26 November 2012
Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board
Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service
PERFORMANCE REPORT: THIRD QUARTER 2012
The Ottawa Police Service monitors and evaluates information on a variety of performance metrics. The 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 in 15 min, 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.
A new process for classifying calls for service came into effect 18 June 2012. The Call Response Protocol was updated to improve service to the community, while allowing for a clearer definition of call priorities, more efficient use of resources, and better coordination between the Communication Centre and Patrol Operations.
Third quarter metrics are now presented to the Board prior to being compiled with other city data for Council.
Total Calls for Service – All Priorities
The Ottawa Police receives an average of 376,000 calls for service annually. Last year, the number of calls grew to over 390,000. The increase was driven by an 18 percent rise in the number of alternative response calls handled by the Ottawa Police.
In the year to date, the Service received more than 286,500 calls. Cumulatively, this amounts to a 2.5 percent reduction in total calls for assistance resulting from 8,000 fewer calls in the third quarter.
Emergency Calls for Service (Priority 1)
The Ottawa Police Call Response Protocol reflects the need to respond to citizens’ calls for assistance in a manner that reflects the seriousness of the incident, while weighing the interests of the safety of police officers and the general public. The circumstances surrounding the incident determine the priority level assigned, not the type of call.
A new process for classifying calls came into effect 18 June 2012. The Call Response Protocol was updated to improve service to the community, while allowing for a clearer definition of call priorities, more efficient use of resources, and better coordination between the Communication Centre and Patrol Operations.
In the third quarter, the service received 1,854 calls involving a known imminent danger to life and classified as Priority 1. These calls include the known use of weapons or apparent life-threatening injuries, and all police officers assistance call. Priority 2 calls for service are events that require a rapid police response where there is potential for serious bodily harm to occur. In the third quarter, the organization received 7,851 Priority 2 calls.
With the change in the Call Response Protocol, no appropriate comparison can be undertaken at this point in time; however, trends and patterns will be available for review and analysis with each subsequent quarter.
Since amalgamation, the Ottawa Police aims to respond to Priority 1 calls for service within 15 minutes, 90 percent of the time. Response performance over the past five years has fluctuated between 87 to 90 percent, with call volume, travel time, and available resources most influencing police response.
In the third quarter the organization responded to Priority 1 calls within 15 minutes 94.8 percent of the time.
As with Priority 1 call volumes, the change in the Call Response Protocol means that no appropriate comparison can be undertaken at this point in time; however, trends and patterns will be available for review and analysis with each subsequent quarter.
Service Time (Citizen-Initiated, Mobile Response Calls)
Service Time refers to the cumulative amount of time (hours) officers spend responding to and dealing with calls for service from the public. The service time metric is used for operational planning and deployment of personnel. Reactive workload generally fluctuates seasonally throughout the year, with variations in climate influencing call volume and criminal behaviour.
After rising by two percent in the first quarter (1,000 hours), service time has declined by 2.3 percent year-to-date which also mirrors the decline in overall call volume (-2.5%). Despite the decline however, service time levels remain in-line with the average for the past five years.
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 Q3 2012, the number of Criminal Code offences per officer declined by two percent to 7.7 offences per officer. The decline was driven by 250 fewer offences during this time period with the authorized sworn complement remaining constant.
The performance metrics presented in this report and subsequently forwarded to Council are part of the Performance Measurement Framework developed with the assistance of a citizens’ advisory panel. The metrics are also reported to the public by way of the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI).
There is no financial impact from this report.
The Board will continue to receive quarterly performance updates as part of the performance measurement framework contained in the 2010-2012 Business Plan. The Planning, Performance & Analytics Section will begin incorporating elements of the Balanced Scorecard reporting tool in a collaborative manner as it is deployed by the City. As well, 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)
Chief of Police
Responsible for report: Superintendent Terrance Cheslock