Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Police launch new pilot project. Here’s what that means

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A joint presentation between the Ottawa Police Service Board (OPSB) and the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) discusses a pilot program on how the force will support Ottawa.

On April 30, the new Community Policing Strategy and District Deployment Model was launched. The pilot program is expected to start in early May.

Based on the 2024 Budget community consultation process, the OPS said there is a need for greater engagement and officer visibility in communities across the city, especially at the neighbourhood level. 

“One neighbourhood’s needs vary significantly from another’s, especially when comparing the needs of urban, suburban, and rural communities,” wrote OPS in a news release. 

In response to these concerns, the OPS is developing a new District Deployment Model that “will identify and respond to priorities unique to Ottawa’s vast neighbourhoods and communities.”

The focus of the new model is to better serve communities across the region and work with city councillors and their community partners to resolve issues within each ward, the OPS added in a press release.

“We want to get back to a community policing model — one where we are adapting our approach to specific ward priorities,” said Chief Eric Stubbs during yesterday’s technical briefing for Ottawa City Council. 

Chief Stubbs explained, the pilot project will have three primary goals:

  1. To gain community feedback, helping the OPS to develop a final model for full launch.
  2. To increase communication with councillors and key stakeholders in the community.
  3. To deliver on priorities in individual wards.

A transition to this new model will include “more direct, open lines of communication to officers who understand the unique complexities and requirements of individual neighbourhoods, and improved access in terms of how the OPS connects with the community,” said OPS. 

According to Acting Superintendent Kevin Maloney, the new pilot phase is set to launch May 6th, 2024 and will run until December 2025.

“It will be in four-month parts that allows us the opportunity to introduce new concepts into the model, try them out, get feedback and improve on them as we move through the process,” said Maloney.

He went on to say, the first three parts of the pilot have been mapped out until the end of April 2025.

Pilot Deployment Model Timeline. Photo from Technical briefing on District Policing Model for City Council. April 30th, 2024.

Ottawa will be divided into four police districts, with district inspectors assigned to each. The program will be assessed after the first year of the pilot to determine subsequent phases, Maloney noted.

“Sectioning the city into four districts provides smaller areas where we would work with ward councillors to address specific issues,” he added. “We don’t want to just do things differently — we want to be more efficient and consistent with the service throughout the city.”

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