26 May 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 Ottawa Police Service (OPS) undertook the first Workforce Census in 2005 as part of the Board-approved work to become the Employer of Choice in Policing.  It was the first research initiative of its kind in Canadian policing.  Modelled on the Statistics Canada Census for Canada, it collected information about the OPS’ workforce to better understand how to serve the needs of its members, the organization and the community.


The data collected in 2005 established the first demographic profile of the OPS and its members.  It provided insight into both the organization and the work and personal lives of its members, highlighting some of the challenges they faced balancing family obligations while working in a demanding 24/7 emergency service environment.  The generational view of the organization identified the supervisory and workforce planning challenges on the horizon for the OPS, given the significant attitudinal differences between generations and the shift that would occur when the oldest generations in OPS (World War II and Baby Boomers) retired from the workforce.


The Workforce Census also captured data on the diversity of the OPS, thus fulfilling a key recommendation of the Employer of Choice Report.  The diversity data established a baseline against which future OPS recruiting efforts could be measured and provided a way to see how the OPS workforce aligned with the community.


In the seven year interval since the first Workforce Census was undertaken an even stronger business case for collecting workforce data has emerged.


·         Workforce data is needed to fulfil the monitoring requirements set out by the Board in its Chief’s Requirement Policy – Workforce Management (CR-7).  In that policy the Board has identified the requirement for the Chief to have in place:


h)       staffing practices that seek to have the Ottawa Police Service become over time, representative of the community.”


Policy CR-7 also requires that the Chief, within each cycle of the Business Plan, review the effectiveness of recruiting and hiring efforts specifically noting status, gender, visible minorities and other categories representing diversity.  The Workforce Census data will be a critical input to this review.


·         As an organization focused on evidence based decision making, the OPS requires Workforce Census data to develop human resource programs to serve the member and organizational needs of OPS.  The Workforce Census will be a key data source for the staff of the Resourcing and Development Directorate of OPS as it undertakes policy and program development activities.  They have key obligations to fulfil under the “Members” section of the 2013 – 2015 OPS Business Plan including:


o   Objective 2.4 – Research and develop alternative work arrangement programs that will respond to the needs of our members.

o   Objective 5.1 – Develop strategies, actions and initiatives to continually engage the community and members in the pursuit of hiring a talented and diverse workforce.

o   Objective 5.2 – Research and develop a program to support members in their work role and to support work/life balance.


As well, executive succession management and strategic workforce planning are critical human resource functions to be refined over the next period, given the demographic shifts that are underway.  Workforce census data will help the organization plan for the way ahead and understand the impact as different generations emerge as leaders or as a dominant “voice” in OPS.


·         Workforce Census data provides another way to be open and transparent with the community about OPS and its members. Publicly sharing the Workforce Census data provides the community with another view of OPS, its members and the challenges they face.  It also provides an evidence-based way to have a dialogue with stakeholders and partners about workforce issues.


The 2012 Workforce Census data was gathered and analyzed in conjunction with a demographer, Dr. Carina Fiedeldey-Van Dijk, and summarized in a document entitled Research Report: OPS Member Composition, with Comparisons Back to the Community and 2005 Workforce Census. This document is included as Attachment 1 (hard copy on file with the Board Executive Director).


To take a closer look at some specific aspects of OPS demographics, more specialized analysis of five research topics was undertaken in the months after the initial Census results were finalized in March 2013. They are listed below.  The first three are included in the main document and the last two are separate documents which have also been included with this report as Attachment 2 and Attachment 3.


1.    A Closer Look at Gender

2.    Comparing and Contrasting Civilian and Sworn Members

3.    Recruitment Tactics Prior to, or Since Census 2005

4.    Research Extract 01: Gender-Based OPS Member Composition (With Comparisons Back to the Community and 2005 Workforce Census) (Attachment 2), and

5.    Research Extract 02: OPS Doctorate Member Composition (as self-disclosed in the 2005 Workforce Census) (Attachment 3).

These small research papers are examples of the kind of analysis that the Resourcing and Development Directorate will continue to undertake over the next period to gain more insight into our organization and our members and their needs.  This rich data source also provides a unique opportunity to work with our partners and stakeholders, such as the Community and Police Action Committee (COMPAC), to answer questions they have posed about our workforce, such as the distribution by rank of diverse and non-diverse members.


