27 January 2014



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service







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




The Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project (TSRDCP) is the result of an agreement between the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and the Ottawa Police Services Board (Board).  Officers will record their perception of driver race (by observation only) at traffic stops for a two-year period from June 27, 2013 to June 27, 2015.   


The largest study of its kind in Canada, the OHRC and the OPS believe that race-based data collection is an important tool to support bias-free policing services.  Full information, updates and opportunities to stay engaged are available online at




The OPS, OHRC and the York Research Team hired to assist with the project agree that the project is on track and progressing well according to its goals.  This report provides an update on the data collection, quality control measures, and the ongoing engagement plans for the two year data collection period. 


Following the last update to the Board on May 27th, an education campaign took place during the month of June to heighten project awareness prior to the launch of data collection.  Police officers who conduct traffic stops as well as their supervisors also completed the mandatory training.  As planned, officers began recording their perception of driver race at traffic stops by using their in-car computer system on June 27, 2013.


There is strong commitment at all levels from the executive to frontline officers to make this project work.  Officers have made data collection part of their regular traffic stop duties.  As with any new data collection tool, feedback from the officers who are using it on a daily basis has been instrumental in informing the project and has led to important data collection enhancements. In addition, the total number of traffic stops is in line with the statistics from the last two years.  


Quality assurance is an integral part of this project and, along with police and community engagement, is one of the main reasons for early project success.  The project team has worked to ensure full implementation of all possible quality assurance measures, and will continue to do so throughout the project.  Based on front-line feedback and working with IT and Versaterm, the latest effort took place last month with the implementation of a software upgrade to the in-car computer system that will improve and streamline the data collection process. 


While the police service has been advised by the Research Team not to analyze and produce race based data results before June 2015, there is still work to do with the community and police members.  Using a number of engagement opportunities during the two-year data collection period, the ongoing engagement about racial profiling and the project will now focus on planning for the analysis of the data.  Another Let’s Chat Session will take place on the evening of February 6th.   


The OPS continues to meet and keep in contact regularly with the York Research Team, the OHRC, and the Ottawa Police Association.  Regular updates and opportunities for ongoing dialogue will continue to be provided throughout the project.


The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the following:

§  Data Collection Process & Traffic Stops Statistics.

§  Quality Assurance Measures that have been undertaken to ensure meaningful and measurable data.

§  Ongoing Plan for Engagement and Communications including upcoming engagement opportunities to support the continuing development of the project during the two-year collection period.


1.            Data Collection Process and Traffic Stop Statistics

On June 27th, officers began recording their perception of driver race at traffic stops by using their in-car computer system as part of the regular duties.  Leveraging the existing computer system for data collection not only makes sense from a time and cost perspective, but it offers a secure and consistent data collection process to support meaningful and measurable data with minimal impact on police officer duties. 


a.      Traffic Stop Flow Chart – Collection of Race Based Data

In addition to the location and date of the traffic stop which are recorded automatically by the computer, the Traffic Stop Flow Chart shows the information that officers are required to collect as a result of the extensive consultation efforts from the first phase of the project. 






















Over eighty percent of traffic stops have all eight fields completed (identified in the lower half of the chart). Individually, each field is completed over ninety percent including the race field.  Like other social science studies and areas of police work/projects, 100% accuracy is not realistic given the realities of the computer system functionality and front-line policing duties; however, 100% accuracy is the goal we continue to strive towards.  Continuing to improve accuracy will also strengthen the data analysis. 


Some of the factors that may contribute to incomplete data include:  

·                    Front-line policing duties (for example: officers may be reassigned to other priority/emergency calls during high volume call periods).

·                    With the exception of one field (disposition/outcome of stop), the other seven data fields were not mandatory (some improvements made last month).

·                    The system did not allow officers to “go back” to add missed information (software improvements made last month).

·                    There was a technical issue with some driver’s licences that the Sex and/or Date of Birth field do not always populate when swiped in the card reader (addressed).

·                    Transfers of officers back to patrol duties from investigative units requires training and data collection experience;

·                    Computer system issues occasionally prevent officers from following the data collection process when the system is temporarily down or frozen;

·                    Officer safety concerns may occasionally lead to incomplete data collection.



b.     Traffic Stop Statistics:  June 27th – December 31st, 2013 

In addition to the data collection compliance rates, statistics also show that the number of traffic stops is in line with the previous two years. 


The 2013 traffic stop numbers are higher when compared to the previous two years of traffic stops; however, that is because the Traffic Enforcement and Escort Unit had a change in business practice and is now counting each traffic stop.  As a direct result of the project and the need to capture the perceived race of each driver on the in-car computer system, the Traffic Enforcement and Escort Unit must engage in a separate traffic stop for each driver they stop (rather than doing a group of drivers during an enforcement location).  When these numbers are removed, the Traffic Stop numbers for the period June 27th to December 31st, 2013 are on track and compare with the last two years as illustrated in chart below.  


