18 January 2011



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service







That the Ottawa Police Services Board receive this report for information.




The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) monitors and evaluates information on a variety of performance metrics.  The Police Service also contributes data to a number of local and provincial initiatives, including the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) and the Municipal Performance Measurement Project (MPMP).  As part of a cooperative effort in sharing performance data, performance indicators are first presented to the Board then forwarded to the City of Ottawa for inclusion in its Quarterly Performance Reports.




As part of our commitment to measuring performance, the Ottawa Police continues to work with the City by providing selected metrics to be included in the quarterly performance reporting framework, including:


§  Total calls for police service;

§  Emergency response calls for service (Priority 1);

§  Response performance on Priority 1 calls (on-scene within 15 minutes, 90 percent of the time);

§  Service time (citizen-initiated, mobile response calls); and,

§  Number of Criminal Code Offences per sworn officer.


This information has been regularly provided to the City’s Performance Measurement Branch.  The measures are also included in the annual OMBI report and as part of the Ottawa Police performance measurement framework launched in 2008.  Fourth quarter/year-end metrics are now presented to the Board prior to being compiled with other city data for Council.

Total Calls for Service – All Priorities


In the past five years the police service received an average of 370,400 service requests annually.  In 2010 the number of calls received grew by six percent to 386,300, an increase of 20,000 calls from 2009.  The rise is primarily due to a 12 percent increase in alternative response calls (16,000); specifically, calls handled by the Ottawa Police Information Desks and Communications Centre as a result of the assessment of calls to 9-1-1 as non-emergencies.  A seven percent increase (+6,300) in calls occurred in the fourth quarter between 2009-2010.



In the past year citizen generated calls requiring an on-scene police presence declined by two percent to 166,000 calls, the result of fewer non-emergency calls.  Proactive, officer-initiated calls rose by six percent to 112,898.


Emergency Calls for Service (Priority 1)


After falling by 11 percent in 2005, Priority 1 call volume has risen for the past five consecutive years to 77,086 calls in 2010.  In the past year emergency call volume grew by one percent, or 1,000 calls. Across the City, Central Division shows the only increase (4%) in Priority 1 calls, while West Division and East Division have shown nominal change.


In the fourth quarter, emergency calls requiring an immediate on-scene police presence continue to follow a historical seasonal pattern, growing by one percent to 18,209 citywide.



Priority 1 Response Performance


The Ottawa Police aims to respond to Priority 1 calls for service within 15 minutes 90 percent of the time, citywide.  For the past five years response performance has fluctuated between 87 to 90 percent.  Call volume, travel time, and available resources most influence police response.




In the fourth quarter, response performance improved by less than one percentage point from the same period last year to 87.3 percent.  The organization’s inability to reach the 90 percent response benchmark consistently may be due to the fact that the police service has reached an operational maximum under the current schedule, call response protocol, staffing levels, and call volumes.  Changes were made to the Patrol Shift Schedule in May 2010 and while it may be too early to clearly see the impacts on the organizations call response benchmarks, it will remain being monitored.


Service Time (Citizen-Initiated, Mobile Response Calls for Service)


Service Time refers to the cumulative amount of time, in hours, officers spend responding to and dealing with calls for service from the public.  Service Time is used for operational planning and deployment of personnel.  In 2010, service time has risen by nearly 10,000 hours (3%) to 285,000 citywide.


Seasonally, reactive workload is lower in the winter months with variations in climate influencing call volume and criminal behaviour. Compared to the same period last year, service time for the fourth quarter rose by three percent.  



Number of Criminal Code Offences Handled per Police Officer


The number of reported Criminal Code of Canada incidents prorated over the number of sworn personnel is one indication of workload.  This, of course, does not capture the entire scope of police operations, including proactive initiatives, assistance to victims of crime, traffic enforcement/Highway Traffic Act violations, street checks, and other community and public safety activities.  In 2010, the number of Criminal Code offences declined five percent (2,000 offences) compared to the same time period last year.



In the fourth quarter, the number of Criminal Code offences per officer fell by seven percent from 2009. The decline in number of offences per officer is attributed to the declining number of criminal offences while the number of officers grows annually.




The 2010 Crime, Police, and Traffic Statistics report will be presented to the Board and released to the public in May 2011.  The Board will continue to receive quarterly performance updates as part of the performance measurement framework contained in the 2010-2012 Business Plan.  Given that road safety continues to be a community concern, a planned addition to the quarterly report in 2011 is the presentation and tracking of Provincial Offence Notices (PONs) or Highway Traffic Act (HTA) violations.  Finally, Ottawa Police representatives will continue to serve on the OMBI Police Expert Panel, the national Police Information and Statistics (POLIS) Committee, and other venues that contribute to the ongoing discussion, improvement, and transparency of police performance measures. 




(original signed by)


Vern White

Chief of Police









This document contains information that reports on activities related to the Ottawa Police Business Plan.