This is a brief history of two of Canada’s first Black law enforcer’s Peter Butler III and Rose Fortune.

This is a brief history of two of Canada’s first Black law enforcer’s Peter Butler III and Rose Fortune.

1774 -1884

Rose Fortune was born into slavery in the southern United States in 1774.

Owned by the Devone family, who eventually made their way to Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia, as Loyalist refugees following the American Revolution.

It was in Annapolis Royal that Rose Fortune would gain her freedom.

In the latter part of the 1700’s Ms. Fortune appointed herself policewoman for the area. She worked in the Port Annapolis Royal, and she was known as a dedicated officer who kept the town’s youth very much in line.

No one seemed to object to Rose’s self-appointed status since she was well known about the town as a founder of one of Annapolis Royal’s first Cartage companies.

Thus it is believed that Rose Fortune was Canada’s first female law It seemed she was never quite able to fully disassociate herself from her thriving Cartage Company. Rose Fortune was welcomed by the rich and
the poor.

A physically strong woman, Ms. Fortune was often seen in the company of her wheelbarrow. It seemed she was never quite able to fully disassociate herself from her thriving Cartage Company. She was known for spanking local mischief-makers and rousing local dignitaries from their beds.

Ms. Fortune died in 1884 at the age of 90

1859 – 1943

Peter Butler the III was born in Lucan Ontario, in 1859. He served for over
fifty years as Lucan’s tough but fair county constable and later as an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer. In 1983, he became a member of the Middlesex County Police where he served for 30 years. In 1913, he joined the OPP and retired in 1936.

Although some of his towns British immigrants objected to a black police officer, Butler quickly gained their respect. Of note is that Butler only wore a gun when he was in transporting prisoners to jail in London or chasing cattle rustlers. Although Butler rarely carried a gun, he was s deadly shot who maintained a personal collection of 38 guns. Most of his collection was seized from lawbreakers, including one belonging to the infamous Donnelly family.

Butler was a large man and had amazing energy. He relied on big stick and sizeable hands to maintain peace and order. Mr. Butler was also known for his kindness and generosity.

For example, every Sunday he brought Lucan prisoners a huge bucket of beer for 25 cents. Further he often used his home rather than the local jail to detain local drunk and other offenders he felt should not be on the

Constable Peter Butler III died in 1943. In his honor, local dignitaries from the county and the province, as well as guests from the United States attended his funeral. In addition, six OPP officers’s followed the
casket to the family plot on Sauble Hill. 

Official Position on “Racial Profiling”

Official Position on “Racial Profiling”

The Association of Black
Law Enforcers
Official Position on “Racial Profiling”
In Canada


Long before the print media series on “Race and Crime” was published in the fall of 2002, the Association of Black Law Enforcers (A.B.L.E.) had acknowledged the various disparate issues affecting the Black community within the criminal justice system. For the past year we have actively contributed to and participated in the various community and governmental initiatives that arose as a result of the “revelation” of “Racial Profiling”. We wanted to take this opportunity to formally state our position on racial profiling to the community.

The complex issues involved in “Racial Profiling” are not new to members of the African Canadian community, they are the latest manifestation of a long history of a sometimes tense, and even volatile, police/community relationship. This history has created a relationship between the police and our community that can be characterized as frail, lacking in real trust and overly sensitive to matters of race. A.B.L.E. believes that in order to build and maintain a meaningful relationship between law enforcement and the community the following elements must be nurtured and sustained:

  • Trust
  • Mutual Appreciation
  • Meaningful Consultation
  • Understanding

The members of our association understand that the vast majority of police
officers in our city, all the provinces and this country perform their duties in an honourable, ethical and professional manner. We believe this because we work with these officers and we are these officers.

We also understand that the subject of racial profiling is not just a policing issue, while cases where community members find themselves in a confrontation with an officer make the news, dozens of less extreme, yet troubling, examples occur every day:

  • Taxis that drive by only to be seen stopping for “safer” – looking people just up the street.
  • Being asked for multiple pieces of identification when making purchases with credit cards.
  • Being followed around a department store by salespeople and security while never being asked if you need any assistance.
  • Being detained for hours and extensively searched in an airport or train station.

We are qualified to make these statements because we live and work in two
worlds as Black law enforcers providing us with a unique perspective on the issues that face our community and our profession.


A.B.L.E. accepts the presence of the law enforcement phenomenon known as “Racial Profiling”. We believe that in order to understand this issue and create a common shared understanding for all those involved, it must be defined. The definition of racial profiling that we have adopted is:

“Investigative or enforcement activity initiated by an individual officer based on his or her stereotypical, prejudicial or racist perceptions of who is likely to be involved in wrong doing or criminal activity. This conduct is systemically facilitated when there is ineffective policy, training, monitoring and control mechanisms in the system.”

The above definition is applicable to the actions of all members of federal,
provincial and municipal law enforcement agencies that have the authority to enforce laws and conduct investigations. This definition is also applicable to private protection entities (Toronto Community Housing Company Security, Toronto Transit Commission Security and private security companies) contracted by the government or property owners.

