Course Catalogue

Characteristics of an Armed Person

Characteristics of an Armed Person

This course was developed by the Toronto Police Service and contains video produced by the Ontario Police Video Training Alliance. OPVTA has provided permission for the course to be made available to all Canadian police services.

As witnessed through videos, media reports, and officer experiences, individuals possess or have access to firearms on a more frequent basis. As such, in the interest of public and personal safety, it is extremely important for front-line police officers to be able to recognize the signs and indications that an individual is armed.

Characteristics of an Armed Person reinforces the edict that OFFICER SAFETY IS A PRIORITY. Through the use of images, videos, audio and text-based narratives, and specific case law, this course will instruct officers on identifying a person that is armed.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand where the guns are coming from
  • Determine an individual's dominant side
  • Distinguish methods and types of firearm concealment and positioning of makeshift holsters
  • Identify the body movements and behavioural patterns of an armed person
  • Recognize the clothing characteristics of an armed person
  • Observe and identify unusual or exotic firearms
  • Employ officer-specific enforcement tactics and practices
  • Identify characteristics relative to stopping a vehicle containing an armed person
  • Articulate the grounds for actions related to court evidence with associated case law


This course is designed for Canadian Sworn Police Officers and is presented at the Intermediate Level.

Target Audience

This course is recommended for Front Line Police Officers as well as officers performing investigative functions in a plainclothes capacity.

Content Provider

This course was developed by the Toronto Police Service.

Price: Free to OPVTA members; $25.00 for non-OPVTA members

Content Provider: Toronto Police Service

Language: English / French

Length: 45 minutes

Release Date: 2008-06-08