28 October 2013



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service







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




Since the inception of the Board’s Public Consultation Policy, the OPS has continued to experience a steady commitment both within the organization and its communities towards engagement.  It is both desired and an expected approach that our communities have come to value in our ongoing relationship.  Through this report, a number of approaches to engagement are outlined, and include, our formal engagement activities, informal outreach, increased use of social media and technology.


This year over last, we have experienced increased invitations to participate in community events, a steady commitment to our Let’s Chat series, consultation opportunities with partners and a significant increase in the active use of social media and technology – all indicators of a more engaged police and community.  Our approaches are working and we are positioned to continue our efforts through 2104 and beyond.




In providing the third annual report to the Board on the Public Consultation Policy CR-6 for the period of Oct. 2012 to Oct. 2013, it is important to provide some background and context for the police service’s community policing philosophy of which consultation is an important form of engagement. The Ottawa Police Services Board receives reports on community engagement efforts through the Service’s engagement framework known as Partnership in Action (PIA). 


The Ottawa Police Service launched the PIA initiative in 1999 following a 1998 report of the same name. While the report identified specific partnership work needed with our Aboriginal and minority communities in Ottawa, it also highlighted the need to focus more broadly on community involvement and engagement within policing.  Grounded in the police service`s vision “The Trusted Leader in Policing” and mission “The Ottawa Police is committed to protect the safety, security and quality of life in Ottawa”, PIA remains an important approach for meaningful community engagement by developing, nurturing and strengthening respectful, transparent and trusting relationships between the police service and the diverse communities in Ottawa.  It is a best practice approach recognized in community engagement. 


Background and History – from Report to Action

  1. Partnership in Action Inaugural Assembly – November 27, 1999 featuring Ms. Sherri Torjman from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy who provided the keynote address on partnership principles.
  2. Partnership in Action 2000 – October 27 and 28, 2000 launched CPC based crime prevention programs and the new police leadership.
  3. Neighbourhood Watch in Action Forum – November 7, 2001 launched the revitalized city-wide Neighbourhood Watch program with community partners and residents of Ottawa following eighteen months of consultation and program.
  4. Partnership in Action with Youth:  Meet the Heat:  June 14, 2003 brought youth and police together in a large outdoor venue for relationship building through sport, workshops and music.
  5. Partnership in Action - April 28 – 30, 2005 was a partnership with the National Association of Independent Living Centres and focused on crime prevention and people with disabilities called National Safety Symposium: Crime Prevention and Independent Living.
  6. Partnership in Action 2007: City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee – Forum (October 2007) and Listening Circles (January 2008) events were designed to engage social and health services as well as the Aboriginal community.
  7. Partnership in Action 2009 in partnership with the Ottawa Police Services Board –Let’s Chat Coffee Shops – Eight consultation sessions held across the city that contributed to the three year strategic business plan for the police service. 
  8. Partnership in Action: Let’s Chat Youth Café (October 2011) brought youth and police together to have a dialogue about youth issues and consultation on the design of a new Youth Advisory Committee for the police service.
  9. Let’s Chat about Priorities: “A Plan Where Everyone Matters”: In partnership with the Ottawa Police Services Board, the 2013-2015 Business Plan community consultation was held in Dec. 2012
  10. Partnership in Action: Let’s Chat Race: Have Your Say. In Partnership with the Ottawa Police Services Board a community consultation session was hosted to promote  public understanding of the Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project (TSRDCP)
  11. Partnership In Action: “Taking Action Together: Addressing Gangs in Our City” In October 2012, the Ottawa Police Service, Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Youth Services Bureau, and Ottawa Community Housing co-hosted a Public Forum and a Leadership Symposium to address gangs in Ottawa.




Community engagement takes many forms.  There are a number of different types of effective tools within the community engagement continuum that offer different levels of engagement for different situations.  Although engaging local citizens in activities to make communities safer is not new, it has become an increasingly significant part of policing philosophy in the last few years.


The Ottawa Police Service is committed to the philosophy of community engagement, based on the belief that “the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of community welfare and existence“ - Sir Robert Peel, founder of the London Metropolitan Police, 1829. This is to say, that community policing has emerged as the major strategic complement to traditional policing practices.


