Provincial police forces handle most of the urban cities crimes in Canada though when a federal crime occurs, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are called in. There may be times when the suspect in question in a criminal case is none other than law enforcement personnel. However, what actually happens when a police officer breaks the law they are supposed to be upholding?
An Internal Investigation
The first step usually taken when a police officer is reported or suspected of foul play is to have Internal Affairs conduct an investigation. In most cases, Internal Affairs don’t like to publicize their investigations as they want to find the facts first before making a case public knowledge, even to fellow officers. If the investigators find evidence during their investigation, charges may be brought against one or several people in connection with their case. However, if they find evidence to suggest a person is innocent or has nothing to answer to, there will be no formal charges made. Should an individual be formally charged with a crime further action will be taken against them.
Disciplinary Actions May Be Taken
Depending on the level of criminal activity or wrong-doing on the part of a police officer, there are several things which might occur. The law enforcement officer may find he or she is reprimanded in which they can be demoted for improper conduct, lose a pending promotion and even be suspended for several weeks or months pending a review. However, if the crime warrants criminal action the officer may be formally suspended from active duty and charged; they then might find they are taken to court and put on trial for the crime.
Prosecution and Reforms
Should members of law enforcement be charged with a crime, they have the option to plead to their charges or go to trial. Those who go to trial and loose may find the penalties severe. Usually, the justice system does not take too kindly to officers who break the law and find themselves with harsh punishments. Officers who break the law can often see themselves also receiving the same sentence as criminals who break the law. Find out more informations here.
Laws Are There For a Good Reason
Canadian laws were made to help protect all citizens from harm throughout the country and, as such, no person or group is above that. When someone does something illegal whether willingly or unwillingly they must go through the proper judicial channels; and it is the same with law enforcement. Police officers and other authority officials need to abide by laws set out and if they do not, they should go through the same legal proceedings as others. Corruption in any form will not be tolerated.
Law Enforcement Is Not Above Punishment
Police officers are people just like average citizens which mean they too could one day break the law and become involved with illegal activity. If that is the case they will be dealt with in the same manner as those who break the law and have no ties to law enforcement. There are no exceptions when it comes to breaking the law. When an office of the law is found to have broken the law it is that much worse, because those are the people who take the oath and who swear to protect the people and uphold the law.
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