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Overview

Prepare for an exciting career in law enforcement and policing.

As a student of our Police Foundations program, you'll gain a comprehensive police foundations education combining the best aspects of legal education with practical skill development. Complete the program and you'll be equipped for a demanding and satisfying career in policing, public safety and law enforcement, and develop a strong desire for continued learning throughout your career.

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program may pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Public Police Services
  • Private Security and Investigation Firms
  • Transportation Police
  • Bylaw Enforcement

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma with a majority of senior credits at the College Preparation (C), University Preparation (U) or University/College Preparation (M) level or Mature Student Status (age 19 or older)
  • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • New Students are invited to attend an information session and must write the English Assessment.

Desirable:

  • Although not required for admission, basic computer knowledge, a moderate degree of physical fitness and completion of a secondary school law course is recommended.
  • Students are required to be highly literate and have good analytical skills to be successful in the Police Foundations program.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well-organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   


Curriculum

EAC150
College English
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Placement via English Assessment, or successful completion of ESL934, EAP 500, or EAC149.

College English is an introductory college writing and reading course fundamental to successful college studies. Through a variety of assignments and classroom activities, students strive to develop the rhetorical and analytical skills essential to their success as communicators in college and upon graduation. Fiction and nonfiction are central vehicles for teaching writing.




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LAW120 OR LAS101
 
LAW120
Criminal Law and The Charter of Rights and Freedom
Availability
 

This course provides the imperative foundation for the intensive criminal law studies that follow in further semesters. The basis of and responsibility for criminal law in Canada is discussed, and the Criminal Code examined as to its purposes, structure, format and uses. The concept of criminal responsibility and the classic defences to a criminal charge are analyzed.
The innovation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 has had a dramatic effect on criminal law in its emphasis on individual rights, and especially those of an accused person. This has compelled the police to be meticulous in their adherence to such procedures as providing information to an accused person, obtaining evidence and conducting searches in a manner sanctioned by statute and precedent law. The principles and purposes of the Charter, its override powers by the state where necessary and appropriate, and the remedies to a Charter breach, are discussed as an integral preface to further criminal law studies.




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LAS101
Criminal Law & The Charter of Rights & Freedoms
Availability
 

The basis of and responsibility for criminal law in Canada is discussed, and the Criminal Code is examined as to its purposes, structure, format and uses. The concept of criminal responsibility, and the classic defences to a criminal charge are analyzed. The implementation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 has had a dramatic effect on criminal law in its emphasis on individual rights, and especially those of an accused person. This has compelled the police to be meticulous in their adherence to such procedures as providing information to an accused person, obtaining evidence and conducting searches in a manner sanctioned by statute and precedent law. The principles and purposes of the Charter, its override powers by the state where necessary and appropriate, and the remedies to a Charter breach, are discussed as an integral preface to further criminal law studies.




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LAW130 OR LAS100
 
LAW130
Criminal Justice System and Community Services
Availability
 

The maintenance of social order and control is fundamental to contemporary society and is exercised through a system of justice. The administration of justice encompasses a number of agencies, each of which necessarily interacts formally with the others. These agencies are the police, the courts and corrections. Additionally, various community and volunteer services assist in the broad justice role. The justice system is dynamic, and attempts to reflect the wishes of the society it serves, but opposing issues are always present. This foundation course examines the roles and inter-relatedness of the three agencies and discusses current issues.




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LAS100
Criminal Justice System & Community Services
Availability
 

The maintenance of social order and control is fundamental to contemporary society and is exercised through a system of justice. The administration of justice encompasses a number of agencies, each of which necessarily interacts formally with the others. These agencies are the police, the courts and corrections. Additionally, various community and volunteer services assist in the broad justice role. The justice system is dynamic, and attempts to reflect the wishes of the society it serves, but opposing issues are always present. This foundation course examines the roles and inter-relatedness of the three agencies and discusses current issues.




