Ottawa is no different.
The Ottawa Police Service created a program called the Service Initiative (SI) to address these pressures and improve how we serve the city of Ottawa.
We are looking to introduce a number of changes over the next few years to be more effective in:
Report to the Ottawa Police Services Board - September 26, 2016
Report to the Ottawa Police Services Board - December 19, 2016
In January 2017, the OPS held four information sessions across Ottawa to offer residents an inside look at our new Frontline Deployment Model that rolled out on January 23, 2017. The following presentations are from those information sessions.
For more information, or if you have questions, please email us.
The Ottawa Police Strategic Operations Centre (OPSOC) has been launched!
OPSOC is a hub for frontline, day-to-day operations and acts as a virtual back-up for officers on the road. It has been operational since October 24 and provides the following support:
The OPSOC assisted with over 70 calls for service in the first 10 days of operations including a gun call at high school in Barrhaven, a demonstration on Parliament Hill, as well as missing persons, an armed robbery, a suicidal person with a firearm, and threats.
Some of the critical information that can be shared with officers responding to calls for service includes floor plans, suspect photos and other information, video footage, and even previous related incidents.
The OPSOC is located within Greenbank police station and is staffed by a Staff Sergeant who acts as the Watch Commander, a Constable who is responsible for operations support, and a Crime/Intelligence Analyst who is assigned to support the platoon on duty, as well as keeping an eye of neighbourhood-level patterns and trends.
While the start-up of the OPSOC is focused on information dissemination and situational awareness, the Centre will continue to evolve and play more of a tactical and strategic role of coordinating and directing proactive police work, particularly with the launch of the new Frontline Deployment model in January of 2017. It will also be a key support during Ottawa 2017, where Canada will be celebrating 150 years as a nation and the capital will be host to numerous events spanning the entire year which will require our best coordination efforts.
A. We are facing pressures and challenges namely due to:
The OPS launched the SI program to address these pressures and enhance its service delivery model so it is sustainable and adaptable. Through the SI, our goal is to improve service, produce quantifiable person-hour or real-dollar efficiencies, create cost-recovery opportunities, and enhance partnerships.
A. It will be easier for you to access our services online, in person, and by phone. You will see improved public safety because of better coordination of our frontline officers involved in mobile response, proactive policing, and community engagement, and more focus on priority individuals and neighbourhoods. You will also see improved handling of investigations to better serve victims of crime and hold offenders accountable, more streamlined court processes, and better use of intelligence information to keep our city safe.
A. Some changes are already underway. You can now report more offences online. This includes thefts, thefts from vehicles, and mischief to property, and soon, fraud and drug complaints. Additionally, you will see even more options for the use of telephone and online reporting later this year.
We are working with internal members and consulting community partners and the public to gather feedback on other changes to our service delivery model that will take place over the next few years.
Q. What are the benefits of making the changes to the Frontline Deployment Model?
A. Currently, frontline resources at the OPS are spread across three different directorates and fall under different command structures. This limits the ability to be flexible and responsive to changing needs in the community.
As well, the duties of frontline officers - mobile response, proactive policing, and community engagement -- are divided unequally and not carried out in a coordinated way. The result is unbalanced workloads, duplication of effort, and the existence of silos among frontline officers.
By bringing frontline officers together, the OPS will be better able to respond to changing demands for service in our growing city, increase proactive policing opportunities to address emerging crime trends, create unity of effort through a team-based approach, level resource demands and workloads, and ultimately enhance public and officer safety.
A. No. Community policing has always been vital to our success and will continue to be an integral part of our policing model. It builds trust and relationships within the community; it enhances public safety; provides police with important insight into neighbourhoods; and helps prevent crime and directs proactive work. As well, it involves the community in finding solutions to problems.
Q. Will there still be Community Police Officers?
A. Yes. The new Frontline Deployment Model has dedicated Community Officers as part of its Community Safety Services Unit. The OPS is looking to be more evidence-based to ensure it is focusing resources where they are needed. Community Officers will be realigned to better address high priority areas.
Q. How are you determining "high priority neighbourhoods"?
A. The process for identifying high priority areas is still to be determined. However, inputs will include community feedback, OPS data related to calls for service, results from the most recent OPS public survey, and data from the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. Once the high priority areas have been identified, they will be assessed on an annual basis. This will allow the OPS to match resources to community needs, rather than simply geographic locations.
