PROVINCIAL POLICING STANDARDS
93% of Nova Scotians agree that there needs to be consistent training and standards across all police services (Pollara, July 2022)
Provincial police training standards are typically issued by the provincial Department of Justice and Public Safety. The department and the Minister provide advice and direction to police services in response to new legislation or changes in law, or to address emerging police and public safety issues. Nova Scotia’s current police training standards do not reflect current training needs or provide clear guidance in consistency of training to police services. Policing Standards Chapter 18, [i] which highlights training of law enforcement personnel, does not provide details for basic training standards, such as firearms and ammunition training and re-certification. The Provincial Government needs to focus on increasing the consistency of training standards and collaboration across different police services and in developing a clear set of standards that each police service is required to maintain.
Strong provincial policing standards will support better interoperability between policing services in Nova Scotia.
Fragmented policing models create significant challenges for interoperability, when members of different police agencies do not have the same type or level of training, equipment, technology, or protocols. Provincial policing standards can provide a strong foundation for better cooperation by ensuring that police officers receive the same training and equipment.
Recommendation 5: The Province of Nova Scotia adopt comprehensive, modern, and substantive provincial standards across all areas of police service delivery, including training, equipment, technology, specialized services, records management, administration, and operations, as developed by the provincial working group.
Recommendation 6: The Province enforce minimum levels of service delivery by requiring all agencies to have formal agreements for the provision of all necessary specialized services that they do not offer.
Recommendation 7: The Province set provincial policing standards, including training standards, that are reviewed regularly to ensure they continue to meet legal requirements and best practices based on learning in police science, and expectations for adequate, consistent police service delivery and interoperability.
Recommendation 8: The Province of Nova Scotia conduct audits and evaluations of all police services based on provincial standards.