28 October 2013
Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board
Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service
PERFORMANCE REPORT: THIRD QUARTER 2013
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) 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 OPS 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 (All priorities);
§ Emergency response calls for service (Priority 1);
§ Response performance on Priority 1 calls (on-scene in 15 min, 95 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 OPS performance measurement framework launched in 2008. 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 OPS received an average of 376,000 calls for service annually over the past five years. This total includes both calls that were dispatched and those that were handled through alternative means.
In the year to date, calls for service have declined by nearly 7 percent (-18,800) from the same time period last year. The decline has been driven by fewer 9-1-1 calls determined to be non-emergencies, known as Alternative Response.
Emergency Calls for Service (Priority 1)
The OPS 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.
In the third quarter, the Service received 1,151 calls classified as Priority 1. This includes all events involving a known imminent danger to life; actual or potential danger for bodily injury or death; crimes in progress or imminent. These calls include the known use of weapons or apparent life-threatening injuries, and all police officers assistance call.
The OPS aims to respond to Priority 1 calls for service within 15 minutes, 95 percent of the time. In the third quarter of the year, the organization continued to respond to Priority 1 calls within 15 minutes 95 percent of the time.
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.
Service time has declined by 5.1 percent (11,000 hours) year-to-date with a 3 percent decline (2,100 hours) in the third quarter of 2013. Despite the decline, the cumulative amount of hours officers spend on calls remains in-line with the five year average of 72,600 hours in the third quarter.
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 2013, the number of criminal code offences handled per officer declined to 6.9 offences per officer (10%) driven by 1,200 fewer offences from the same time period in the previous year, while the authorized sworn complement also declined. The budgeted complement declined due to fewer officers in the just-in-time program and operational backfill.
The performance metrics presented 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. Further development of the Monitoring Framework will take place under the Value priority (Goal 2.0) in the 2013-2015 Business Plan. 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 Terry Cheslock