Public trust in policing: A global search for the genetic code to inform policy and practice in Canada

Marnie Clark, Rebecca Davidson, Vanessa Hanrahan, Norman E. Taylor


The Executive Global Studies Program is an experiential and research-driven learning model for succession-ready police leaders and related executives across Canada, operating since 2003. Its research themes for each cohort are assigned by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). Nominees are each named and funded by their respective agencies with a view to informing domestic public policy and practice, while also providing a developmental framework for building global networks, shared geo-political awareness, and advanced executive competencies among the police leadership community. The program’s tenth cohort completed a 15-country study on the subject of public trust in policing, and they recently presented their summarized research results to the CACP for consideration and action. In this paper, these results are summarized and discussed for their potential implications for policy, practice, and continuing study. The primary focus of these authors, all of whom are Global 2017 team members, is to trace and explain the qualitative research process applied by their full cohort as they uncovered and conceived what the team ultimately characterized as ‘the genetic code of public trust’, a new grounded theory meant to inform and guide those continuing policy and practice considerations in Canada and beyond.


Policing; community relations; public trust; police legitimacy; community safety and well-being

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ISSN 2371-4298