double recourse. As experiences have indicated, a labour arbitration process is seldom the ideal venue to address race-based discrimination in any act deemed to violate a collective bargaining clause. In the grievance process, the protection against retaliation offered to a victim, a victim’s assistant or a witness is less than the protection offered by human rights legislation.

Management or union tacit disapproval or explicit refusal of racial minority or Aboriginal police associations is another barrier that needs to be considered as a systemic barrier to the integration of racial and ethnic integration into police organizational and occupational cultures.

A Word of Caution on Employment Equity

The removal of a discrimination-based concept in equity measures, which is designed to overcome deep-rooted obstacles of race-based exclusion in law enforcement, tends to ignore the reality of racism and other forms of discrimination, especially intersectional discrimination.

By erasing race and by lumping all diversity forms and groups together under the category of ‘Diversity’, members of racial minorities and Aboriginal nations continue to be ghettoized at the bottom of the vertical mosaic ladder. Although it tends to be hidden, internal or intragroup racial prejudice and barriers still exist. In other words, employment equity measures do not take into account the racial stratification that still operates within the vertical mosaic.

Consequently, the real extent of the barriers commonly referred to as “systemic discrimination”, tend to be obscured. A false impression of success has been created with the implementation of employment equity and other pro-active measures like “best practices.” It has been assumed that barriers have been overcome, but in reality the solutions that have been offered have only been for superficial barriers. Underlying barriers remain unchallenged.

Thus, what can be done? A radical change in mentality and practice, which includes employment equity auditing and investigative practices, is necessary. Adopting a critical race analysis of discrimination, be it in its direct, systemic or intersectional form, is a compulsory first step towards a more successful attack on the barriers to having a racially representative organization.

Reviewing how human rights commissions and investigators operate is the next step. Issues such as those identified by Sangha and Tang (2003) on race discrimination and the human rights process must be confronted to prevent personalizing systemic racism and erasing race from a complaint.[7] Ensuring that investigators are familiar with the law enforcement professional and organizational cultures also helps.

Finally, where law enforcement is concerned, a sustained and more critical demand for accountability, on both a quantitative and qualitative level, with a principal but not exclusive emphasis on race, is necessary. Accountability can and will contribute to the achievement of not only a racially representative organization, but one that reflects a diversity of values, customs and characteristics both at the personal and institutional levels.

How To Join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP enforces federal laws, and provides contract police services in many provinces, municipalities and First Nations communities across Canada. The RCMP also participate in international peacekeeping.

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: 12 to 18 months

Here’s How:

  1. Be a Canadian citizen, be of good character, be proficient in either English or French, and be at least 18 years old when you apply.
  2. Get a Grade 12 diploma or equivalent, a valid Canadian driver’s licence, and be ready to meet RCMP physical and medical requirements.
  3. The RCMP recommends that you attend a Career Presentation to learn about the policing services provided by the RCMP and to determine if a career in the RCMP is right for you.
  4. Take and pass the RCMP Police Aptitude Bsttery (RPAB). The RPAB is smade up of two separate tests. The first test is the RCMP Police Aptitude Test (RPAT), which measures composition (spelling, grammar, and vocabulary), comprehension, memory, judgement, observation, logic, and computation.If you pass the RPAT, your name will be placecd on an eligibility list. Those with the most competitive scores will advance to the next step. (If you are not successful on the RPAT, you can take it again after a one year waiting period.)
  1. The second test in the RPAB is the Six Factor Personality Questionnaire (SFPQ) which measures how conscientious you are.Applicants who pass both parts of the RPAB are placed on an Initial Rank List (IRL), ranked by their scores. This is a dynamic list, and your rank changes as new applicants are added and applicants are chosen for further processing.
  2. Applicants with the most competitive scores advance and will be provided with a selection package of documents to complete by a certain time. The documents include a personal information form, a pre-employment polygraph questionnaire, PARE medical clearance forms, and a vision examination to be completed by your optometrist.
  3. Take and pass the Physical Ability Requirement Evaluation, a test used to assess your ability to perform the physical demands of police work. You must prepare for this test.
  4. Succeed in the Regular Member Selection Interview, which will assess your essential organizational competencies to perform successfully as an RCMP officer.
  5. Succeed at the pre-employment interview and polygraph examination which tests your suitability and reliability to perform as an RCMP officer and provides information for the RCMP to issue a security clearance for you.
  6. Pass a field investigation and security clearance of your suitability to be a member of the RCMP.
  7. Pass medical, dental, visual, and psychological exams.
  8. Before you can enrol in cadet training, you must show proof of a valid standard first aid certificate from an organization approved under the Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, Canada Labour Code.
  9. Enrol as a Cadet, and go through 24 weeks of an intensive academic and physical cadet training program at the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan.
  10. On graduation you will normally be hired as a regular member of the RCMP. You must then complete a six-month Field Coaching Program at selected training detachments.
  11. As you gain experience, more opportunities in specialized areas such as economic crime, foreign missions, marine services, and forensic services will become available to you.


