Since June 2013, Ottawa Police officers have collected their perception of driver race (by observation only) at all traffic stops. Now part of regular duties, officers have recorded over 60,000 traffic stops – a number that is in line with the last two years of traffic stops.
The recorded data will be analyzed after the two-year study period is complete.
“We are pleased with the progress of the study and are very confident about the reliability of the data,” said Dr. Lesley Jacobs, a member of the York University Research Team that is leading the study.
The project team regularly report to the Police Services Board to provide updates on the data collection, quality control measures, and the ongoing engagement plans for the collection period.
“We continue to work with police and community members, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and the York Research Team to improve the project and discuss how we can analyze the data in the future,” said Insp. Pat Flanagan, project lead for the OPS.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and York Research Team agree that significant quality assurance measures have been taken to help ensure meaningful data collection.
“Race-based data collection is an important tool that can help police both respond to allegations of racial profiling and provide bias-free services,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. “This in turn can lead to stronger relationships between the OPS and the many communities they serve.”
We continue to collaborate with partners to build on the community-police dialogue strengthened by this project.
The Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project is the result of an agreement (PDF*) between the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ottawa Police Services Board.
The largest study of its kind in Canada, the OHRC and the Ottawa Police believe that race-based data collection is an important tool to support bias-free policing services. Full information, updates and opportunities to stay engaged are available online at ottawapolice.ca/race.
*We thank you for your patience as we are currently working towards making our website accessible in accordance with WCAG. Upon request, an accessible version of these documents can be made available.