The Community Development Section (CDS) continued its outreach work with the community, taking on a number of important forums to solicit feedback from Ottawa-area residents. The first event, held during Police Week in May was its inaugural Community Policing Forum (Building Trust Together) and was attended by more than 100 engaged and active residents. The aim of the event was to solicit input to improve the service’s community policing model and inform the development of the Neighbourhood Resource Teams (NRTs). From that forum, four key themes emerged: Build partnerships and bridges; Be visibly and actively engaged; Foster mutual trust; and Acknowledge underlying challenges.

CDS also hosted the fourth annual Human Rights Learning Forum in December, which served as a platform to discuss the recently released Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Report, the Diversity Audit and the public introduction of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) program. Feedback culled from this forum helped to shape the formalized EDI Action Plan that was released in January, 2020.

Additionally, CDS collaborated with the Centretown Community Association, Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney and the Centretown Community Health Centre for a community conversation in September. This event served to help advance understanding of the importance of community policing to that neighbourhood and resulted in three recommendations: increase police visibility; build trust and relationships; and work closely with social services.


Diversity Resource and Relations Unit

The Diversity Resource and Relations Unit (DRR) section continued with its mandate of creating broader inclusivity with external partners and communities. In June it hosted its annual Diversity Celebration at City Hall, welcoming in newcomers to Canada with a citizenship ceremony led by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

It also hosted its fourth annual community Iftar Dinner, in collaboration with the Intercultural Dialogue Institute; the theme for this year’s event was “Countering Xenophobia: Interfaith Perspectives” which resulted in a lively panel discussion on building on stronger communities.

DRR also participated in the third annual Pride Week fundraiser, collaborating with other City first responders for a bbq and a flag raising ceremony. It also continued with the Flotilla of Friendship, which partners indigenous youth with police to develop a stronger bond and understanding.

Ongoing initiatives for the section include training new recruits and direct hires on diverse community centres across the city.