  1. Before you apply to join the RCMP, read the detailed information and manuals and watch the videos provided on the RCMP Recruiting site.
  2. If you have specialized technical, scientific or administrative skills, you could become a civilian member of the RCMP.

Types of Law Enforcement Agencies

There are many different types of law enforcement agencies, from small town police departments to large federal agencies. The types of jobs available will depend on the type of agency, its mission, size, and jurisdiction. These are important considerations when selecting the agency that is right for you and your interests.

Federal Law Enforcement Agencies

There are 65 federal agencies and 27 offices of inspector general that employ full time personnel authorized to make arrests and carry firearms. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2004 the largest employers of Federal officers were U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Prisons, the FBI, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, each with over 10,000 officers. Federal officers’ duties include police response and patrol, criminal investigation and enforcement, inspections, security and protection, court operations, and corrections.

State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

There are more than 17,000 state and local law enforcement agencies in the United States, ranging in size from one officer to more than 30,000. Many of these are municipal police departments operated by local governments, but there are actually several types of law enforcement agencies.

  • Local Police includes municipal, county, tribal, and regional police that derive authority from the local governing body that created it. The primary purpose is to uphold the laws of the jurisdiction, provide patrol, and investigate local crimes.
  • State Police / Highway Patrol – State police often perform police duties to include highway patrol and statewide investigations. Some states have only highway patrol with investigative functions covered by a separate entity such as a state bureau of investigation. State police assist local police with investigations and emergencies that extend beyond the resources and jurisdictional boundaries of the local agency.
  • Special Jurisdiction Police – Officers for special jurisdictions provide police services for defined entities or areas within another jurisdiction. These include parks, schools, transportation assets (e.g., airports, subways), hospitals, housing authorities, and government buildings. Special jurisdiction police are generally full-service departments, offering the same services as local police.
  • Deputy Sheriffs – Generally sheriff’s offices are granted authority by the state to enforce state law at the local county level. Deputies commonly run the local jail, serve warrants and court summons, and respond to calls for service in areas outside local police jurisdictions.

Law Enforcement Accreditation

While not a type of law enforcement agency, one designation to look for when evaluating departments is CALEA Accreditation.

CALEA, which stands for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, is the international authority on law enforcement standards.  The Commission offers several prestigious credentialing programs for public safety agencies, including Law Enforcement, Public Safety Communications, and Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation.

CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation is a voluntary program open to all types of law enforcement agencies. Accreditation involves the systematic review of an agency’s policies and procedures against CALEA’s internationally accepted Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies©. These standards reflect the current thinking and experience of law enforcement practitioners and researchers, and are considered benchmarks for modern law enforcement agencies.

There are currently over 800 law enforcement agencies enrolled in the CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation Program and over 600 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are accredited.

What is Law Enforcement?

Law enforcement is the collective term for professionals who are dedicated to upholding and enforcing the laws and statutes that are currently in force in a given jurisdiction. There are law enforcement jobs that focus on local settings, while others are focused more on upholding and enforcing national laws. In addition to enforcing laws, the function of legal enforcement also involves managing the punishment process for people who are convicted of crimes, up to and including managing the process of incarceration.

At its core, law enforcement seeks to achieve two goals. First, enforcement professionals seek to prevent the occurrence of a crime that is in some way damaging to another human being or to society as a whole. Second, people employed in some enforcement capacity will seek to ensure suspected criminals are tried in a manner that is in compliance with local laws. Various officials will also assign some form of punishment or imprisonment that is considered equitable for the type of crime committed, while also seeking rehabilitation of criminals when and as possible.

The concept of law enforcement is not new. Since the beginning of recorded time, there have been people appointed to maintain the standards and rules of the tribe or other society. For example, ancient Chinese culture used a system involving prefects or protectors who were assigned by the ruling government. The role of the prefect was to protect the general public, hear the facts regarding alleged criminal activity, and impose fines or other forms of punishment as deemed appropriate.

Today, there are a number of law enforcement jobs found at many different levels. A local police force serves by protecting the rights of citizens living within a specified jurisdiction. Police are empowered to apprehend and arrest people who are suspected of committing acts deemed to be criminal in nature. In many cultures, the administration of the police department works with other law professionals to make sure the suspect is held in custody or at least remains in the general area until he or she can stand trial for the suspected criminal activity.

