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 indigenous, 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 2nd annual Ottawa Police Service Human Rights Learning Forum was held on December 8, 2016 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 keynote speaker Paul Dubé, Ontario's Ombudsman.
The focus was the 'Theory and Science of Implicit Bias', where over 200 participants had the opportunity to become more educated and informed on cognitive biases. They heard the life stories of three guests, who took the participants through their personal journeys and how they experienced the biases of others, before and after transitions in their own lives. The day was completed by lively table discussions with community members, service providers and many from the Ottawa Police Service coming together to discuss strategies on how to manage implicit biases.
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 inaugural 2015 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.
You can review the final report from the 2015 Human Rights Learning Forum, in full, here. The final report from the 2016 Human Rights Learning Forum will be posted here once it is available.
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 indigenous and racialized communities together to celebrate Ottawa's diversity and inclusion in one location, and at one event.