Number of Traffic Stops  






Total Minus the Traffic Enforcement and Escort Unit


All Directorates

27 June – 30 June










































2.            Quality Assurance Measures

Based on the earlier consultation efforts, the Research Team recommended quality assurance measures designed to safeguard the integrity of the data and ensure accurate, meaningful and measurable data.  Led by the Crime Intelligence and Analysis Unit with support from the Research Team and the OHRC, the project team has worked to ensure full implementation of these quality assurance measures and will continue to do so throughout the project.   


a.    Member Training & Awareness

In order to ensure officer awareness about the project and data collection process, a comprehensive training package was developed and includes: supervisor training video, fact sheets and quick reference cards, traffic stop scenario listing, presentation for in-class briefings/train the trainer sessions, and the e-learning module.   


Developed with the Professional Development Centre and the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN), a mandatory e-learning training program complete with video and scenarios was delivered to officers.  It includes information about the purpose of the project as well as the practical application of the data collection procedures and process.


Members have access to the project’s dedicated email and phone line and are provided with regular project updates.  They can also access full project information and resources online.


b.    Supervisor Training & Communications

In addition, supervisors have access to the project web page, receive specific training and regular communications about the project to ensure monitoring, control and general project compliance throughout the two-year data collection period. Briefings and presentations are provided to reinforce the project goals and data collection process. 


c.    Senior Officer Communications

One of the organization’s priority projects, senior officers are project champions and are provided with regular project updates at existing meetings/briefings, special presentations and via email.  They have also been involved in reviewing quality assurance reports and activities.   


d.    Data Collection Storage and Security

The data is being collected using the police data base system.  As per records management policies and procedures, it is stored securely with limited access to authorized personnel.  


e.    Data Collection Monitoring

The Crime Intelligence and Analysis Unit (CIAU) led the development of the data extraction formula and procedures with the IT section.  For the first four months, CIAU was producing daily quality assurance reports for the project office and senior officers.


While the race data is not being analyzed until the end of the project, it was being monitored by the project team and supervisors on a daily basis for quality assurance to ensure the required data fields are captured for the study.  Supervisors are providing officers with quick feedback about their traffic stops to support good quality data collection.  In November, CIAU started producing these reports on a weekly basis, and monthly reports are expected in 2014. 


f.     Computer Software Upgrade – December 2013 

The latest quality assurance measure is the implementation of a software upgrade to the in-car computers that will improve data collection.  New features were added where possible such as mandatory field selection and a drop down menu.  These welcome improvements are the result of officer feedback and continuing to work with our IT Unit and Versaterm. 


The project team will continue to work closely with the Research Team and provide briefings on the status and progress of data collection, quality assurance reports, issues and concerns (police and community) related to both the process and outcomes of traffic stops data collection.  The project team will also ensure community involvement in the quality assurance monitoring and review process including regular updates to the COMPAC, the project’s advisory committee and continuing to facilitate ride alongs with officers throughout the project.   


3.         Ongoing Engagement & Communications

The input of community and OPS members has been instrumental in this Project’s advancement.  In addition to shaping the project design, the ongoing consultation has fostered a stronger understanding of the project and a dialogue on the issues related to the study.  Ongoing media coverage has also supported project awareness.  


One of the key outcomes from the consultation efforts is the importance of continuing engagement about the project and racial profiling during the two-year data collection period.  Like the first phase of engagement and consultation for the project, the project team will ensure continued engagement activities with project partners, community and police members.


Led by the Community Development and Corporate Communications sections, an Engagement and Communications Plan for the two-year data collection period has been developed in consultation with project partners (including the project’s advisory committee, COMPAC, OHRC, and the Ottawa Police Association) and is attached to this report as Annex A.  


The goals of the Plan for Ongoing Engagement & Communications are to:

·           Continue building awareness and understanding about racial profiling and the project by providing engagement opportunities and regular project updates.

·           Provide meaningful opportunities for police and community participation during the data collection period which includes:

o    Quality assurance reviews;

o    Planning for data analysis and reporting;

o    Success indicators or other evaluation measures.


Consultation and engagement efforts will include project updates every 6 to 8 weeks as well as a number of engagement opportunities including a second Let’s Chat session on February 6th at the RA Centre from 6pm to 9pm.  Other engagement opportunities include:

·         Project Web Page, Email Box & Phone Line

·         Project Updates

·         COMPAC Monthly Meetings

·         Community Police Advisory Committee Meetings

·         Presentations and Information Sessions

·         Community Ride Along with Officers  

·         Questionnaires and Surveys

·         Public Dialogue Sessions

·         Quality Assurance Reviews

·         Group Feedback Sessions  

·         OPA-OPS Session for Members

·         Social Media







Let’s Chat Session

February 6th, 2014

The RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Dr

6pm – 9pm


Join the ongoing conversation about racial profiling and the next phase of

the Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Project.

               Registration Info:




















Not applicable.


The Police Service continues to be actively engaged with community partners, the OHRC, police members, and the Research Team in the development of this made in Ottawa project.
The OPS and the OHRC believe that this project will contribute to strengthening relationships with the community.  Raced-based data collection is one of the tools available to help police services address concerns about racial profiling. 


The OPS will continue to update the Board on project developments and will provide regular reports every six months.  



(Original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police


Responsible for the report:  Inspector Pat Flanagan


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