State and federal law enforcement professionals are also empowered to apprehend suspects where there is sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Most nations have one or more enforcement agencies that have broad authority to function anywhere within the borders of the nation and any territories the country may possess. Some of the best known national agencies of this type include the FBI in the United States, and Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom.

Law enforcement also includes other professionals who manage some aspect of the containment, punishment, and possible rehabilitation of criminals. Employees of state and federal penal systems are considered to be members of the law enforcement community. In like manner, private detectives are also often viewed as being associated with legal enforcement. Probation officers, district attorneys, and court judges are also enforcement professionals who help to protect the rights of all citizens and seek to minimize the incidence of crime within society.

Fact Sheet: Beyond the Border United States – Canada Law Enforcement Cooperation

The United States and Canada have long enjoyed a collaborative law enforcement relationship. Through joint threat assessment, investigations, operations, and support for prosecutions, consistent with our respective domestic laws, we have made both countries more secure while facilitating lawful travel and trade. Three ongoing partnerships are key to facilitating cross-border law enforcement collaboration:

  • ShipRider pilot program – Under the ShipRider pilot, officially known as Integrated Cross-border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations (ICMLEO), cross-designated officers perform joint patrols in the maritime areas between our countries, removing the maritime border as an impediment to law enforcement operations. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are the primary ShipRider participants.
  • Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) – IBETs enhance border integrity and security between designated ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada border by identifying, investigating, and interdicting persons, organizations, and goods that threaten the national security of one or both countries or that are involved in organized criminal activity. The five core IBET agencies are: RCMP; the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and the USCG.
  • Border Enforcement Security Taskforces (BESTs) – BESTs are multi-agency teams that identify, investigate, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations posing significant threats to border security. BESTs, which are ICE-led, utilize co-located and cross-designated investigative assets of federal, state/provincial, local, and tribal law enforcement partners on both sides of the border to investigate transnational crime.

Additionally, through the U.S.-Canada Cross Border Crime Forum (CBCF), the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney General meet with the Ministers of Public Safety Canada and Justice Canada to discuss and advance initiatives that address cross-border criminal activity.

Through the Beyond the Border Action Plan, the United States and Canada commit to further enhance cross-border law enforcement collaboration. Among other initiatives, our countries intend expand ICMLEO ShipRider, enhance cross-border radio interoperability, and build on the success of ShipRider, IBET, and BEST to pilot the next generation of integrated cross-border law enforcement. These efforts will be coordinated by the CBCF.

National Law Enforcement Training

For over 140 years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has earned a reputation of excellence in policing. Our officers are fully trained in law enforcement techniques, conflict management and community relations. It is the unique combination of these skills, coupled with a sincere belief in justice, that has made the RCMP the pride of Canada and a highly respected police force worldwide.

The RCMP receives many requests for training from law enforcement agencies and agencies with law enforcement mandates looking to capitalize on the expertise of the RCMP. The National Law Enforcement Training Unit (NLET) was established to meet these demands.

Although training can be conducted at the RCMP Academy, “Depot” Division, in Regina, many of our courses are portable and offered across Canada. We have delivered training in every major Canadian city from Vancouver to St. John’s, from Toronto to Iqaluit and everywhere in between. These options enable federal organizations to get the maximum value for their training dollars.

We are dedicated to meeting the individual needs of federal agencies across Canada. We deliver investigator courses, defensive tactics training as well as firearms training.

If you have any questions, please contact the National Law Enforcement Training Unit. We look forward to meeting your training needs.

Defence Lawyers – What You Need To Know To Become One

Like many other careers, becoming a defence lawyers takes a great deal of focus and study to succeed. Though somewhat different criteria can be found in different countries throughout the world most follow the same practices.

If you are considering becoming a defence lawyer in Canada it is important that you begin your studies with an undergraduate degree. Unlike some other careers that point out essential courses for an undergraduate degree there are no standards with an undergraduate degree in this case however that being said it is crucial that you choose courses that will emphasize your strong skills in reading, writing and your ability to think fast and rationally.

Along with strong reading and writing skills it will be crucial that you have good social skills and that you are comfortable with speaking to various people as it will be something you’ll be doing regularly with people such as your client or victim, law enforcement officials and others involved in cases that you are dealing with therefore your personality and your ability to deal with others will also be a largely deciding factor as you make your way through the process of becoming a legal representative.

