Blue Line

Ottawa Police launches the District Special Constable Pilot Project

March 8, 2024  By Ottawa Police Service

Mar. 8, 2024, Ottawa, Ont. – The Ottawa Police Service District Special Constable (DSC) has announced the District Special Constable Pilot Project.

Special Constables are civilian members who play an essential role within the Ottawa Police Service. Special Constable is a designation issued by the province of Ontario, providing members with a limited Law Enforcement role in the City of Ottawa. Once hired, the Chief of Police swears in members as Peace Officers.

The Pilot Project deploys Special Constables to assist Frontline patrol operations. The pilot program is intended to support and supplement frontline police officers by sending Special Constables to various non-emergency call types.

Under the Pilot Project, the DSCs will have two new roles:

  • The first role is to assist with custody of persons apprehended under the Mental Health Act. This area drains frontline resources while police officers maintain custody of detainees at hospitals. Currently, two police officers are required to maintain custody of a detainee at hospital. A Special Constable will relieve the secondary police officer so they can return to patrol duties and respond to other emergencies.
  • The second role for DSCs is traffic control duties. They will assist police officers with traffic direction and road closures to alleviate frontline resources. This includes road closures at collision scenes, crime scenes, events, demonstrations, and any other incident that may require traffic control. DSCs will also support frontline officers with towing or removing vehicles from roadways.

The use of Special Constables for these duties frees up police officers to respond to emergency calls.

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