December 2020 recruit class most diverse in OPS history

Posted On Thursday February 18, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 18, 2021   12:30pm 

(Ottawa) — In 2020, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) announced priorities for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan and one of these was a commitment to update our Outreach Recruitment processes to remove barriers and increase applications. 

“The new processes and approach resulted in the quantity (400%), quality and diversity of the applicant pool,” said Human Resources Directorate Supt. Mark Patterson. “This means that the Ottawa Police is successfully recruiting qualified candidates that better reflect the community.”

The December 2020 class of 48 recruits is the most diverse class in the history of the OPS: 40% who identify as female, 6% identified as an Indigenous person, and 50% identified as a member of a racialized group. The group is highly educated with university and/or college degrees and the candidates speak over 20 different languages with 46% speaking French. Members of this recruit class bring valuable community connections through their volunteer work with a wide range of local organizations/services. 

During the past year, the OPS used multiple strategies to expand our outreach practices:

  • a no-cost application process to remove financial barriers for applicants;
  • a physical testing process that ensures applicants can meet the standards from the Ontario Police College;
  • the background check practices were revised with a focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion;
  • a self-reporting feature was added to the application process - per our commitment to inclusiveness – to provide applicants with the opportunity to voluntarily disclose individual characteristics including, but not limited to, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation;
  • the Outreach Team continued to conduct virtual information sessions with potential applicants through online platforms and engaged the community by leveraging social media tools;
  • an ongoing mentorship program that pairs potential recruits, particularly those from traditionally marginalized communities, with veteran officers to guide them through the application process; and
  • a Community Champion mentor program involving diverse community leaders and members of the Community Equity Council (CEC) that help the Outreach Team identify suitable prospects in their respective communities and mentor the candidates through the hiring process.

With these results, the Service is receiving queries from various federal, municipal and international police services who are interested in our innovative best practices.

We are recruiting!  The next information session will be hosted on March 10th.  You can learn more about the process by visiting Sworn Officer Portal.

 Applicants can contact the Outreach and Recruitment Section between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (EST), Monday to Friday at 613-236-1222, ext. 5505 or by e-mail at

For more information, please consult the Workforce Management Report - 4th Quarter per the Ottawa Police Services Board February 22nd Meeting Agenda.

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