U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Police/Public Homicide and Fatality Risks in Canada - A Current Assessment - Serving and Being Protected

NCJ Number
Canadian Police Chief Volume: 3 Issue: 10 Dated: (December 1984) Pages: 4-8
M D Whittingham
Date Published
5 pages
An analysis of the relative risks associated with becoming a victim of a homicide in Canada shows it to be a likelihood of only moderated probability, when compared to that of other similar industrialized nations in recent years. A current similar cross-cultural comparison of police officer homicides reveals that Canada ranked fourth in the rate of officers murdered in the line of duty over the same period.
Although the general Canadian homicide rate ranks about eighth in a recent survey of fourteen selected countries, it has, however, risen sharply over the past two decades. The Canadian police homicide rate was several times lower than that for the United States over a comparable twenty year time-span, indicating a generally lower occupational risk for police officer here in Canada. Such protective service occupations as law enforcement and firefighting etc. are widely acknowledged to be stressful, increasingly dangerous, and a cause for concern. Current fatality rate comparisons per 100,000 population, a standardized mortality ratio, still however, reveal certain more traditional occupations to be the most fraught with fatal hazard in contemporary Canadian society. This situation not withstanding, the principal difference is that police fatalities are most often incurred whilst protecting others. The recent tragic rash of killings of Canadian police officers clearly typifies this process. Tabular data and 23 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)