The OPS has been working on implementing the Ontario’s Mobilization & Engagement Model of Community Policing (Annex A). According to this model, Community Engagement is: “Police actions that encourage participation of neighbours and citizens in increasing their own and others safety, security and well-being”. This ties into the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) definition that community policing is: “the process by which police and other community members partner to improve community well being, safety and security through joint problem identification, analysis, response and evaluation”.


A combination of community engagement approaches is especially important in our complex and ever changing communities.  The Ottawa Police Service recognizes and embraces many different types of community engagement approaches and is focused on the local and provincial strategies being developed. One of the important strategies is the Crime Prevention in Ontario: a Framework for Action (Annex B – on file with the Board’s Executive Director) which was introduced by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The combined efforts and strategies are designed to inform, educate, mobilize and empower our community.  It is within this larger context of community engagement that the board’s public consultation policy is viewed and actioned by the police service.    


This report will demonstrate that community engagement has been deep-rooted throughout the police service by highlighting major community engagement initiatives that span the entire community engagement continuum while also reporting on the public consultation policy and providing a glance at projects currently underway.




Partnership in Action (PIA) – Public Engagement Meetings

The Ottawa Police Service partnered with the Ottawa Police Services Board and Crime Prevention Ottawa for three major community consultation events related to organizational projects:


In October 2012, the Ottawa Police Service, Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Youth Services Bureau, and Ottawa Community Housing co-hosted a Public Forum and a Leadership Symposium “Taking Action Together: Addressing Gangs in Our City” with the aim to engage community members and stakeholders to collectively propose strategies to address gangs in Ottawa.


The Public Forum was held at Ottawa City Hall on October 17 and was attended by over 220 members of the public and community stakeholders. Participants heard from Ottawa Police Service and Crime Prevention Ottawa that provided background information, the local landscape and an assessment of the current state of gangs in the City of Ottawa. They also heard a personal account from Jabari Lindsay of the Toronto experience with this issue and their programs dealing with gang members at its grass roots.


Recognizing the importance of engaging the community and promoting public understanding of the Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project (TSRDCP), the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in partnership with the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB) hosted a Public Consultation Session entitled, ~Let’s Chat Race: Have Your Say~ in January 2013. A total of 165 participants representing the community stakeholders, OPS, and 48 different affiliations were welcomed by a series of project sponsors and stakeholders, who outlined the project components and roles, and stressed the importance of the evening and community input to the overall process. Through two rounds of breakout discussions by tables and a harvesting session in plenary after each round, community members shared their perspectives and insights to better understand the project.


Let’s Chat about Priorities~: “A Plan Where Everyone Matters”

In partnership with the Ottawa Police Services Board, the 2013-2015 Business Plan community consultation was held in Dec. 2012. 


About 120 members of the greater Ottawa community gathered at the RA Centre for a public consultation on the 2013-2015 OPSB/OPS Business Plan. A broad diversity of individuals were in attendance – university students through to seniors, a broad diversity of cultures, those with disabilities, people across income spectrums.


The purpose of the public consultation was to generate detailed public insights and recommendations on the directionality of Ottawa Police Services’ developments in the areas of Community, Members, Service and Value. Additional comments in any other area of the police service’s mandate were also sought, and have been codified separately.


Other highlights of community consultation & engagement:

·         In Partnership with Family Services Ottawa, Children’s Aid Ottawa, Crime Prevention Ottawa, and Justice Canada, OPS Community Development Section and The Victim Crisis Unit, welcomed guest speakers Jasvinder Sanghera and Kathy Rowe from the United Kingdom (Sept 2012) for an engaging presentation followed by a discussion by 100 service providers and police members on the topic of honour based violence and forced marriages.


·         In April 2013, the Graduate Victimology Program at Algonquin College partnered with the Ottawa Police Service, Victim Crisis Unit & the Community Development Section to host a morning workshop followed by panel presentations and a community dialogue session in the afternoon as part of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 2013. This was the second session on Honour Based Violence. It was titled ~In the Name of Honour~ responding to victims of honour-based violence and forced marriage. Over 120 people attended the event.


·         Partnership between CPCs/CHRCs: (Sept. 2012) a visioning session between the Coalition of Community and Health Resource Centres (CHRCs) and the Ottawa Police Service Community Police Centres (CPCs) was held and attended by 70 service providers and police officers. The purpose of the visioning session was to renew commitment for a concrete and consistent partnership between OPS members involved with Community Policing and Community Developers and Health Promotion Staff at the CHRCs. The session was facilitated by Crime Prevention Ottawa and assisted by the CDF coordinator. The results of the facilitated session lead to shared objectives guiding the action plan


·         Community Police Action Committee (COMPAC) – COMPAC continues to meet on a monthly basis, and is currently developing its priorities for 2013-2015, which will complement the OPS business plan.  COMPAC also plays an integral role in the Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project.


