26 November 2012



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service








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




In 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.


In July 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.


The 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.


The scope of the Auxiliary Review included the following:


1)     verify that the Auxiliary Constable Project was implemented as planned;

2)     determine whether the key outcomes and overall program goals were met;

3)     determine if the program is compliant with established criteria;

4)     determine what areas work well, what can be improved or modified; and,

5)     inform decisions 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 ride-alongs. 


The 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:


·           Develop 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).

·           Review 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.

·           Develop an annual training plan, with centralized record keeping, to be commensurate with the mandate of the unit and,

·           Ensure all members are familiar with the scope and limitations of auxiliary members’ duties.



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.


By 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.




The applicable policy is: Auxiliary Members 3.22.




A 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.


Throughout 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.


Consultation 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.




(original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police





Responsible for report:  Superintendent Ralph Erfle