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LAW140 OR CTM106
 
LAW140
Law Enforcement Communications
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

EAC150, LAW120, LAW130

In Law Enforcement Communications, the student will study effective communication techniques - oral and written. He/she will be able to obtain record and report upon information pertaining to his/her investigations that are imperative to police and security services. This course will examine and provide such recording methods as the field notebook, incident report, and the electronic data system used in the investigation procedure. The breadth of topics examined will extend from the students initial observations of physical evidence at the crime scene, through to the necessary documentation of detailed information that must be gathered to provide the client(s) with a professional investigative service.
The majority of crimes are solved through the routine task of interviewing witnesses, victims and suspects. This course will also provide the basic investigative skills and assessment techniques designed to assist the student in obtaining a proper, informative and legal statement. In both the interviewing and investigative processes, practical exercises reinforce these theories.
Topic breakdown: notebooks, notebook entries, 10 codes, phonetic alphabet, Charter wordings, CPIC, Paris, NCIC, introduction to report writing, report writing system, General Occurrence Report, structured sequence of narrative, basis for a good narrative, media release issues, and witness/victim interviewing.




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CTM106
Communications
Availability
 

This course focuses on the enhancements of communication skills frequently used by law enforcement officers. Students write notebook entries and complete forms and reports following guidelines used by law enforcement agencies.




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LAW150 OR LAS109
 
LAW150
Fitness and Lifestyle Management I
Availability
 

LAW 150 introduces the concepts of physical fitness and wellness within both personal and professional contexts. Through lecture and practical experiences, students will participate in activities that will provide them with understanding of the concepts of physical fitness and wellness, within a framework that fosters self-responsibility for both personal and professional outcomes. Students will be graded on their knowledge through examinations as well as through their participation in class and laboratory activities. Note: Participation in all in-class and laboratory activities is required. All students must present themselves fit for participation. Students will be asked to complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) and Informed Consent prior to participation in the Course. Those students who are unwilling or unable to participate safely in physical activity are not advised to take this course until cleared medically. Students must come prepared for physical activity each day of class. LAW 150 is a 14 hour, seven week compressed course. Each class has learning and/or activity requirements that are graded. Failure to attend will result in loss of marks. No make-up opportunities are available.




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LAS109
Physical and Mental Preparedness
Availability
 

Prerequisite(s):

Be in reasonably good and healthy physical shape

This course focuses on the concepts of personal fitness and wellness as they relate to the Ontario Physical Evaluation for Police (PREP) test. The course also focuses on the occupational relevancy of components including: Nutrition, Stress Management, Time Management, and Physical Training. The course builds on theoretical classroom lessons through practical physical experiences creating tangible results. Students will be expected to participate in physical activity throughout this Course. As an additional important outcome, the lessons developed in this course will allow for healthier and more productive lifestyles beyond occupational needs.




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PFD100
Career Preparation
Availability
 

This course provides students with an opportunity to be prepared for the recruiting process for not only a career as a Police Officer, but for other careers relating to law enforcement such as Border Security, Ministry of Natural Resources, Private Security, Military Police, By-Laws Enforcement Officer, Transit Officer and Civilian support positions such as Forensics, Information Management, Court Security Officer and Victims Assistance.




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LAW210 OR LAS111
 
LAW210
Interpersonal Relations and Conflict Management
Availability
 

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts, theories and practices involved in effective interpersonal relations and conflict management. We will explore the theoretical and practical aspects of this discipline. Our goal will be to enable students to become more understanding, sensitive, skillful and self-assured in dealing with the many difficult interpersonal situations that they will encounter, both personally and professionally. The course will also serve to familiarize students with the expanding area of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).




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LAS111
Interpersonal Relations and Conflict Management
Availability
 

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts, theories and practices involved in effective interpersonal relations and conflict management. The goal is to enable students to become more understanding, sensitive, skillful and self-assured in dealing with the many difficult interpersonal situations that they encounter both personally and professionally. Additionally, this course serves to familiarize students with the expanding area of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).




