Diversity and Race Relations

This section of the Ottawa Police Service was established in 1995 and is staffed by at least two police officers and an outreach worker. For the first time, in 2018, the section participated in the Patrol Development Rotation program and a Constable from the Frontline Directorate was assigned to Diversity and Race Relations (DRR) for 2019.

The DRR section 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, faith based and LGLBTQ2 communities through various initiatives including a new Community Equity Council, which launched in the Fall of 2018, and with monthly LGBTQ2 Liaison Committee meetings.  

A newly formed team within the DRR section named the Community Engagement Team has also been active since the beginning of 2019. The mandate of this team is to ensure the relationship with the diverse communities and the OPS maintains its current strategic positioning, while continuing the work of enhancing those relationships into full partnerships in community safety.

Read our 2018 Year-End Report


There are four main areas of responsibility for this section. They are:

  • To strengthen communication between police and Indigenous peoples, racialized individuals, and newcomers;
  •  To share expertise with police service personnel and to develop greater understanding of the role of the police in a diverse society;
  • To develop appropriate responses to issues arising within racialized communities; and
  • To understand and defuse causes of tensions between the police and racial, cultural or ethnic minority groups. 

The Ottawa Police Service believes in being a diverse and non-discriminatory police service

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.

Human Rights Learning Forum

 On December 4, 2019, the Ottawa Police Service was pleased to host the 5th annual Human Rights Learning forum, in recognition of Human Rights Day.

The inaugural 2015 Learning Forum was the first event of its kind in Ontario focusing on Intersectionality. Each subsequent year, the Forum has built upon the foundation of the previous year and featured relevant topics affecting the community and its relationship with their police service. The theory and Science of Implicit Bias were explored in 2016 and, in a nod to Canada’s 150 and the Truth and Reconciliation report, 2017 focused on Facilitating Reconciliation by understanding the history of our Indigenous People. 2018’s event discussed the topic of Hate in the Community.

This year the Forum, with the theme “From Recommendation to Action”, centered around the key findings from 3 important OPS initiatives:

Attendees were provided the opportunity to offer feedback on these initiatives. This valuable input will help shape the direction of the Ottawa Police Service in its ongoing commitment to becoming a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse organization.

 Following the success of this last Human Rights Learning Forum, the Diversity and Race Relations section is looking forward to organize another edition of the event in 2020.

You can review the final reports from previous Human Rights Learning Forums, by emailing the Diversity and Race Relations Section.

Diversity Celebration ~ June 27, 2019

The Diversity Celebration is an annual event that is hosted to coincide with Multiculturalism Day in June, which is celebrated nationwide.

The Diversity Celebration is an opportunity for Ottawa to celebrate the diversity in our city and the richness of cultures that make up Canada's mosaic.  The inaugural event was in 2015 and has been gaining in popularity each year.

The event also acknowledges the National Indigenous Peoples Day that takes place the week before the event (on June 21st this year). This particular day recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in Canada.

For the fourth year in a row, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held a swearing-in ceremony as part of the event to welcome individuals from around the world as Canadian citizens.

 The Diversity Celebration features food, entertainment, and an inclusive atmosphere that showcases the heritage and traditions of everyone – from Canada’s Indigenous peoples to our most recent newcomers. It celebrates the inclusion of all people.

If you have questions, please email us.

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