Police resources in Canada, 2013: highlights

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  • As of the snapshot date of May 15, 2013, there were 69,272 police officers in Canada, 233 fewer officers than in 2012, representing a rate of police strength of 197 police officers per 100,000 population. The 1.5% decrease in the rate of police strength reported in 2013 was the third consecutive annual decrease.
  • Police services employed almost 27,900 civilians on the 2013 snapshot day. The ratio of officers to civilians has been slowly declining over the long term. A decade ago, there were 2.8 officers employed for every civilian, compared to 2.5 in 2013.
  • For a second year in a row, Manitoba was the province with the highest rate of police strength, at 213 police officers per 100,000 population. Once again, Prince Edward Island reported the lowest rate of police strength, with 160 officers per 100,000 population.
  • Among the census metropolitan areas, the highest rates of police strength in 2013 were reported in Thunder Bay (189) and Winnipeg (189). The lowest was reported in Moncton (111).
  • The increased presence of women in policing continued in 2013. The number of female officers increased (+1.2%), while the number of male officers declined (-0.7%). Females now account for 20% of all police officers, compared to 16% a decade ago.
  • Of new police officers hired by police services during the fiscal or calendar year of 2012, over two-thirds (69%) were recruit graduates, with the remainder being experienced police officers.
  • In the fiscal or calendar year of 2012, 11% of police officers were eligible for retirement, yet only 2% of police officers actually retired. Retirements were the most common reason officers left a police service that year (69%).
  • Expenditures on policing totalled $13.5 billion in the fiscal or calendar year of 2012. Controlling for inflation, this marks an increase of 2.8% from the previous year. With the exception of 2011, constant dollar spending on policing has been increasing since the late 1990s.
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