Ottawa Police Services
Vanier Community Police Centre
Co-ordinator: Cst. Vienne Calixte
252 McArthur Road
Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5823
Cst. Calixte, in charge of the Vanier Community Police Center
What Does a Safer Ottawa for All Look Like?
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of "Partnership in Action" and to mark Police Week 2009 (May 10 - 16),the Ottawa Police partnered with the Ottawa Police Services Board to host a number of free "Let's Chat" Coffee Shops to Celebrate and showcase community partnerships and to invite community partners to contribute to the future direction of the Ottawa Police Service.
Over 320 people attended the four very successful coffee shops. This extensive and far reaching outreach strategy brought a diversity of participants to each coffee shop that spanned different ages, gender, race, backgrounds, and abilities to name a few. In addition, a number of comments were received online from members of the community who wanted to participate virtually through an online posting forum.
While the final report on these "Let's Chat" Coffee Shop sessions is still being put together, here's a quick summary of some of the major points raised in these community discussions:
While the full report due out at the end of the month will provide additional details and
themes from each of the coffee shops as well as a full list of comments, there are some
themes common to all four coffee shops:
1. Long Term Police Presence and Engagement: Participants commented and wrote at every coffee shop that proactive police presence and involvement is needed in our neighbourhoods to build trust and relationships between police and the community.
Some specific comments included:
a. We want our police officers to acknowledge us and say hello rather than just
driving by. We want them to go out of their police cars.
b. Police officers need to participate in our neighbourhood events and activities. Not only would this build trust and awareness when enforcement is needed, but it would decrease police calls for service.
c. Community partners requested appropriate time to build relationships with officers
who have a community-policing role before transferring them on to other duties.
d. Proactive policing needs to be recognized and valued by the police service.
2. Community Engagement and Partnerships:
It was clear that the community must take ownership and get involved in working together for a safer community for all. Partnerships remain critical especially as it relates to certain groups such as seniors, homeless, women, people with disabilities, first nations/aboriginal, and youth. In particular, participants were vocal about the need for meaningful and continued dialogue.
3. Communications and Outreach:
Participants talked about the need for enhanced communications and outreach - a key ingredient for partnerships - that utilizes recent technology in order to be able to share success stories, events and "what's working" best practices.
4. Recruiting, promoting and retaining:
Recruiting, promoting and retaining were common themes in all of the coffee shops.
a. Recruiting needs to reflect the diversity of our city;
b. Diversity in recruiting needs to also apply to promotions and be reflected
throughout the ranks.
c. There was discussion about "retention". Retention in this context is
specifically tied to issues of tenure in a position - and in particular the CPC officers,
neighbourhood officers, school resource officers and officers in units and sections that
have partnership as a core element of their work.
5. The need to focus on root causes was raised at every session:
The feedback spoke about the need to go beyond simply reacting and enforcing - to get to a point of eliminating the problem by dealing with the root cause of the issue. Examples included: poverty, housing, and violence against women in society.
Reduce your chance of being a victim!
The most recent crime statistics for the Central East Division - which includes the area covered by your Vanier CPC is available by clicking here http://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/resources/crime_analysis_statistics/index.cfm.
To help combat this increase, there are number of things you can do. A few of these defensive strategies are listed below.
*Don't leave personal identification, vehicle registration or insurance certificates or credit cards in your vehicle.
* Inscribe your vehicle registration number on the stereo system, wheel rims, tools, etc.
* Remove parcels from view.
* Never leave your keys in an unattended vehicle, even when running a quick errand.
* Always lock the doors.
* If possible, never leave your keys in the car when it is in a parking lot. Choose a lot where the attendant keeps the keys.
* Don't hide spare keys - they can be found.
* Never put your name or address on your house or car keys. This can lead the thief to your home and encourage easy access. Your vehicle registration number is sufficient. As well, keep vehicle and house keys on a separate key ring.
* Park in well lit areas with pedestrian traffic. Park your vehicle facing the street. Anyone tampering with it is more likely to be seen.
* If you have a garage, use it. Lock both the vehicle and garage.
* Consider installing anti-theft devices.
It's important to know the potential problems.