A. No. All residents will continue to have access to community officers and policing services. What's changing is we are looking to better assist high priority neighbourhoods that require more police assistance.
The new Frontline Deployment Model will work similar to the current School Resource Officer program whereby SROs are assigned a number of schools and the schools are ranked according to their level of needed police assistance. Some schools are visited more frequently, however, all schools have access to an SRO. This model has proven very effective over the years.
A. Not at this time. The OPS still needs to evaluate whether there is still a requirement for all of the CPC buildings based on the new Frontline Deployment Model.
A. Yes. You will still have SROs in your school performing the same services they do today.
A. Yes. The new Frontline Deployment Model will include focused points of contact within the Community Safety Services grouping of the model. They will be able to assist with mobilizing resources to address community safety issues, providing information, assisting communities with concerns, and arranging for OPS members to attend meetings/events as able. A streamlined intake and report-back process will be developed to ensure consistent service delivery and measures will be taken to involve the community in the development of this process.
While residents are encouraged to file their reports through established intake processes (e.g. Call Centre, online reporting, etc.), the OPS recognizes that community partners need to have a focused point of contact with whom they can raise their concerns and who understands their neighbourhood.
Q. Will frontline officers receive additional training as a result of the new model?
A. Police officers currently receive extensive training in a number of areas. The OPS will be doing an assessment of the current training and comparing it with the job requirements in the new model. A training schedule will be developed to provide members with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to provide service effectively and consistently, in the new model.
Q. What sort of training do frontline officers receive in terms of diversity and cultural sensitivity?
A. All new recruits receive diversity training as part of their education at the Ontario Police College. They also receive relevant training, while working at the OPS, about diverse communities specific to Ottawa. Every training session at the OPS has diversity components added in for both sworn and civilian members.
Q. How do you plan to do more proactive policing?
A. By reducing the types of calls officers are dispatched to, and through the realignment of our frontline resources, we will be creating more opportunities for proactive work. As well, the Ottawa Police Strategic Operations Centre (OPSOC) will also be a key support in directing resources where they are needed in the city.
Q. How will the Ottawa Police Strategic Operations Centre (OPSOC) assist operations?
A. OPSOC will provide the OPS with a centre that serves as a hub for day-to-day frontline operations, supplying a common operating picture of what's happening across the city at any given time. It will maintain situational and operational awareness of incidents, resources, events, road blockages, etc, and be a key support to frontline operations, particularly during high-risk and complex calls for service known as 'trigger calls'.
The Centre will improve both public and officer safety with its ability to access and leverage integrated information sources, and supply officers involved in trigger and other calls, with near real-time intelligence, whether en route, on scene, or in the early stages of an investigation.
Q. Are you looking at ways to improve data sharing both with and from the community?
A. Yes. We currently have systems and processes in place to share data and knowledge with the community. While not specifically related to the SI Program, the implementation of the OPS Information Management and Information Technology (IM-IT) Roadmap will enable service improvements and further improve our ability to retrieve, integrate, and share information more quickly and broadly with the community.
A. Yes. We are looking at ways to use civilians for work that does not need to be done by a sworn officer. For example, in the Demand Management project, we have developed alternative responses for non-emergency Priority 4 calls. Many of these calls can be handled by our Call Centre which is made up of civilian employees.
A. An internal program evaluation framework is being developed to assess the Frontline Deployment Model in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, and to ensure it is achieving the expected benefits. The OPS will be gathering input from the community as part of the evaluation process. As well, as part of the OPS's move to become more evidence based, service standards will be established to assist with measuring performance.
Q. When do you plan on implementing the new policing model?
A. Some changes are already underway. You can now report more offences online, including thefts, thefts from vehicles, mischief to property, and soon fraud and drug complaints.
The new Investigative model (which is mainly a realignment of reporting structures) and the Ottawa Police Strategic Operations Centre (OPSOC) will be implemented in the fall of 2016.
The new Frontline Deployment Model is targeted to be implemented in January of 2017.
A. The SI will be establishing a Community Advisory Committee to ensure that the diverse needs, interests, and perspectives of the community are taken into account as the OPS introduces changes to its service delivery model. Membership of the committee will be selected based on having diverse representation and perspectives, and including groups that will be most impacted by the new service delivery model. The OPS is hoping to have the group established by September.
Q. How can I give input into the changes?
A. Ongoing dialogue and consultation with the community will be part of the process. You are also welcome to email your comments or questions to email@example.com.