While the concept of “Racially Biased Policing” as articulated by the Police
Executive Research Forum and currently being adopted by some police services is acknowledged. We believe that the primary element of this issue is the sole reliance on race to guide law enforcement action and we are comfortable with the term racial profiling. We applaud the leadership shown by Chief Bill Closs and the members of the Kingston Police Service on this issue. While we do not necessarily endorse this method for all police services, there is certainly a need for some jurisdictions to consider the need for a similar approach given the frail nature of community/police relations.

A.B.L.E. supports the utilization of “Criminal Profiling” as a legitimate law
enforcement and investigative tool where the issue of race is relied on as a
descriptor within the profile and there is no primary reliance on race as a factor. Criminal profiling is divided into both “Inductive and Deductive Profiling” and can be defined as follows:

*Inductive Criminal Profiling is one that is generalized to an individual criminal from initial behavioural and demographic characteristics shared by other criminals who have been studied in the past. It is the product of incomplete, statistical analysis and generalization.

*Deductive Criminal Profiling is the process of interpreting forensic evidence, including such inputs as crime scene photographs, autopsy reports, autopsy photographs, and a thorough study of individual offender victimology, to accurately reconstruct specific offender crime scene behaviour patterns, and from those specific, individual patterns of behaviour, deduce offender characteristics.

Criminal profiling should be viewed as a multi-disciplinary forensic practice. It requires, at the very least, applied knowledge in criminalistics, medicolegal death investigation, and psychology. However, criminal profiling, even as defined, has not yet achieved the status of a pure science.

A.B.L.E. understands the value and risks posed by the collection of race based statistics, however there is a need for an appropriate mechanism to monitor and evaluate the effective management of racial profiling. “That which is not measured is not managed.”

A.B.L.E. is troubled by the connection being made between acts of violence
being perpetrated by the criminal element within the Black community and racial profiling. We reject the notion of “Black on Black” crime in that the term is pejorative and appears only to be reserved for use when young Black men take the lives of other young Black men. Race based terms are not used to describe violent crime that occurred in other racial or ethnic communities. For example when members of the Hells Angels and Rock Machine were killing each other in Quebec the situation was not referred to as “White on White” crime it was called a “Biker War”.

Proposal for Action

The convening of a conference or symposium with the police and the community on racial profiling with concrete recommendations and timelines for change to be adopted by police services.

Mentoring and job shadowing opportunities for Black officers in investigative areas of police services outside of undercover work and recruitment functions, i.e. detectives, homicide squads and command functions.

Ongoing documented monitoring in the areas of recruitment and promotion of Black officers especially as it relates to the “Big 12” police services and other law enforcement agencies in Ontario and nationally.

The development of a specific policy and training to address racial profiling.

The installation of cameras in all frontline police vehicles in Ontario.

The inclusion of definitions and circumstances on the professional traffic stop in the policing adequacy standards (Ontario).

A.B.L.E. will work with the government, our community and our agencies to
achieve our proposal for action. Based on our experience as Black law
enforcers and members of the Black community we are committed to working with agencies and the community to build and maintain meaningful relationships that will assist in addressing this issue and other common shared concerns. Long after this debate has ended we will still be here working for our services and living in our communities therefore, we are committed to working with all concerned parties. 

A Quick Look into Professional Indemnity Insurance

A Quick Look into Professional Indemnity Insurance

Many people have heard about professional indemnity insurance but do not really have any idea about it at all. So what is professional indemnity insurance all about? Basically, professional indemnity insurance is a form of insurance that protects professionals from claims that are made by clients. If you are practicing your profession and are providing professional services, in the event that you were to make any mistakes on your part that may cause life or property damage, financial loss, infringement of intellectual property, or any type of loss, if you do not have professional indemnity insurance, any claims made unto you by your client will be shouldered by you. However, if you are properly equipped with professional indemnity insurance, any claims made against you will be handled by your insurer.

The coverage provided by professional indemnity insurance handles mostly negligence on the professional’s part. It is your negligent action that has brought damage to your client. While the basic form of professional indemnity insurance covers your basic negligence, it only provides a very narrow coverage. However, if you want to have a wider coverage, purchasing a more premium package will also provide you with coverage on breach of duty as well as civil liability. This is enough coverage to nearly cover most of what you need as a professional. A more expansive coverage on the other hand also provides coverage on “Acts of God”. There are some countries that mandate professionals to have professional indemnity insurance. The insurance not only provides reassurance to clients, but it gives the professional adequate protection from potential mishap on his part.

Since practicing your profession exposes you to possible claims, having the protection of professional indemnity insurance will help bring you that peace of mind. Professional indemnity insurance is of course not the complete package in protecting your best interest. If you want to have better protection, consider buying additional insurance forms such as liability insurance to give your professional interest better protection. The thing about insurance is that they are not exactly a waste of money or added expense on your part. If you try to look at how they minimize the risk you are exposed to, they certainly will make your profession less worrying as you no longer need to worry about the hassles brought about legal proceedings when you are properly insured.