This section of the Ottawa Police Service was established in 1995 and is staffed by two police officers and an outreach worker. It exists to ensure that the police respond effectively, appropriately, and sensitively to all members of the community, particularly those who have traditionally been marginalized by society.
It works to strengthen communication between police and Aboriginal, racialized and GLBT communities through various initiatives including monthly Community Police Action Committee (COMPAC) and GLBT Liaison Committee meetings.
There are four main areas of responsibility for this section. They are:
Building partnerships with our community is an important part of community policing. It is a successful way to establish clearer communication and trust between the police and Ottawa's increasingly diverse community. By mobilizing community resources and working together, community-police partnerships can play an active role in problem-solving and crime prevention.
The first annual Ottawa Police Service Human Rights Learning Forum was held on December 3, 2015 in recognition of Human Rights Day. The Ottawa Police Service, in partnership with COMPAC and the GLBT Liaison Committee held an interactive learning opportunity with guest speakers from the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. The Human Rights Learning Forum also provided the opportunity for several guest speakers to share their experiences regarding the intersectionality associated with Human Rights.
This Learning Forum was the first event of its kind in Ontario. It was also the first time that members of the OPS Diversity and Race Relations Section, COMPAC and the OPS LGBT Liaison Committee jointly planned and coordinated an event.
Approximately 180 people attended the event, representing over 78 community agencies and organizations. All attendees were provided with information on how to successfully navigate between and within competing Human Rights; recognition of implicit bias and violations toward Human Rights within current society, and were left with a framework to balancing Human Rights protections within policing constructs.
You can review the final report, in full, here.
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner:
"Ottawa Police is leading by example. The #racedata collection project is the largest of its kind in Canadian policing." - Renu Mandhane
The idea for this event evolved out of the Flag and Banner Recognition Program review.
The decision was made that it would be better to have a large-scale event to celebrate diversity in Ottawa rather than 22 smaller, individual events
The first Diversity Celebration was held on June 25, 2015 to coincide with Multiculturalism Day, which is celebrated nationwide.
The event provides an opportunity to bring members of all Aboriginal and racialized communities together to celebrate Ottawa's diversity and inclusion in one location, and at one event.