This report provides an overview of the 2012 Workforce Census approach and results.  It is, again, the only report of its kind in Canadian policing.  The OPS continues to be a Canadian leader on this issue, having been the only police service to conduct two successful workforce census studies.




Factors Influencing the Census Results


Staff complement changes and recruiting practices are key factors to take into consideration when reviewing the Workforce Census results.


OPS increased its staff complement during the initial years following the 2005 Workforce Census until 2010 when staff complement increases were halted, unless fully funded by a partner.  A total of 273.3 positions were added to the staff complement over that period bringing it to a level of 1946.3 full time equivalents (FTEs) in 2012.   The growth resulted from programs such as the Strategic Staffing Initiative (SSI), the Strategic Growth Initiative (SGI) to help keep pace with the growing City of Ottawa, the Federal Government 1,000 Officer Program (delivered in Ontario as the Police Officer Recruitment Fund (PORF)) and targeted Provincial Government programs such as the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (PAVIS). 


During that period, OPS hired 460 sworn members in total, ranging from a low of 17 in 2012 to a high of 110 in 2009.  These officers helped to replace retirees, fill new positions and backfill officers who served on UN Peacekeeping missions, which were also at a peak.


To meet this demand OPS relied more heavily than in the past on the recruitment of direct entry officers.  In peak hiring years there was almost an even split between new recruits and direct entry officers.  The benefit of this approach is that it helps to bring more experience to the Service at a time of growth, which can reduce operational risk.  The downside is that typically there are fewer diverse candidates in the pool of direct entry officers.


Census Methodology


On November 5, 2012, the second ever OPS Workforce Census was conducted with 1,643 employees, comprising 85 percent of the workforce, completing the Census.  This response rate compares very favourably to 2005 when over 1,100 OPS members took part in the inaugural Workforce Census – which translated to over 72 percent of the membership participating in the voluntary initiative. More than four out of every five OPS members took part in the 2012 initiative. This commendable effort enables the OPS to have a highly comprehensive picture of the strengths, capabilities and diversity of its current workforce.  It also means that the data in the Census is very reliable.


The Census survey invitation was electronically distributed on November 5, 2012 to all members at the same time. The survey was also available on the mobile data terminals (MDTs) in the patrol vehicles. Members had a choice to complete the survey in either English or French. Survey responses of 1,643 OPS members were electronically entered into a database hosted by Holophrastic Enterprises. Shortly after, the responses were aggregated and analysed by ePsy Consultancy, under the leadership of Dr. Fiedeldey-Van Dijk. The information members provided was anonymous and kept strictly confidential by the external consulting company who processed the results. No individual results were ‑ nor will ever be ‑ made available to the OPS.


Member participation exceeded expectations. An extensive internal communications campaign featured a high level of demonstrated support from police senior leaders, the Senior Officers’ Association and the Ottawa Police Association. Two incentive programs also helped boost the participation rate of members.


Highlights from the 2012 Workforce Census


Profile of the OPS Member


The OPS is a very family oriented organization, as is clear from the data below.  Though there have been some shifts in the OPS member population, the profile and circumstances of OPS members are very similar to those found in 2005.  Work-life balance and flexibility is a key challenge for OPS to address.


  1. Typical OPS Member

·         White male

·         35-44 years old

·         Canadian citizen

·         Post secondary education

·         An OPS member for 13 years

·         Works a full time work week

·         Married, very family oriented and house based

·         Considerable child and other dependent care responsibilities

·         Fitness driven and makes times for hobbies

·         Under increased pressure to help in the local community


  1. Marital Status

·           77.6% are married or are in a common law relationship

·           21.7% of partners are also OPS members


  1. Dependent Care

·         70% care for children

·         45% care for other dependents such as elders


  1. Age of dependents

·         Primarily between the ages of 6 – 14 years

·         Next largest group is less than 6 years of age


  1. Number of dependents living at home

·         2.2 dependents


Profile of the OPS Workforce


The OPS has a very stable base of educated and qualified members, the majority of whom can serve the public in another language.  Nonetheless the organization is undergoing significant shifts, especially in terms of the generations within the organization that are moving into leadership positions.  Some of the key workforce characteristics are set out below.


