Chief Sloly announces new OPS accelerated hiring plan for board approval
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has proposed an accelerated hiring plan that will see 100 new officers added to the service in 2020, Chief Peter Sloly announced this week.
The plan advances the forecast 2021-2022 police officer hiring as well as a portion of 2023 hiring. The accelerated hiring plan will enable the OPS to hire officers more rapidly and deploy them more effectively to priority policing areas like neighbourhood policing, frontline patrol, gun and gang violence suppression and violence against women have the necessary resources to meet current service demands.
This accelerated hiring is required to ensure that the OPS has the resources to meet the front-line policing needs of Ottawa in the short- and long-term, the service says. The new officers are expected to be all hired in 2020 and fully deployed in 2021.
The plan is forecasted to cost $14.7 million over three years and will be covered by reprioritizing existing funds in the OPS budget. There is no new budget request being made as part of this plan and, during this term of Council, the OPS will forecast a 3 per cent police tax rate increase (plus assessment growth) in line with the previous Board direction and Council recommendation.
“Since October I have been talking with, and listening to, community members, business associations, the not-for-profit sector, Mayor Watson and City Councillors, city staff, the Ottawa Police Association (OPA), the Senior Officers’ Association (SOA), academics, police/justice leaders, and the Board, as well as my frontline members and my executive and senior leadership team,” Chief Sloly said. “There are important concerns being raised by our community and our frontline members and we need to make key investments in officer staffing now to address the issues we are facing and to improve public safety in Ottawa.”
An Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) action plan is being tabled with the board on Jan. 27 as part of the board’s agenda. This accelerated hiring plan will be a priority item within the EDI action plan.
More details about the accelerated hiring plan and recommendations for approval are outlined in a report to the Ottawa Police Services Board (OPSB).