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Plans to combat racism laid out by Ottawa's police chief

Chief Charles Bordeleau talks progress being made over the last year, as well as initiatives that still need attention, following the Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Ottawa report.
2017 Ottawa police badge generic1
The Ottawa Police Service badge. (Photo/ Ottawa Police Service Twitter)

The Ottawa Police Service is taking steps in order to stamp out racism among its own members, and become a more diverse police force.

A report, Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Ottawa, came out about a year ago. Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau acknowledges there is a lot of work to do, but he does think progress is being made.

He told Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe on 1310 NEWS, the service will be conducting a diversity audit to identify and barriers for its members. Plans are also in the works to increase community outreach and recruitment.

Plus, the way officers are being deployed has already changed.

Later this year, Bordeleau explained that officers will be diving into traffic stop data collection to see if there has been any kind of shift in demographics possibly being targeted.

"We've actually set up an equity, diversity and inclusion office," added the chief. "It's staffed by three individuals who are going to ensure -- as a police service, our policies and procedures -- that we are always applying that kind of lens to what we do. And we are actually, this year, reviewing our anti-racial profiling policy."

The police service disbanded its community advisory group dealing with racialized and Indigenous communities in recent years, so Bordeleau said it needs to find a way to reconstruct that.

More than 200 residents took part in an anti-racism meeting, held at Ottawa City Hall Wednesday night. A panel, including Bordeleau, officials from the French and English school boards, the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Community Health made statements and answered questions regarding the Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Ottawa report.

Listen to the full conversation with Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau:

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