Nelson Education


I am deeply honoured to have the privilege of reflecting on the memory of Superintendent Desmond Rowland and his valuable contribution to Canadian law enforcement and to be able to do so by acknowledging the importance of The Law Enforcement Handbook, now updated by his son, Detective Stephen Rowland, and James Bailey, Des’s friend and co-author. What a wonderful tribute to a truly remarkable human being and a true icon in Canadian policing.
    Des had a reputation that was awesome, combined with a humble humanity. Both qualities earned him the respect and admiration of those who came in contact with him inside and outside the law enforcement community. I had many opportunities to benefit from his generous and wise counsel, and I remember Des as a truly engaged, knowledgable, and visionary police leader.
    Many of us who progressed in our police careers also benefited greatly from referring to The Law Enforcement Handbook. From a practical point of view, the updated handbook will continue to be a helpful source of information for both the new and not-so-new law enforcement professionals, such as myself.
    Over the years, the complexity and number of challenges of policing have grown exponentially, as have the expectations concerning police officers at all levels of the criminal justice system. These changes have propelled police officers into a much more critical role in a scrutiny- and knowledge-based environment.
    Who would have ever contemplated, some 40 years ago, that police officers would today be on the forefront in the fight against global terrorism, cybercrime, or the proliferation of gangs, guns, and drugs? Or that they would have to train and equip themselves to deal with the threat of chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks?
    These new realities are modern challenges that have had a great impact on the role of police as well as on the inner workings of our judicial system since the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    The current edition of The Law Enforcement Handbook can be best described as a helpful practical tool that will, like previous editions, assist police officers in a meaningful and tangible way.
    Des Rowland was a master of a craft, and he loved to share his skills. This handbook was his way of sharing his great depth of experience as a police officer, and he did it by creating a very readable text that, over the years, has become a bible for many of us. I am absolutely convinced that The Law Enforcement Handbook will continue to be a significant factor in expanding the knowledge base of both new and seasoned police officers across Canada.
    And what a great way to honour Des’s memory and professional legacy—by continuing the tradition that began in 1983 when Des and his friend James Bailey wrote the first edition, followed by updated versions in 1990 and 1998. James and his son, Detective Stephen Rowland, have kept Des’s memory alive so that new generations of police officers can benefit from his knowledge and wisdom.

Former Commissioner
Ontario Provincial Police



Share The History of Desmond Rowland
Memories of the original author, former Peel Police Superintendent and Honours Graduate of the FBI National Academy