·         Ottawa Police Service Liaison Committee for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Communities - The GLBT Liaison Committee continues to meet on a monthly basis, and hosted the 2013 Information Exchange, with a focus on Hate Crimes.  A panel discussion on Hate Crimes Now and Then involving police, community and community services fostered much discussion and lead to a breakout session to identify issues and solutions.


·         Both COMPAC and the GLBT Liaison Committee have been active in engaging the community with respect to ongoing policing initiatives.  Both committees have agreed to continue to identify and arrange opportunities for the Ottawa Police Service to attend and advise/promote different initiatives.


·         Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project (TSRDC) Community Police Advisory Committee – The TSRDC Project Community Police Advisory Committee was established to support the project team in identifying possible solutions to several issues related to the development, implementation, and monitoring of the project.  This committee has equal representation of OPS members and members of the diverse communities of Ottawa.  The project was launched in June, and the Advisory Committee will be apprised of any and all developments on at least a tri-monthly basis.


·         Critical Incident and Critical Situation (CI-CS) Teams – The CI-CS Teams are comprised of community and police representatives who are trained to respond to specific critical situations or incidents involving the police and members of racialized or Aboriginal communities. 


·         OPS Flag and Banner Program – The OPS Flag and Banner Program was formally introduced in 2005 as an opportunity for communities to interact with police in a positive environment, and to educate police members about practices or ceremonies of importance to them from either a religious, ethnic or cultural perspective. The Police Service will host more than 20 Flag and Banner events in 2013.


·         Membership on the City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee – The AWC meets regularly to identify best practices and opportunities with respect to providing services to the Aboriginal communities.  Ongoing dialogue continues throughout city services including the Ottawa Police, in an effort to foster employment opportunities, youth support initiatives, and other avenues to engage these communities.


·         Membership on Interfaith Ottawa – Interfaith Ottawa meets regularly throughout the year, and membership on this committee provides an opportunity for the DRR Staff Sergeant to engage in meaningful dialogue with practicing faith community leaders in Ottawa.


·         The Diversity and Race Relations Section has worked in partnership with several diverse communities to enhance police community relations. An example of this collaborative approach may be seen with the Muslim community. This year 58 OPS representatives attended 14 events at area mosques and other locations during Ramadan and Eid. In addition, the “Strengthening Relationships with the Muslim Community-Partnership in Action Series” was established, resulting in 4 OPS information sessions being presented in area mosques. Topics have included an OPS overview, Domestic Violence, Youth Services, Outreach Recruitment and Hate Crimes. These engagement efforts fulfill a dual purpose in that important information is conveyed to the community, while simultaneously addressing some of the trust barriers that may exist.


·         In support of newcomer parents to Canada, DRR has partnered with the Youth Section to deliver a series of three presentations at CESOC (Conseil Économique et Social d'Ottawa-Carleton Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton), an agency that provides settlement services to newcomers in French.


·         The Ottawa Police Service participates in a significant number of community events and meetings (actual number is not available but is estimated to be over 1000 annually) throughout the year and across the city.  Community Police Centre officers and volunteers organize numerous neighbourhood level events, meetings and other initiatives on a regular basis including Police Week (May 2013) and Crime Prevention Week (November 2013). 


Communications and engagement:

The various communications channels operated by OPS represent an opportunity for engagement and are a major contributor to the information residents have about issues related to policing, crime and safety, the Service in general and its work. Over the last year, the OPS has focused a great deal of effort on social and digital media and has seen an increased interaction with the public and media. The accounts have proven very important in all types of communications efforts, whether in breaking news, community events, community dialogue or general information. There has also been a great deal of acceptance of the new tools by internal membership and external users.


Web Statistics – ottawapolice.ca

For the period July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013:  web site visits to ottawapolice.ca are up significantly to 948,589 compared at 757,013 from last year (23.5% of views were accessed from a mobile device compared to last year at 11%).  A great deal of this increase is attributable to increase of social media. In order to continue this increase OPS is exploring ways to make its ottawapolice.ca more mobile friendly or responsive. Additional details provided by the Corporate Communications Section about the visits include:

·                Average visits per months: 79,071

·                Peak months: Jan 2013 with 90,540 visits and May 2013 with 92,142 visits; while the lowest months: December 2012 with 59,638 visits and August 2012 with 69,860 visits.