Once you’ve completed your undergraduate degree you must decide which law school you will apply too. Before being accepted, you’ll be required to complete a law school admission test. It is very important you work hard to achieve your highest score possible since these scores are a strong deciding factor in choosing students with most of the law schools. The admission programs also look very highly upon those students who have taken the initiative to get involved with their local communities.

In order to fully qualify to be a licensed lawyer in Canada you must attend an apprenticeship program. The program will consist of skills you will need such as legal drafting and writing, how to handle litigation, how to properly negotiate as well as how to counsel and interview clients.

In Canadian law, even after completing law school you are still not finished until you have completed the Canadian bar exam. This test consists of questions related to all aspects of the law. Each province administers a bar exam in order to take the exam you must contact the Bar Association in the province you plan on practicing law.

Once you have paid all your fees and passed your bar exam you will have various choices in which you can apply your legal knowledge. Some people choose to open a private practice, working by themselves or with another person, while others choose to work as government counsel. Often, defense attorneys choose to put their skills to use in large corporate companies, whereas others choose to work in situations which directly affect the public itself, helping those of the public offering advice to lower income individuals.

You will notice many defence lawyers begin their careers as prosecutors allowing them to basically act in the interest of the victim of a crime. In this position, they don’t actually have a client as they are neither the lawyer for the victim or the person being accused of the crime.

Legalizing Crime


The state has a monopoly on behaviour usually deemed criminal. It murders, kidnaps, and locks up people. Sovereignty has come to be identified with the unbridled – and exclusive – exercise of violence. The emergence of modern international law has narrowed the field of permissible conduct. A sovereign can no longer commit genocide or ethnic cleansing with impunity, for instance.

Many acts – such as the waging of aggressive war, the mistreatment of minorities, the suppression of the freedom of association – hitherto sovereign privilege, have thankfully been criminalized. Many politicians, hitherto immune to international prosecution, are no longer so. Consider Yugoslavia’s Milosevic and Chile’s Pinochet.

But, the irony is that a similar trend of criminalization – within national legal systems – allows governments to oppress their citizenry to an extent previously unknown. Hitherto civil torts, permissible acts, and common behaviour patterns are routinely criminalized by legislators and regulators. Precious few are decriminalized.

Consider, for instance, the criminalization in the Economic Espionage Act (1996) of the misappropriation of trade secrets and the criminalization of the violation of copyrights in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (2000) – both in the USA. These used to be civil torts. They still are in many countries. Drug use, common behaviour in England only 50 years ago – is now criminal. The list goes on.

Criminal laws pertaining to property have malignantly proliferated and pervaded every economic and private interaction. The result is a bewildering multitude of laws, regulations statutes, and acts.

The average Babylonian could have memorizes and assimilated the Hammurabic code 37 centuries ago – it was short, simple, and intuitively just.

English criminal law – partly applicable in many of its former colonies, such as India, Pakistan, Canada, and Australia – is a mishmash of overlapping and contradictory statutes – some of these hundreds of years old – and court decisions, collectively known as “case law”.

Despite the publishing of a Model Penal Code in 1962 by the American Law Institute, the criminal provisions of various states within the USA often conflict. The typical American can’t hope to get acquainted with even a negligible fraction of his country’s fiendishly complex and hopelessly brobdignagian criminal code. Such inevitable ignorance breeds criminal behaviour – sometimes inadvertently – and transforms many upright citizens into delinquents.

In the land of the free – the USA – close to 2 million adults are behind bars and another 4.5 million are on probation, most of them on drug charges. The costs of criminalization – both financial and social – are mind boggling. According to “The Economist”, America’s prison system cost it $54 billion a year – disregarding the price tag of law enforcement, the judiciary, lost product, and rehabilitation.

What constitutes a crime? A clear and consistent definition has yet to transpire.

There are five types of criminal behaviour: crimes against oneself, or “victimless crimes” (such as suicide, abortion, and the consumption of drugs), crimes against others (such as murder or mugging), crimes among consenting adults (such as incest, and in certain countries, homosexuality and euthanasia), crimes against collectives (such as treason, genocide, or ethnic cleansing), and crimes against the international community and world order (such as executing prisoners of war). The last two categories often overlap.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides this definition of a crime: “The intentional commission of an act usually deemed socially harmful or dangerous and specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable under the criminal law.”

But who decides what is socially harmful? What about acts committed unintentionally (known as “strict liability offences” in the parlance)? How can we establish intention – “mens rea”, or the “guilty mind” – beyond a reasonable doubt?

A much tighter definition would be: “The commission of an act punishable under the criminal law.” A crime is what the law – state law, kinship law, religious law, or any other widely accepted law – says is a crime. Legal systems and texts often conflict.

