A Public’s Rude Awakening

Officers are weighing the costs of engaging with the public and for many, the cons outweigh the pros. Photo by Ashley Fraser Ashley Fraser / Postmedia

Officers are weighing the costs of engaging with the public and for many, the cons outweigh the pros. Photo by Ashley Fraser Ashley Fraser / Postmedia

Ottawa police officers are “de-policing” — or avoiding proactive policing — out of fear of being scrutinized by the public, according to the groundbreaking study of an Ottawa police officer turned doctoral researcher.

It is the first study of its kind in Canada that measures what has largely been anecdotal among officers who describe the F.I.D.O mentality of “F**k it, drive on,” when confronted with what many police see as un-winnable situations that will only get them in trouble or publicly embarrassed.

But now, there’s evidence.

“It’s definitely happening, there’s no doubt about it,” said Greg Brown, a Carleton University doctoral researcher and former Ottawa police homicide and drug investigator.

Brown surveyed 3,660 front-line officers from 18 police services in Canada — from Halifax to Vancouver — and five departments in New York state. In this city, 382 Ottawa police officers participated from all 18 patrol platoons — nearly the entire front-line.

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See Also:

(1) Editorial: If police aren’t policing – this is a problem

(2) Fears fuelling ‘depolicing,’ survey finds

(3) SIU won’t budge after police chiefs urge naloxone policy change

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