  1. Sworn personnel are the major employee group

·         72% Sworn

·         32% Civilian


  1. Full time employees are the norm

·         95.9% of members


  1. Members have solid education and advanced learning backgrounds

·         71.2% of members completed a post-secondary course of study

·         Key areas of study: humanities, social sciences, commerce, management and business administration


  1. A majority bring another skill to the workplace

·         53.9% of members


  1. Members have strong language skills

·         English only – 45.4%

·         English and French – 44.9%

·         English, French and Other – 6.9%

·         English and Other – 2.9%

·         64 languages are spoken

·         Key ones

o   English

o   French

o   Spanish

o   Italian

o   German

o   Arabic


  1. Generational shifts are occurring within OPS

·         2 generations are moving into leadership positions, 1 generation has significantly declined:


Diversity and Gender Composition of OPS


Both the Outreach Recruiting Program and the Civilian Career Initiative have had a positive impact on the diversity and gender composition of the OPS.  Diversity has grown primarily as a result of an increase in the number of visible minority members.  The proportion of women sworn officers has also increased, and so has the proportion of male civilians.  Both trends are helping to change the gender profile of those populations within OPS.


  1. Diversity has increased by 2%

·         Defined as OPS members who are a member of a visible minority group, or who are aboriginal, and / or who have a disability


  1. Visible minority membership increased by 2.8%

·         Defined as OPS members other than Aboriginal members who are non-Caucasian in race and non-white in colour


  1. Aboriginal membership declined by 1.2%

·         Defined as members of Aboriginal ancestry: North American Indian, Métis or Inuit


  1. Disability figures declined by 1%

·         Defined as OPS members who have a long-term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric, or learning impairment and who consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or believe than an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that employment.


  1. Most OPS members are white

·         This number has dropped by 1.2%


  1. The number of members from other racial groups has generally increased

·         Black - 2.9% to 3.7%

·         Other - 1.9% to 2.1%

·         Arab - 0.8% to 1.3%

·         Chinese - 0.6 % to 1.1%

·         Latin American - 0.3% to 0.7%

·         Southeast Asian - 0.4% to 0.6%

·         West Asian – 0.2% to 0.3%

·         Japanese – 0.1% to 0.2%

·         Korean – 0.1% to 0.1%

·         South Asian – 1.7% to 1.3%

·         Filipino – 0.2% to 0.1%


  1. OPS members represent 29 ethnic / cultural groups

·         Six groups went up noticeably in position since 2005


  1. GLBTQ membership has declined by 0.4%

·         3.8% in 2005

·         3.4% in 2012


  1. The majority of OPS members are male and this grew by 3%

·         59.9% in 2005

·         62.9% in 2012


  1.  Amongst sworn members, males are the dominant gender

·         Male membership dropped and female membership grew by 1.1%:


  1.  Amongst civilian members, females are the dominant gender

·         Male membership grew by 2.9% and female membership dropped


Comparison to 2011 Census Canada for Ottawa


Staff had hoped that the data from the 2011 Canadian Census would be available to enable comparisons as to how the Ottawa Police compares to the community it serves. Unfortunately it is not yet ready for publication at this level of detail.  For the moment, data from the 2005 national census is used for comparison purposes in the document. Once the 2011 data is available, a more accurate picture can be provided of how OPS aligns with its community.




Staff held three consultation/ focus group sessions with members to share the high-level Census results.  There is general interest in the data.  Most importantly, staff want to see this information actively used in the organization to develop human resource programs which will meet their needs.


The Census results have also been shared with COMPAC and its leadership in two separate meetings. They provided feedback on the results themselves as well as advice on how to present them.


A briefing session was held with the Human Resources Committee of the Board in February 2014; and most recently with the Presidents of the OPA and SOA.




A budget provision of $125,000 was included in the 2012-2013 Resourcing and Development operating budget.  The provision covered the costs of planning and implementing the 2012 Workforce Census as well as the costs of the analysis and subsequent research extracts.




The 2012 Workforce Census is a critical and important tool for the OPS in achieving its vision of the trusted leader in policing.  In accordance with the business case, it will enable a review of recruiting and hiring practices as required under Board Policy CR-7; it will support the work in the Members section of the OPS Business Plan; and it will provide a basis on which to have an evidence-based discussion with community partners such as COMPAC about workforce matters.  An increasingly complex and dynamic organization like the OPS needs a progressive approach such as this to effectively manage its workforce and plan strategically for the future.




(Original signed by)


Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police



1.    Research Report:  OPS Member Composition – with comparisons back to the community and 2005 Workforce Census (issued separately)

2.    Research Extract 01:  Gender-Based OPS Member Composition

3.    Research Extract 02:  2005 OPS Doctorate Member Composition