Update by Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau on Capital Pride

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 14, 2017     1:00pm

(Ottawa)--Several weeks ago, I indicated that the Ottawa Police Service would not be registering police vehicles in this year’s pride parade.   At that time, I also indicated my intention to wear my uniform – to support and celebrate Ottawa Police LGBTQ2 members and allies – many who have faced challenges in their policing careers. 

For many members of our Service the request to exclude our uniforms felt like a rejection of that part of our identity and our own journey towards inclusion.  

Since that time, we have had further discussion with LGBTQ2 police members, from a number of community partners and Liaison Committee members.          

The LGBTQ2 members that I met with expressed hurt and frustration about the request to exclude uniforms for off duty officers at Pride this year.  The majority also felt that attending Pride in uniform would not help us build trust.  After reviewing the options, they decided not to wear their uniforms during this year’s Pride Parade and will wear other OPS identified clothing.  I fully support this decision and am proud of them for carefully considering how best to proceed in order to move forward together. 

The exclusion of the police uniform in Pride parades has become a national issue, and it seems to have divided the local LGBTQ2 communities and the wider community.  I know we can overcome this issue by working together to have real conversations with each other at the local level.     

We are proud of our uniform and what it represents. But we have experience building bridges out of uniform in other activities – whether it’s with new immigrants, refugees, and some youth activities like the Flotilla for Friendship. 

We need to continue building on the many years of great work with the LGBTQ2 communities that community partners have helped us to achieve.  In particular, we need to listen to the concerns of fear and mistrust and have conversations with trans, indigenous and racialized youth and young adults, and the organizations who provide their services.  This important work needs to be built into the Liaison Committee’s work plan and the OPS Multi-Year Action Plan for Bias-Neutral Policing. 

It is for all of these reasons that I plan to join my officers and civilian staff in a police golf shirt for this year’s Pride Parade.

We hope this shows our commitment to continue listening and building trust with the diverse communities we serve.  

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CONTACT:

Media Relations Section                  

Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 30, 2017     5:20pm

Statement by Chief Bordeleau on Capital Pride Ottawa

(Ottawa)—We want to acknowledge the release from Capital Pride Ottawa. There are many perspectives and positions, and we know there is a need for dialogue and to build stronger relationships in our city.  

The Ottawa Police Service has participated in the annual Pride parade for several years to create visibility and show support for our own LGBTQ members, partner organizations, and the wider communities.  The annual Pride Festival and parade is also an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Ottawa and promote the shared goal of inclusion for everyone.  

A decision has already been made not to register an OPS float or vehicle in this year’s parade.  This year our civilian and police members will have the choice to participate with other first responders. Like our past many years of participation in the parade, officers will also have the choice as to whether they wear their uniform or regular clothes.  We are proud of our uniform, and it is part of our identity – it’s who we are and how we serve the community. 

We will also proudly celebrate pride in other ways this year including co-hosting a Pride launch event BBQ with our first responder partners. 

In 2016, the Ottawa Police Liaison Committee celebrated its 25 year anniversary, and we are very proud of this partnership work with the LGBTQ communities.  We are committed to continuing this important work with long standing community-police partners like the Liaison Committee. Youth Advisory Committee and COMPAC – and will look for new opportunities to continue to work together and build trusting relationships. 

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CONTACT:

Media Relations Section                  

Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366