TORONTO, March 21, 2012 /CNW/ - A report on first year activities undertaken as part of a joint Project Charter with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) was released today by the Windsor Police Service (WPS), the Windsor Police Services Board (WPSB) and the Ontario Police College (OPC).
Launched in February 2011, the three-year initiative involves representatives from the WPS, WPSB, the OPC and the OHRC working together to identify human rights issues. The project will develop initiatives to prevent and eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination in the employment policies and the delivery of policing services by the WPS.
During this first year, four subcommittees were established to address the four key areas of concern: recruitment, selection, promotion, & retention, accountability, public liaison and accommodation (for example, meeting the needs of people with disabilities).
Some of the issues looked at include:
- improving community representation in the WPS, expanding recruitment outreach efforts to underrepresented communities, and ensuring the Service's promotional processes are fair and equitable for all members
- establishing a human rights policy that ensures that the WPS and WPSB's activities, policies, procedures, directives and job descriptions of civilian and sworn positions include components that focus on and comply with Ontario's Human Rights Code
- collecting data on internal and external human rights complaints, and developing performance management requirements that respect the Project Charter's change initiatives, and
- increasing human rights knowledge base through training and education
Acting Chief Al Frederick, Windsor Police Service, stated, "The Windsor Police Service is firmly committed to working with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Windsor Police Services Board, and the Ontario Police College to ensure our policing services and employment practices are fair, equitable and bias-free."
"This Project Charter is perhaps one of the most challenging change efforts undertaken by the Windsor Police Services Board. Our goal is to transform policing organizational culture and to ensure that our service to the public and our treatment of those who work for us respect and follow the principles of Ontario's Human Rights Code," stated Eddie Francis, Chair, Windsor Police Services Board.
Acting Director Bill Stephens, Ontario Police College, stated, "Increasing human rights learning is a key part of the Project Charter work. The Ontario Police College is pleased to contribute by developing human rights training initiatives for all staff."
Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall commented, "I am pleased with the progress made so far. These first-year results show a strong commitment at senior levels for positive human rights change and demonstrate what we can achieve when we take a collaborative approach towards addressing destructive human rights issues and concerns that affect us all."
Media are invited to attend at the Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm to hear from Vice Chair (WPSB) Toni Scislowski, A/Chief (WPS) Al Frederick, Deputy Director (OPC) Jon Schmidt, and OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. Interviews can take place following remarks.
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For further information:
Sergeant Brett Corey
Windsor Police Media Relations Officer
Senior Communications Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Communications and Issues Management