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LAW220 OR LAS103
 
LAW220
Arrest, Search and Force
Availability
 

Few courses are as integral to the police and security roles as those of arrest, the use of force, and search. In these vital areas, the circumstances under which arrest is justified are discussed, together with the related topics of the use of force in arresting, the immediate search of the person arrested, and the rights of the person arrested. The protections available to the person arresting, and the various situations under which the accused person must be released or may be detained are studied. The broad function of the search of a person, place or vehicle with or without warrant is examined and the law as it pertains to the lawful use of force, and the limits placed on that use. In no other course is the impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms so strongly felt, and such impacts are discussed as the topic arises.




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LAS103
Arrest, Search and Force
Availability
 

Few courses are as integral to the police and security roles as those of arrest, the use of force, and search. In these vital areas, the circumstances under which arrest is justified are discussed, together with the related topics of the use of force in arresting, the immediate search of the person arrested, and the rights of the person arrested. The protections available to the person arresting, and the various situations under which the accused person must be released or may be detained are studied. The broad function of the search of a person, place or vehicle with or without warrant is examined and the law as it pertains to the lawful use of force, and the limits placed on that use.




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LAW230
Criminal Code Offences
Availability
 

The student of law enforcement is required to become familiar with the most commonly violated criminal offences contained in the Canadian Criminal Code. This subject aids the student in identifying the essential elements of these offences and to analyze them in accordance with criminal behaviour.




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LAW240
Security and Crime Prevention
Availability
 

The continued rise in crime against business and industry has seen an expected growth in the security industry in Canada. This course will provide the student with a sound base of knowledge and understanding of the theories and practical methods used in the continued effort to eliminate or reduce security problems. Police Foundation students will find this material useful in community policing and crime prevention efforts.




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LAW250
Crime Prevention and Community Policing
Availability
 

Community oriented policing is a strategy for forging a partnership between the police department and the citizens it serves. The community will participate in identifying problems of local concern and in helping find solutions. The police are the driving force behind establishing public safety and encouraging citizen involvement. The success of the police depends on developing their own skills, and allowing officers the flexibility to analyse, and initiate proactive crime prevention measures.
This course will explore the law that directly supports these measures. It will also examine technology and techniques to reduce crime. Further, it will explore the theories and practices of community policing as it exists in Canada today.




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1 General Education Option 1 General Education Option
Module III

PFD310
Forensic Crime Scene Investigation
Availability
 

Forensic science in its broadest definition is the application of science to criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies. This subject focuses on the gathering of information for the purposes of generating evidence to be used in the court of law. You will be introduced to the study of certain technical and scientific methods currently used for identification purposes. Areas that will be covered include: biology, chemistry, ballistics and firearms, document examinations, pathology, toxicology and fingerprints.




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PFD330
Criminology
Availability
 

Criminology is the study of behaviour that violates the criminal law. In this subject, you will study the process by which behaviour becomes criminalized or decriminalized, seek explanations for why certain people commit crime and others do not, and become familiar with crime rates and patterns. You will also examine selected theories of crime causation that have been entertained in the past and are currently discussed in the field. Finally, society's evolving response to crime will be explored.




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PFD340 OR LAS104
 
PFD340
Rules of Evidence
Availability
 

A clear understanding of the rules of evidence is mandatory for any practitioner in the Administration of Justice. The collection and admissibility of evidence is governed by: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada and Ontario Evidence Acts, Case/Common Law, and the Criminal Code. All of these sources will be studied in depth in this course as they pertain to rules of evidence.




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LAS104
Rules of Evidence
Availability
 

A clear understanding of the rules of evidence is mandatory for any practitioner in the Administration of Justice. The collection and admissibility of evidence is governed by: The Charter, Canada and Ontario Evidence Acts, Case/Common Law, and the Criminal Code. An in-depth study of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be undertaken as well as the rules of the decorum, which must be adhered to while attending court.




