Police Powers

It’s Friday night and you and your partner, both relatively new recruits, have just been dispatched to a 911 call. The caller stated that he was in his house and that he heard his next-door neighbour, a 73-year-old male, calling for help. The caller said that his neighbour, George Macklin, sounded as if he were in the basement. The complainant could hear Mr. Macklin yelling “She’s locked me in again!”
When you arrive at the home, you notice an elderly woman sitting on the front porch, drinking tea, working on a crossword puzzle, and talking to something or someone. You greet her with “Good evening, ma’am, I’m Officer Kalid and this is my partner, Officer McNulty. May we ask you some questions?”
Mrs. Macklin eyes you suspiciously and asks what brings you to her house. You reply that you received a 911 call concerning the well-being of her husband and suggest that he may be in the basement.
Mrs. Macklin laughs, stating that her husband died three years ago. She then proceeds to “feed her dog,” while talking to it, although you can see there is clearly no dog present. She tells you that you have been the victim of “that crazy old creep next door.” You are a little unsure now of your facts. You are also quite concerned that Mrs. Macklin may, in fact, be suffering from a mental health problem and require an assessment under mental health legislation. She may be a danger to herself or others.

  1. Do you have a right to enter the home? 2 marks
  2. What is the basis in case law for your decision? 2 marks
  3. If you decide to enter the house, how would you explain your decision to a justice? 2 marks

SCENARIO 2 – Location of Arrest and Feeney Laws
You and your partner respond to a call regarding an auto theft. You speak with a man outside a home. The man points out a car parked in the driveway of the home and states that the car belongs to him. He provides you evidence of this. The man explains that he stopped to purchase milk at a local convenience store. He admits he left his car unlocked and running when he went into the store, and while he was waiting to pay for his purchase, he saw a female get into his car and drive away. The male asked another motorist to help him follow his stolen car. They followed the car to this home. As they were parking down the street, and while the man was calling the police, he saw the woman leave the car and enter the front door of the house. He says it appeared to him that the female used a key to unlock the front door of the house. He provides you with a detailed description of the female.
As you are speaking with the male, he suddenly yells “There she is!” and points to a female standing in the front window of the house.

  1. Do you have grounds to arrest her? Do exigent circumstances exist? What should you do? Justify your course of action. 5 marks
  2. Describe three circumstances under which a peace officer may enter a dwelling-house without a warrant to effect an arrest. 3 marks

SCENARIO 3 – Use of Force
While on foot patrol in your patrol area, you and your partner are approached by a distraught woman. She tells you that her boyfriend has locked himself in their bathroom, in the apartment building adjacent to the street. He took her cell phone, so she ran out of the building for help. Her boyfriend is threatening to jump out of the bathroom window onto the pavement four storeys below. They just had a domestic altercation after he found sexual text messages on her phone. She states that he hit her, and she shows you her split lip as proof. The female provides her name to you, Aleesha Simoski, and tells you her boyfriend is Vladymir Trotsky, a security guard at a nearby mall.
When you enter the apartment, you attempt to speak to Mr Trotsky, but he swears at you and tells you that his life is his own business. Despite this, he rambles on, providing information about himself. After some time, you learn that he is about to lose his job. He screams that his life is no good, that he found sexual conversations on his girlfriend’s phone, and that she is cheating on him.
As you try to determine whether Mr Trotsky has a weapon, you learn that he has just come home from work. He came home in uniform, which, according to Ms Simoski, means he has a baton and handcuffs. After about 15 minutes, Mr Trotsky exits the bathroom, and you can see clearly that he is still wearing his baton on his duty belt. You place him under arrest for the assault on his girlfriend. He starts turning to go back into the bathroom.

  1. How would you classify his response? 1 mark
  2. What option is available to you according to the Use-of-Force Continuum? 1 mark
  3. If you decide to use force, are your actions justified under the Criminal Code? Explain. 1 mark

4.Identify the six responses available to officers when they are applying the Use-of-Force Continuum model as a response guideline. 6 marks

5.Identify the five potential reactions that subjects may have to police presence, according to the Use-of-Force Continuum. 5 marks

6.Indicate whether the following statement true or false and explain your reasons: “The Use-of-Force Continuum model provides rules for officers to follow when dealing with a member of the public.” 2 marks

SCENARIO 4 – Search With a Warrant
Officer Kim is the affiant (writer) of a search warrant to enter someone’s home to search for stolen property. She briefs the officers on her team before they proceed to the address given in the search warrant. Upon their arrival, she suggests that the team members kick in the front door and enter the home as rapidly as possible to prevent anyone from escaping the building or destroying evidence, such as the stolen property that is inside the house.
As the affiant of the search warrant, it is Officer Kim’s responsibility to ensure that the search warrant is executed professionally and lawfully.

Do you think Officer Kim should allow the team to kick in the door, or are there other options? What legal requirements are there to consider? 5 marks

  1. Define what an Information To Obtain (ITO) is. 2 marks
  2. List five questions that an ITO must answer. 5 marks
  3. Give an example of an “embarrassment” that must be disclosed in an ITO. 1 mark

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