Canada has deployed police officers to peace missions around the world since 1989. Almost 4,000 Canadian police officers have been to over 33 countries, including Sudan, Kosovo, West Bank, Haiti and Afghanistan. They help rebuild or strengthen police services in countries experiencing conflict or upheaval. Through police participation in these missions, Canada commits to building a more secure world.
Serving on a mission is a unique opportunity for police officers to contribute to public safety in unstable countries. It also allows them to improve their leadership, problem-solving and intercultural skills. This benefits their police services and the communities they serve at home.
How it works
Requests for Canadian police come from organizations such as the United Nations or from specific countries. The decision to deploy Canadian police is made via the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada and the RCMP. The goal of the CPA is to support the Government of Canada’s commitments to build a more secure world through Canadian police participation in international peacekeeping and peace support operations, which are critical to longer-term security system reform and conflict-prevention efforts.
The RCMP manages the deployment of Canadian police, including:
- Planning and evaluating missions;
- Selecting and training personnel; and,
- Providing support throughout the deployment.
Canadian police personnel deployed abroad come from a wide range of police services, not only the RCMP. These police officers have many roles depending on the mission, including:
- Training, mentoring and monitoring;
- Supporting free and fair elections;
- Investigating human rights violations; and,
- Responding to humanitarian crises.
Canadian police can also work on specialized teams that focus on areas of:
- Community policing
- Management development
- Serious and organized crime
To date, one RCMP member has died during peacekeeping operations. Superintendent Douglas Coates’ body was located by rescue crews searching through the rubble of the UN Headquarters building in Port au Prince Haiti which was destroyed during the 2010 earthquake there.
At the time of his tragic death, Coates was the Acting Commissioner of Operations for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.