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 will be held on December 8, 2016 in recognition of Human Rights Day. The Ottawa Police Service, in partnership with COMPAC and the GLBT Liaison Committee will hold an interactive learning opportunity with guest speakers from the Ombudsman, Ontario's Watchdog.
This Learning Forum will also have invited community speakers to share their experiences regarding implicit bias through transition associated with Human Rights.
All attendees will be provided with information on understanding the science behind implicit bias and what impact it has in the context of policing. Together, strategies and best practices will be identified to effectively manage implicit bias from an individual, community, and police organizational perspective.
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.
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 indigenous and racialized communities together to celebrate Ottawa's diversity and inclusion in one location, and at one event.