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PFD360
Youth in Conflict With the Law
Availability
 

This course begins with an historical overview of the management of youthful offenders by the Criminal Justice System in Canada and how current laws concerning youth crime evolved. Students will examine and apply in depth the many legal policies and procedures in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Contemporary, social concerns will be discussed including the relationships between youth deviance, their socio-economic status and mental health; gang culture; societal reaction to youth crime and how these views are informed and reproduced through conventional and social media. Finally, various community intervention and prevention strategies will be explored.




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PSY100
Introduction to Psychology
Availability
 

Corequisite(s):

EAC149

The discipline of Psychology is the study of human behaviour. It is concerned with the observation behaviour of an individual and its relationship to unseen mental and physical processes, as well as to external events. Introduction to Psychology will provide a framework within which the student can begin to explore the human personality.




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1 General Education Option 1 General Education Option
PFD350
Fitness and Lifestyle Management II
Availability
 

This course focuses on Wellness and Lifestyle. Occupationally relevant concepts of Wellness and Lifestyle such as, Time Management, Nutrition, and Stress management are explored within a context of prevention and behaviour change. It is an important outcome of this Course that students set appropriate health related goals and implement wellness strategies that produce health and avoid disease within the Law Enforcement occupation.
The Course requires practical application of Fitness with physical fitness testing. If this course is done through online learning, students who cannot attend the testing at Durham College (test fee included in pricing) will need to arrange and pay for the testing themselves.




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PFD410
Traffic Law and Collision Investigation
Availability
 

Consistent, proactive enforcement of traffic laws by the police has proven to significantly reduce motor vehicle collisions. In this course, students will develop the knowledge and skills to locate, interpret and apply sections of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario and its Regulations. Case scenarios describing common traffic violations will be examined to determine the proper charges under circumstances provided. Provincial Offences Tickets will be completed and students will give evidence in a moot traffic court. Students will also study Criminal Code related driving offences including all related legal documents,
This course will identify appropriate, lawful and safe techniques while conducting traffic stops. Also, strategies and procedures regarding the safe and proper management and investigation of a motor vehicle collision scene will be described in class and then reproduced at an experiential crash scene.




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PFD420
Selected Provincial and Federal Statutes
Availability
 

This course examines selected federal and provincial statues that have been deemed important, and that have not been covered in other courses. Procedures for arrest, use of force, and entry into premises relative to the federal and provincial statutes studied will be examined Students will learn how to initiate legal proceedings under these statutes.
Topic breakdown: Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act, Provincial Offences Act, Child and Family Services Act, Liquor Licence Act, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, Mental Health Act, Blind Persons' Rights Act.




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PFD430
Court Case Preparation and Presentation
Availability
 

This course pertains to the importance of statements in the investigation and trial processes. The lawful practices and procedures imperative to the successful admission of a statement by the trial court are learned through the study of contemporary statute and precedent law. Currently accepted methods of identifying the person responsible for a crime are studied. The course concludes with each student preparing a universal crown brief and the presentation in moot court of the criminal case that is the subject of the brief. The concluding aspect of the course requires each student to play the roles of the primary court actors, i.e. crown attorney, defence attorney, investigating officer, court clerk and witnesses over the duration of the courtroom phase of the course.




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PFD440 OR DMS106
 
PFD440
Police Practices
Availability
 

This course will focus on police governance and accountability issues as related to the Police Services Act of Ontario. Officer safety issues and dealing with violence against women will also be explored. This course will also focus on ethical issues faced by law enforcement officers. It will help students clarify their values and establish a framework for ethical decision-making.
Topic breakdown: Special Investigations Unit, O.I.P.R.D. (Office of the Independent Police Review Director), public complaints procedures, Police Services Act: police officers' use of force, conduct and use of lethal and non-lethal weapons, mental health crises intervention, police sub-culture.




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DMS106
Principles of Ethical Reasoning
Availability
 

This course focuses on ethical issues faced by the individual as a person and more particularly as a professional with authority and responsibility for law enforcement. It helps students clarify values and establish a framework for ethical decision making. The course focuses your mind on the importance of moral philosophy as a component of the decision making process.




