Ottawa Police Services Board

July 30th, 2012

Chief’s Verbal Report



Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to provide you with an update on some of the activities the Ottawa Police have been involved in since June.


Release of Crime Severity Index by Statistics Canada


I am pleased to say that following the release of the 2011 Crime, Police and Traffic Statistics report at the last Board meeting, comes further validation that Ottawa remains one of the safest, large urban centres in Canada. 


This past week, Statistics Canada released the national Crime Severity Index (CSI) data which ranked Ottawa 30th out of 33 cities with a population over 500,000.  I should mention that being lower in the ranking is better.  


The CSI is an indicator developed with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), that looks beyond counts of crime.  Instead, it looks at the severity of crime and the typical length of sentencing over the past five years.  


Ottawa’s overall score is nearly 20% below the national figure and it decreased by five percent between 2010 and 2011. 


Despite these statistics, we have seen some concerning gun-related violence on our streets recently, which brings me to my next topic.


Gun violence in Ottawa

As the Board is aware, we are seeing a rise in the number of shootings in Ottawa.  Our Service is very focused on this issue specifically through our Guns and Gangs Unit, Direct Action Response Team and our Youth Section.


In order to ensure that appropriate policing resources are available to focus on the problem, we have recently reassigned five officers to the Guns and Gangs and the Direct Action Response Team (DART) teams.  These officers will be in place to assist with our enforcement, suppression, education and diversion efforts and are part of our ongoing response to this issue. 


However, we know that the solution to this problem will have to involve the entire community.


That is why we are working with various groups including Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Youth Services Bureau, and the Boys and Girls Club, to continue and strengthen strategies to combat street gangs and illegal guns in our neighbourhoods.


The Ottawa Police have begun discussions on a Symposium this September, in conjunction with Crime Prevention Ottawa.  The objective of the meeting will be to bring key players together: community agencies, schools, religious leaders, social service agencies, corrections, and government and justice system representatives, to develop a more focused community response to the issue of street gangs in Ottawa.


As I said, there are many partners involved in this effort and the commitment to combating this issue is very strong in our community.


For example, the provincial government announced last week permanent funding for the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategies (PAVIS) which targets illegal gang, drugs and weapons activities in communities across the province.  That translates into $621,000 for our police service which helps fund our DART unit.


We will continue to update you on this issue and the symposium in the coming weeks and months.

Canada Day Celebrations

I want to congratulate all of the members of the Ottawa Police Service and our partner agencies who were involved in this year’s Canada Day and Bluesfest activities to ensure the safety and security of the public in the celebrations.  OPS members had a dedicated presence at celebrations in Barrhaven, Kanata, Petrie Island and the NCC-sponsored event downtown. 

As you know, our extensive collaboration with our City partners, the RCMP, the NCC and community groups is integral to the success of these events.

YIPI Launch

For the sixth consecutive summer, we are running the provincially funded Youth In Policing Initiative (YIPI), offering summer employment for youths 14-17 years of age, attending a secondary school program.  This year, 39 youth and 6 youth coordinators are participating.  The goal of YIPI is to give young people an opportunity to develop job skills while enhancing police and community relations.  I have met some of the youth involved at the welcoming ceremony and I know they are excited about this unique opportunity.  The program has been very successful in past years and I have no doubt we will see continued success.

Thank you and I am happy to take any questions you may have.