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Outstanding leadership

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Constable Chris Birkett has only been an officer for roughly three years, but has already broken down barriers, proven his dedication and commitment, and exceeded all expectations. Birkett, who was officially hired by the VPD in January 2018, is Blue Line magazine’s 2021 Rookie of the Year. By Brieanna Charlebois.

The myth of the ‘21-foot’ rule

Originally designed to help officers think defensively and develop a better level of tactical awareness, the 21-foot rule was intended to illustrate the distance that an assailant could cover with an edged weapon before an officer could respond with a holstered sidearm. The problem is that widely-taught drills developed from that original concept may have reinforced a big myth: “If someone has a knife, and they’re within 21 feet, you can shoot them.” By Dave Brown and Randy LaHaie.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Unmasking an implicitly and unintentionally biased photo-lineup: A case study. In the early 1990s, a purse snatching was reported in Nova Scotia. As part of their investigation, police showed a witness pictures in a mug book. The session did not result in a positive identification but, five days later, when the police had a suspect, the witness returned to examine a photo lineup. A photo of the suspect was mixed in with 10 images taken from the mug book the witness had examined five days prior. The witness selected the suspect as the perpetrator. When asked if she remembered any of the faces in the lineup from the previous mug book session, the witness testified that she did not. By Raymond M. Klein.

Blue Line, The Podcast: NG-911 with Deputy Chief Anthony Odoardi

Deputy Chief Anthony Odoardi of the Peel Regional Police is also the chair of the OACP-led NG-911 Inter-Agency Advisory Panel. He joins Blue Line editor Brieanna Charlebois to discuss what NG-911 means for the frontline, how agencies can optimize on the technology and what aren’t police and other emergency service organizations thinking about that they should be to ready themselves for the change and how to capitalize on it when it occurs. » Listen now

The ABCs of police note-taking

Documentation is far superior to relying on rote memory of an event. Complete, accurate and properly maintained notes are a fundamental aid to memory and serve as a guide during investigations and interviewing witnesses, victims, suspects and accused persons, studies show. By Michael Souliere. » Listen now

Leading for change

Stacy Clarke is Toronto Police Service’s first Black female superintendent. She started in the role in an interim capacity last summer during the time when the Black Lives Matter movement took North America by storm. How intersectionality has affected her career and informed her approach to her new role. By Brieanna Charlebois. » Read now

A Meaningful Design: 2021 Best Dressed Award winners

Congratulations to all the winners of Blue Line’s 2021 Best Dressed Vehicle Award winners. We strive to showcase innovative and effective designs and look for clear identification, graphic designs that enhance visibility, elements that show directionality of travel, and impressive integration of equipment and controls. Congrats to La Service de police de Saguenay (1st place), Guelph Police Service (2nd place) and Le Service de police de Bromont (3rd place), as well as the University of Toronto Campus Police Department for the Law Enforcement category and the Saskatoon Police Service for the Special Services category. By Blue Line Staff. » Read now

IACP 2021

Location: New Orleans
Date: Sept. 11 – 14, 2021
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Blue Line Expo

Location: Vaughan, Ont.
Date: Oct. 28, 2021
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Law of Police Conference

Location: Vancouver
Date: November 4 – 5, 2021
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Gang and Organized Crime Professional Development Conference

Location: London, Ont.
Date: November 15 – 18, 2021
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