Agency Executive: Chief of Police Stephen J. Tanner
Headquarters: Halton Region – Ontario, Canada
One Vision, One Mission, One Team
COLLABORATIVE STRATEGIES ADDRESSING CONTEMPORARY ISSUES
The Halton Regional Police Service is widely known as one of the most progressive community policing services in Canada. It is recognized for award-winning programs reaching out to partner with over 500,000 people in the diverse communities it serves.
With a Service of over 1,000, the police officers work in tandem with private citizens for creative ways to solve contemporary community problems. By forging strong links with the communities through Community Mobilization Bureaus, the police service has enhanced communication through ongoing relationships between its officers and the public.
“In Halton, we have some of the best officers this country has serving our community – from which our reputation is built. We boast low crime rates and safety ratings ahead of any other municipality our size in Canada,” Halton Police Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah said. “We, with key partners must keep our region ahead of the curve and further galvanize our local environment to keep us apart from the broad complex issues elsewhere. We have chosen to not wait, but to push boundaries on our existing activates to new standards. Our efforts to enhance and develop new innovative programs are the key. We have chosen to not do this alone. Where possible bring non-police contributors into the development, delivery of our programs and initiatives.” he added.
IDENTIFYING MUTUAL PRIORITIES
During the past year, a number of world events have placed members of Halton’s mosaic of communities at heightened levels of vulnerability. The increased community mobilization efforts have significantly contributed to identifying mutual priorities and collaborative strategies to address risks while increasing protective factors. As a result, the police bolstered service responses to those who felt potentially vulnerable to retaliatory acts to increase residents’ feelings of safety, support and inclusivity. Support included crime prevention seminars, security audits, public support and heightened levels of patrol.
The Service have also put in place a Halton Newcomer Efforts program, to provide multi-sectoral support for newcomers to the Halton Region, including incoming Syrian refugees.
Back in 2015, the Halton Regional Police Service underwent a comprehensive review on deliverables in the area of diversity and inclusivity across its communities. The intent was to enhance service aptitude in the areas of aboriginal and First Nations matters, responding to changes in demands based on generations, enhancing anti-racism strategies, building cultural competency, LGBTQ work and other diversity and inclusion skills.
Collaborative efforts were supported through a Regional Diversity Engagement Forum. As part of this, leaders were consulted in all areas of police service delivery through business planning consultations and surveys. During feedback sessions, effectiveness was measured and mutual priorities were identified that spawned new diversity and inclusion education programs, partnerships and training.
BOLSTERING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEMBERS
Diversity partners contributed in creating and delivering the curriculum with a focus on creating organized concepts. Programs implemented in 2016:
- Employer Partner of Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)
- New Members Training (Recruits): Designed to provide a competent understanding of importance of concepts. It consists of discussion panels, case studies, and guest lecturers provided by the local settlement agency and service users.
- Training Officers (Recruit Coach Officers): Officers attend two day learning session and an annual one day symposium on best practices in the area of Diversity and Inclusion. It is accompanied regular training modules built by community partners.
- Career Long Training: Involves implementing strategic training for all members which is specific to Cultural Competency, Diversity and Inclusion and Bias Awareness training.
COLLABORATIVE STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS CONTEMPORARY ISSUES
Policing has undergone a complicated evolution resulting in the need to understand that global events have reverberating impacts on local safety and wellness. Through collaborative discussions an immediate organizational need to develop localized responses to prevent secondary harm to those events was identified. In 2016, there were a number of world events which placed members of Halton’s diverse communities at heightened levels of vulnerability. HRPS responses relied on identification of mutual priorities and collaborative strategies to address risks while increasing protective factors for priority populations. This plan was utilized a number of times:
- Enhanced Service Response to Prevent Vulnerability: Delivered in consultation with those who felt potentially vulnerable to retaliatory acts. Feelings were based on perceived faith or cultural connections to persons identified as responsible for worldwide acts of hate or terrorism. Supports included crime prevention seminars, security audits, public support and heightened levels of patrol. Over 100 officers devoted to these efforts designed to increase feelings of safety, support and inclusivity.
- Multi Faith Support Team (MFST): The MFST is a resource to our members and gives them tools to handle situations, and make them more knowledgeable of the communities we serve.
- Diversity Engagement Forums: Involves members of our services meeting with community partners from all areas of the community to learn more about how we can serve better and meet their needs.
- Youth Leadership Programs: Police Ethnic And Cultural Education (PEACE) is designed as a youth leadership program that teaches young members of our community about our community. It is through this interaction that police are able to strengthen relationships with members of the community to make a positive difference. Members taking in part in ‘Youth in Action,’ a Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton program, that further provides an opportunity for members to strengthen relationships in our diverse communities.