·                Average number of web pages viewed per visit: 3.8 web pages.

·                Average time spent on the site per visit:  2 minutes and 45 seconds.

·                Most visited web pages: Recruiting – Civilian Careers, Contact Us, Records Checks, Find a Police Station, Media Room, Recruiting – Constable Careers, Crime Mapping Tool, and the Sections and Units page.


RSS Feed Subscribers

Ottawapolice.ca visitors can also subscribe to various areas of the web site and receive automatic email updates whenever certain areas of the web site are updated.  These areas all show an increase in subscriber numbers compared to the last reporting period:


·                All Ottawa Police Updates (English):  280 (up by 6 from last year)

·                All Ottawa Police Updates (French):  7 (up by 2 from last year)

·                Help Us Identify and Find (English): 46 (up by 13 from last year)

·                Help Us Identify and Find (French): 2 (down by 1 from last year)

·                OPS Breaking News (English):  347 (up by 139 from last year)

·                OPS Breaking News (French):  23 (up by 2 from last year)

·                OPS Events (English): 65 (up by 9 from last year)

·                OPS Events (French): 6 (same as last year)

·                Racial Profiling (English): 15 (up by 12 from last year)

·                Racial Profiling (French): 13 (up by 12 from last year)

·                Careers (English): 187 (New this year)

·                OPS Careers (French): 12 (New this year)


Social Media

With the leadership on the Corporate Communications Section, the OPS now has over 30 social media accounts. The accounts represent new venues for engagement with residents and continue to grow in popularity. The accounts have been used for a variety of popular online discussions with residents including Tweet chats by the Chief on topics including the Traffic Stop Race Data project. The OPS has a growing presence on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram. Top five social media accounts are:


·                The Ottawa Police Service (@OttawaPolice) currently has 14,384 followers.  (Reported 3,512  in June 2012)

·                The Ottawa Police Facebook currently has 4,061 page likes (Reported at 728 in June 2012)

·                Chief Bordeleau on Twitter (@ChiefBordeleau) currently has 3,295  followers.  (Reported at 1,050  in June 2012)

·                Cst. Peter McKenna on Twitter (@OfficerMcKenna) currently has 3,162 followers (new)

·                Deputy Chief Jill Skinner (@JMSkinner) currently has 1,609 followers (new).


Info Emails

Info@ottawapolice.ca is the organization’s main email inbox for resident inquiries and concerns.  The total info emails received for the period July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012 were over 7500 emails with an average monthly rate of 625.  The top five categories of Info emails include (in no particular order):

● Questions regarding record checks

● Questions regarding recruiting and volunteering

● Add information and/or pictures to an existing report

● Report crime (traffic complaints, fraud and drugs are common)

● Compliments.




Because community engagement efforts and initiatives take many forms across the organization and come from financial accounts, it is difficult to provide a full financial statement.  However, Partnership in Action initiatives for 2013 include:




This report is the product of continued collaborative work between the Ottawa Police Service Sections, Ottawa Police Services Board, many community organizations and the residents of Ottawa whom have taken the time and the opportunity to help shape and set the direction of the Ottawa Police Service.


The Board and the Police Service have seen a substantial amount of public involvement, and have identified actions to enhance community engagement, relationships and partnerships. 


The report is a snapshot of the efforts to engage the community and highlight the gains of numerous benefits through the process of engagement. The process provides opportunities for cooperative, co-learning experiences, and critical reflection from community wisdom. Inviting leadership from community helps demonstrate that their participation is valued and that their views will be considered. This will enable us to build trust, increase communication and create openness to utilizing services.


2014 will be an opportunity to harness and enhance the service’s community engagement philosophy, and build on opportunities for increased tracking of our efforts. The OPS will continue its work with the board to determine public engagement projects that meet current community interests, concerns and priorities. 




(Original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police


Annex A:     Ontario’s Mobilization & Engagement Model of Community Policing.

Annex B:     Crime Prevention in Ontario: a Framework for Action (on file with the Board Executive Director)



Responsible for the report:  Director David Snoddy