Murderous blood feuds are legitimate according to the 15th century “Qanoon”, still applicable in large parts of Albania. Killing one’s infant daughters and old relatives is socially condoned – though illegal – in India, China, Alaska, and parts of Africa. Genocide may have been legally sanctioned in Germany and Rwanda – but is strictly forbidden under international law.

Laws being the outcomes of compromises and power plays, there is only a tenuous connection between justice and morality. Some “crimes” are categorical imperatives. Helping the Jews in Nazi Germany was a criminal act – yet a highly moral one.

The ethical nature of some crimes depends on circumstances, timing, and cultural context. Murder is a vile deed – but assassinating Saddam Hussein may be morally commendable. Killing an embryo is a crime in some countries – but not so killing a fetus. A “status offence” is not a criminal act if committed by an adult. Mutilating the body of a live baby is heinous – but this is the essence of Jewish circumcision. In some societies, criminal guilt is collective. All Americans are held blameworthy by the Arab street for the choices and actions of their leaders. All Jews are accomplices in the “crimes” of the “Zionists”.

In all societies, crime is a growth industry. Millions of professionals – judges, police officers, criminologists, psychologists, journalists, publishers, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, probation officers, wardens, sociologists, non-governmental-organizations, weapons manufacturers, laboratory technicians, graphologists, and private detectives – derive their livelihood, parasitically, from crime. They often perpetuate models of punishment and retribution that lead to recidivism rather than to to the reintegration of criminals in society and their rehabilitation.

Organized in vocal interest groups and lobbies, they harp on the insecurities and phobias of the alienated urbanites. They consume ever growing budgets and rejoice with every new behaviour criminalized by exasperated lawmakers. In the majority of countries, the justice system is a dismal failure and law enforcement agencies are part of the problem, not its solution.

The sad truth is that many types of crime are considered by people to be normative and common behaviours and, thus, go unreported. Victim surveys and self-report studies conducted by criminologists reveal that most crimes go unreported. The protracted fad of criminalization has rendered criminal many perfectly acceptable and recurring behaviours and acts. Homosexuality, abortion, gambling, prostitution, pornography, and suicide have all been criminal offences at one time or another.

But the quintessential example of over-criminalization is drug abuse.

There is scant medical evidence that soft drugs such as cannabis or MDMA (“Ecstasy”) – and even cocaine – have an irreversible effect on brain chemistry or functioning. Last month an almighty row erupted in Britain when Jon Cole, an addiction researcher at Liverpool University, claimed, to quote “The Economist” quoting the “Psychologist”, that:

“Experimental evidence suggesting a link between Ecstasy use and problems such as nerve damage and brain impairment is flawed … using this ill-substantiated cause-and-effect to tell the ‘chemical generation’ that they are brain damaged when they are not creates public health problems of its own.”

Moreover, it is commonly accepted that alcohol abuse and nicotine abuse can be at least as harmful as the abuse of marijuana, for instance. Yet, though somewhat curbed, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking are legal. In contrast, users of cocaine – only a century ago recommended by doctors as tranquilizer – face life in jail in many countries, death in others. Almost everywhere pot smokers are confronted with prison terms.

The “war on drugs” – one of the most expensive and protracted in history – has failed abysmally. Drugs are more abundant and cheaper than ever. The social costs have been staggering: the emergence of violent crime where none existed before, the destabilization of drug-producing countries, the collusion of drug traffickers with terrorists, and the death of millions – law enforcement agents, criminals, and users.

Few doubt that legalizing most drugs would have a beneficial effect. Crime empires would crumble overnight, users would be assured of the quality of the products they consume, and the addicted few would not be incarcerated or stigmatized – but rather treated and rehabilitated.

That soft, largely harmless, drugs continue to be illicit is the outcome of compounded political and economic pressures by lobby and interest groups of manufacturers of legal drugs, law enforcement agencies, the judicial system, and the aforementioned long list of those who benefit from the status quo.

Only a popular movement can lead to the decriminalization of the more innocuous drugs. But such a crusade should be part of a larger campaign to reverse the overall tide of criminalization. Many “crimes” should revert to their erstwhile status as civil torts. Others should be wiped off the statute books altogether. Hundreds of thousands should be pardoned and allowed to reintegrate in society, unencumbered by a past of transgressions against an inane and inflationary penal code.

This, admittedly, will reduce the leverage the state has today against its citizens and its ability to intrude on their lives, preferences, privacy, and leisure. Bureaucrats and politicians may find this abhorrent. Freedom loving people should rejoice.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain – How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .