Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Peace Officer Definition:

Law enforcement officer; person empowered to make arrests; police officer.

The term peace officer is a creature of statute and thus, to determine who is a peace officer, and what would be his/her authorities, reference must be had to the enabling statute of a particular jurisdiction.

The most significant power is the power to arrest another individual.

For example, the Criminal Code of Canada defines peace officer as follows (and thereafter extends considerable powers to such designates):

"... a mayor, warden, reeve, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer and justice of the peace; " a member of the Correctional Service of Canada ... jailer, guard and any other officer or permanent employee of a prison....;

"... a police officer, police constable, bailiff, constable, or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or for the service or execution of civil process;

"... an officer within the meaning of the Customs Act....;

"... an ...(officer pursuant to the) Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;

"... a person designated as a fishery guardian under the Fisheries Act....;

" ... the pilot in command of an aircraft ... while the aircraft is in flight...."


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