Working together on policing and human rights

TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - A new project, aimed at preventing discrimination and racism in policing, launched today in Windsor. The Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board, Ontario Police College and Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced a major joint initiative to address policing and human rights issues.  Police Chief Gary Smith, Board Chair Eddie Francis, Police College Deputy Director, Training Allan Phibbs and Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall will make the announcement during today's public Board meeting at Windsor Police Service headquarters.

All four organizations commit to implement a shared Human Rights Project Charter. It is modelled on a project by the Toronto Police Service, the Toronto Police Services Board and the OHRC that ran from 2007 to 2010. The Charter's main objective is to look at existing policies and programs, and develop strategies that help the Service and the Board address human rights concerns.

It will look at identifying and eliminating any discrimination in employment practices, including the hiring, selection for transfer, retention and promotion of Police Service members, and in the delivery of services to the public. The three-year project will be led by a working group with representatives from all four organizations.  They will identify and review human rights issues, design response plans, develop initiatives and measure and report back publicly on progress.

"I am very proud to take part in this joint venture. Windsor Police Service wants to provide effective policing that is sensitive to and representative of Windsor's diverse communities."- Police Chief, Gary Smith

"This project is a valuable tool that can help both the Board and the Service meet their goals to provide quality, bias-free policing services, and fair and equitable employment for officers and civilian staff."-  Board Chair, Eddie Francis

"Our community will benefit from this new joint venture, which helps to protect human rights and prevent discrimination in policing. Our government is pleased to support this initiative through the participation of the Ontario Police College." - Sandra Pupatello, MPP Windsor West

I am pleased that the Windsor Police Service, the Windsor Police Services Board and the Ontario Police College have taken up the challenge to address human rights concerns, and to build a culture of human rights within their organizations. This kind of leadership is making a real difference for police services and the people they serve." - Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner, Barbara Hall

Participants will be available for interviews immediately following the official launch of the project.

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SOURCE Ontario Human Rights Commission

For further information:

Sergeant Brett Corey
Windsor Police Media Relations Officer
519-255-6700 ext.4250
Fax 519-255-6967

Afroze Edwards        
Senior Communications Officer      
Ontario Human Rights Commission 

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