Police, Para-Police and Other Protective Service Occupations in Canada: Growth and Impact, 1991-2001

Trevor Sanders, Solicitor General Canada

The aim of this paper is to profile and assess the impacts of the growth and changing composition of protective services occupations in Canada. To date, little empirical work has been done to document the growth in the private protective services industry and comparable changes for public police and related services. Most of the research in this area has focused on the comparison of numbers of public police versus private security. This paper will expand the focus to include not only commissioned and non-commissioned police officers and private guards but also sheriffs, bailiffs, by-law enforcement officers and other protective service occupations. The number of police in Canada was relatively unchanged between 1991-2001 while employment in private security increased dramatically during this time period. This suggests that Canadians are increasingly relying on the private sector not the state to meet their security demands.

Using census and industry data, the public and private protective services industries in Canada will be profiled for the period 1991-2001. Analysis may include urban/rural differences and a socio-demographic profile of employees. In addition, outcoems of the rapid growth in the private protective sector will be explored. The potential correlation between the declining crime rate and the growth in private protective services will be probed. Discussion will include the relationship between the growth in private security and growing income inequality in Canada.

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Updated 05/20/2006