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The Roles and Responsibilities of Provincial Police Officers

June 2, 2014

Many people have heard about and seen in action the highly respected Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they go about their day-to-day responsibilities in the field; from securing the border to enforcing law across the entire country, virtually everyone is aware of their presence and role in our society. Yet another important branch of law enforcement are provincial police forces, which are primarily responsible for day-to-day acts of law and order within each province. There are tens of thousands of police officers that serve in a provincial capacity and seek to maintain peace and stability in communities all across Canada, but what are their main responsibilities? Whether you are just curious or considering a career as a provincial police officer, we will discuss the roles and duties of these important servicemen and women in the following article.

Crime Prevention

Above all else, the role of provincial police officers is to serve and protect; this often requires attention be paid to local law enforcement violations and ways in which crime can be prevented. Provincial police officers see to it that communities and neighbourhoods are safe above all else, through the use of patrols and the observation of crime trends. Some provincial officers are tasked with taking leadership roles to ensure that the best practices are in place and that the proper messaging is used to alert communities to developing situations. The combination of these tactics can ultimately result in reduced crime and safer communities.

Traffic Safety

Another important role of provincial officers is to ensure that traffic laws are obeyed throughout their jurisdictions. Traffic violations can lead to unsafe driving conditions and results in one of the most flagrant agitators of danger in most areas, so it is vital that provincial police take a proactive role in monitoring these situations. Not only do police officers assist with land-based traffic code enforcement, but they are also tasked with monitoring traffic in the air. By eliminating high-risk behaviour patterns from the general population, injuries and fatalities are dramatically reduced.


The anticipation and monitoring of various crimes in a jurisdiction is another major responsibility of provincial police, and makes intelligence gathering and assessments another daily requirement of many officers. Especially useful in areas where high-profile crimes can be an issue, intelligence gathering can result in the apprehension or prevention of select code violations that may prove to be dangerous for the general population and those engaged in such activities. Areas of intelligence operations include the collection of information, its analysis and distribution of findings to relevant branches of law enforcement.

Specialized Response

One more area in which provincial police can be instrumental in law enforcement is through the deployment as specialized teams, designed to disrupt dangerous situations or apprehend dangerous criminals. These individuals may work alongside municipal officers and those with the RCMP in order to handle situations as they arise. Specialized response teams are trained separately in a variety of areas to ensure the best response is always available to a situation as conditions change on the ground.

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