26 November 2012
Executive Director, Ottawa Police
Chief of Police, Ottawa Police
REVIEW OF THE
OTTAWA POLICE SERVICE AUXILIARY PILOT PROJECT
the Ottawa Police Services Board receive this report for information.
September 2008, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) embarked on a pilot project to
develop an Auxiliary Policing Unit, with the first members being sworn-in at a
Board meeting in May 2009. The Ottawa Police Services Board was advised that
the OPS would conduct a comprehensive review of the project at the completion
of its second year of operation. This report provides a summary of the project,
the highlights of the evaluation, and outlines the Ottawa Police Service
response to the evaluation.
of 2011, OPS senior management developed a framework for the review that
included stakeholder input at every level. The approved framework incorporated
qualitative and quantitative data collection methodologies.
purpose of the study was to determine the impact of the program on service
delivery, ensure it was in line with the Police Services Act (PSA), and to
test the efficacy of an auxiliary policing strategy.
of the Auxiliary Review included the following:
verify that the
Auxiliary Constable Project was implemented as planned;
the key outcomes and overall program goals were met;
determine if the
program is compliant with established criteria;
areas work well, what can be improved or modified; and,
regarding continuation of the program.
The unit operates part-time on a twenty-four seven basis. Auxiliary
officers participate in a variety of community events in different capacities.
They also support crime prevention and public safety programs, and participate
in ride-alongs and patrol activities that include marine patrol. There is an
expectation that Auxiliary members will contribute 80 hours of service per year
to community events and crime prevention, 40 hours to training, and 40 hours to
study produced a total of ten recommendations, nine of which are currently
being implemented by the OPS executive. The recommendations cover a range of
items including training, supervision, equipment and internal processes. The
recommendations will improve and strengthen the operation of the unit. As a
result of the recommendations, the OPS will:
a clearly defined mandate
to guide the development of clear job descriptions and procedure revisions.
The Chief has provided direction that the mandate being developed will address
emergency management support and involvement in community events and activities.
Address the statutory reporting
requirement for coverage of Auxiliary officers with the Workplace Safety
Injuries Board (WSIB).
the present uniforms and identifiers.
Provide auxiliaries with body armour for when they are deployed in public.
Handcuffs will also be issued. At this time, there has not been a demonstrated
need to consider providing other use of force options.
training plan, with centralized record keeping, to be commensurate with the
mandate of the unit and,
all members are familiar with the scope and limitations of auxiliary members’
Overall, the Auxillary Policing Unit has been
a successful project within the OPS and will continue. The members of the unit
have been professional in their performance and have been a useful addition to the
service delivery model.
The OPS is currently conducting a recruitment
drive for new members of the unit to bring its complement to 15 members.
The highest reported utilization of the
Auxillary officers has been by the District Directorate followed by Emergency
Operations Directorate (EOD). EOD has recognized the value of using Auxiliary
members in operational planning for major events as evidenced by their
inclusion in planning templates. This was the most salient evidence of integration
into the service delivery model presented during the review. In terms of the
command structure, the Auxillary Unit has now been moved under the EOD.
The limited number of members within the unit creates
constraints and capacity issues for large scale events like Canada Day and
festivals. The complexity of scheduling Auxiliary members to be under the
supervision of officers has created scheduling difficulties that has resulted
in a migration away from some of the crime prevention programs members were
initially committed to as a unit.
statute, Auxiliary officers are in an employer-employee relationship with the
OPS and the PSA defines Auxiliary officers as members of a police organization
but not as police officers. In response to the study, Auxiliary officers will
be issued handcuffs. As part of their ride along and community patrol function
continues, officers may exercise use of force as authorized by the Police
Services Act. The same duty of care exists for use of force with Auxiliary
members as for regular members. Members should also be trained and issued
equipment as part of contingency planning in relation to emergency situations.
The OPS does not issue use of force options to Auxiliary officers.
Given the employer – employee relationship set out by statute, an annual
training plan will be developed for high risk activities that include mandatory
subjects such as court testimony, powers of arrest, search and seizure, and use
of force. Course training standards will be kept on file in the event of civil
liability arising from Auxiliary actions.
The unit has developed a good performance management
system. Performance reviews take place on an annual basis and day-to-day
activities of members are monitored by the supervisors. Adequate controls are
in place. Satisfaction ratings and performance ratings by informants were very
high, attesting to the level of professionalism of the members.
applicable policy is: Auxiliary Members 3.22.
senior officer was assigned responsibility to conduct this review. A review
plan was developed and advanced for discussion and approval at the executive
level. The scope of the review was developed in consultation with the Deputy
Chief of Operations, the Superintendent in charge of the District Directorate
and the Auxiliary management team. Research methodologies include qualitative
and quantitative data collection.
the process of developing the scope and framework, there were regular meetings
and communication with the Auxiliary management team. The team also provided
guidance and advice for both the development of the framework and provided
support for the field work associated with the report. The Ottawa Police
Association has also been consulted throughout the course of the review.
included interviews, a focus group, interviews with members of the unit,
external police agencies, a survey of stakeholders, and a literature review.
The operating cost of the program is $3,000
annually on average, although the costs can vary depending on the number of new
members. It currently costs roughly $1,000 to outfit a new member.
The value proposition of a police auxiliary unit lies in
the ability to be deployed in times of emergency, crisis, or situations where
sworn numbers are insufficient to deal with a given situation. A secondary
focus for the program should be on community safety programs.
The results of the review highlighted the success of the
project. The professionalism and dedication of the members of the unit and the
management team tasked with implementation and maintaining the program is to be
commended. The project has made strides to integrate the unit with the service
delivery model. In this respect, the Auxiliary Review should be considered as
an opportunity to improve and build on the strong foundation that has been
built over the past two years.
for report: Superintendent Ralph Erfle