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PFD450
Diversity and First Nations
Availability
 

The Diversity and First Nations course merges elements of law enforcement and First Nations issues. This course begins by exploring the basic concepts of diversity, multiculturalism and human rights from a Canadian context. From there, Canadian human rights legislation is reviewed and the role policing plays in upholding these rights. Students will further gain an understanding of cultural and religious diversity, in addition to such topics as family violence, mental health issues, and developmental disabilities. This section of the course concludes with examining the level of cultural competency within Canadian police services and their efforts to diversify the face of policing. By the end of this section, students should:

  • Understand the challenges of community policing
  • Recognize the benefits and challenges of diversity for policing
  • Explore how greater awareness of diversity can help reduce conflict and misunderstanding.

The next section of the course focuses on the colonization of First Nations people and the resulting socio-economic issues. The historical foundation between First Nations people and European cultures will set the tone for past and present relationships. Treaty and land claims generally misunderstood by the Canadian public are explored, in addition to the plight of the residential school system. Inequalities still exist for this population group in the areas of social services, education, labour market, health and the criminal justice system, despite being the fastest-growing portion of Canada's population. By the end of this section, students should:

  • Understand how colonization impacted the First Nations people
  • Recognize the effects of First Nations people's extensive history of mistreatment in Canada
  • Learn about new First Nations opportunities to overcome existing challenges

The course materials draw from a variety of locations, offering a variety of everyday examples, case studies and social media to enhance students' understanding of the dynamics of identities and cultures resulting from the reorganization of societies and nations, and the complexities associated with global integration.




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If you started the Police Foundations program as of September 1, 2015 onwards you must complete the following 2 courses, in addition to courses identified as required to meet the Program Outcomes:

  1. PFD100 Career Preparation
  2. LAW240 Security and Crime Prevention

Please note that PDF 320, CAN 271, SOC 551, CAN 530 and CAN 132 are no longer part of the Police Foundations program. However, they will be accepted to fulfil graduation requirements. Please contact the program manager if these changes affect you.

Program Outcomes

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Act in a manner consistent with all relevant law and legislation, and professional, organizational, and ethical standards.
  • Communicate accurately, persuasively, and credibly to develop effective working relationships with individuals, groups, and multidisciplinary teams in order to achieve goals.
  • Apply knowledge of fundamental concepts of psychology, sociology, and criminology when interacting with peers, supervisors, other professionals, victims, suspects/offenders, and the public.
  • Document, prepare, and assist in the presentation of court cases in compliance with criminal and provincial law, rules of evidence, and the Charter of Rights and Freedom.
  • Assess the use of police powers.
  • Initiate, promote, and facilitate partnerships to meet community policing and security needs.
  • Assess the relationship of policing services to other participants in the criminal justice system and other community service agencies.
  • Make sound decisions based on an evaluation of situations.
  • Cope with stress and optimize fitness and wellness.
  • Apply fundamental concepts of political science, law and legislative policy making, and public administration to the provision of police services.
  • Assess information-gathering skills used in basic investigative techniques.
  • Assess crisis intervention strategies.
  • Develop strategies to assist crime victims to meet their needs.

OSAP Funding Available

This program is eligible for OSAP funding.

Course load is used by OSAP to determine funding options for programs.

If you are taking 1 - 2 courses at the same time, you may be considered for part-time student grants and loans.

  • 1 course (20%)
  • 2 courses (40%)

If you are taking 3 or more courses at the same time, you may be considered for full-time student grants and loans.

  • 3 courses (60%)
  • 4 courses (80%)
  • 5 courses (100%)

To find out if you qualify and to learn how to apply, please visit the OSAP website.

For information on other awards and financial assistance, please see Financial Aid.

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Graduation/Convocation

When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Program Contacts

Marianne Tang
Program Assistant
Marianne.Tang@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.22536


Dedra Profitt
Program Coordinator
Dedra.Profitt@senecacollege.ca
416-491-5050 ext.22826


Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.