Publisher's Commentary

Jet Pilots and Prize Fighters

The dawn of the jet age was not without its problems. Early jet planes kept crashing. Engineers tinkered and made improvements but still faced many apparently insurmountable problems. Then someone discovered it wasn't the plane that needed the attention. It was the pilot.

Pilots were familiar with slower propeller driven planes and had no problems at speeds in the range of 250 miles per hour. The problem arose when they took the controls of an aircraft that went twice this speed. The pilot had to get his eyes up to the horizon and anticipate that he would reach it much faster. When his mind was not always catching up to the nose of the aircraft he flew fine.

In much the same way police leaders (by this I mean people with leadership ability, not just the top dog) must keep their eyes on the horizon. They must anticipate what is coming and be prepared to react before the problem presents itself as an immediate hazard.

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Blue Line Magazine May 2015 Subscribe

Saskatoon's new police facility sets an entirely new standard

The old Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) headquarters was not keeping up with the fast growing city that it serves. Built in 1977 in downtown Saskatoon and designed for 300 people, it was clearly inadequate.

The idea of building a new headquarters was discussed as early as 1996. Three different police chiefs worked on the issue and numerous proposals were put forward.

Through necessity the SPS began to spread out to numerous buildings throughout Saskatoon. Interim measures became standard while the service awaited a decision on a new building. Rentals and leasing costs approached $1 million a year and parking alone was spread out over eight different locations. Training and conferences usually took place off-site and firearms qualification was held at an outdoors location outside the city.


No privacy interest, no search

A passenger did not demonstrate his privacy interest in a vehicle so there was no "search" and a gun found under the seat was admissible, Ontario's highest court has ruled.

In R. v. Steele, 2015 ONCA 169 a police officer stopped a vehicle at 2 AM to check for proper documentation and driver sobriety. Although she could see a driver, the officer could not tell the driver's gender or skin colour, nor could she see whether there were any passengers.

While approaching the driver's door she noticed there were four black men in the car, including the accused seated in the front passenger seat. She called for back up and three other officers arrived and stood at each of the vehicle's other doors. When asked, the driver produced the ownership papers and several expired insurance pink slips but not his driver's licence. He said the car belonged to his friend's mother.


Blue Line News Week May 01, 2015 Subscribe

Reigning in policing costs through privatization

Apr 28 2015

TORONTO - To arrest soaring costs, a new report is calling for sweeping changes to the policing model in Ontario, including transferring many functions performed by front-line officers to civilians or other “private sector security providers.”

“The purpose of this paper is not to outline the economic problem, but to consider how the future might look,” says the just released 45-page report prepared by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Ontarians pay the highest policing costs in Canada, including both provincial and municipal expenditures, the report states. “Over many years and many economic swings, police budgets have not seen some of the more aggressive cuts experienced by other public services,” the report says. “But a wall has been hit.”