PFD440 - Police Practices

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-11-21 11:37:16.927
Last review date 2017-11-21 11:37:22.874

Subject Title
Police Practices

Subject Description
This subject will focus on police governance and accountability issues as related to the Police Services Act of Ontario.  The course will examine the ethical issues faced by law enforcement officers in a contemporary context.  By the end of this course, students will be able to clarify their values, and the ethical values of law enforcement organizations, and utilize a framework for ethical decision-making.  Officer safety issues and issues of gender-directed violence will also be explored.

Topic breakdown: Special Investigations Unit, O.I.P.R.D. (Office of the Independent Police Review Director), public complaints procedures, the Police Services Act: police officers' use of force, conduct and use of lethal and non-lethal weapons, mental health crisis intervention, police sub-culture. 

Credit Status
This is a Police Foundations prescribed credit subject.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of civilian governance over police conduct and behaviors as mandated in the Police Services Act of Ontario (P.S.A.).
  2. Explain the Public Complaint Procedure as outlined in the Police Services Act of Ontario.
  3. Generalize the Police Services Act's requirements with respect to key aspects of policing, such as: the use of force and crisis intervention techniques, officer conduct, and the appropriate use of lethal and non-lethal equipment.
  4. Determine the mental and physical considerations required to safely and effectively deal with Mental Health crisis situations.
  5. Discuss contemporary police culture and its impact on ethical behavior.
  6. Analyze contemporary ethical issues facing police officers in Canada.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
1          Ethics
2          Police Services Act
3          Domestic Violence
4          Officer Safety

Mode of Instruction
This course will be taught using lectures, discussions, independent study and group work.

Prescribed Texts
Police Services Act of Ontario (Access Provincial Offence Act at:

Reference Material

  • Evans and MacMillan (2003) Ethical Reasoning in Policing, Corrections and Security (2 ed.), Emond Montgomery
  • J.R. Jones (2000), Reputable Conduct, (2 ed), Prentice Hall
  • Blue Line Magazine

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Two Term Tests                                  30% each
Open book test                                   10%
Final Exam                                          30%

Evaluation Process
Students with valid reasons why they cannot be present for a term test or examination or who cannot submit an assignment by the due date must notify their professor prior to the scheduled date.

  • There will be no re-writes for failed tests or assignments.
  • The writing of missed tests and assignments will be at the discretion of your professor.
  • Late assignment penalties will be at the discretion of your professor.
Students are expected to keep a record of their own marks from such evaluation modes.  Marks from progress tests, assignments, term tests and examinations should be recorded by each student, so that at any time, the student will have a good idea as to their academic progress.

Approved by: Sandra Noble