Trotsky in Blue: Permanent Policing Reform
The subject of this article is police reform in North America. The article is divided in two parts. The first part reviews the recent past with respect to reforming the police in Canada. I examine the case of the reform of the Montreal police, which tried to implement an approach modelled on COP-POP principles. The reform process lasted for some 18 years and covers two periods. From 1987 to 1993, the service tried unsuccessfully to reform the mentalities of its officers, without changing the structures of the force. From 1994 until today, it introduced significant changes in its structures but was forced after 2002 to reestablish many of the structures it had abolished.The reform suffered from a split of leadership between police and civilians and produced a divorce between the uniformed patrol and plainclothes criminal investigation. In the second part of the paper, I assess the impact on the police reform movement of the moral panic generated by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I argue that very deep budgetary cuts in the US, a new reliance on physical coercion and outsourcing to the private sector may bring the COP-POP reform movement to a standstill. I conclude that current developments in policing are deepening the gap between security and justice in policing.