Ontario’s police leaders have endorsed the work of a multi-police service group working collaboratively towards the goal of creating police workplaces that are psychologically safe and respectful for all police service employees.
The Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) will support the work of the policing group to explore and address shared culture issues within law enforcement workplaces, including workplace harassment and discrimination.
“This topic was added to the OACP Board’s agenda during our 2022 Annual Conference in order to encourage police services across the province to continue this joint effort to address serious workplace issues,” said OACP Executive Director Jeff McGuire. “We are pleased to see the commitment of police leaders to support the work that has already been done by the working group and assist in moving the project forward.
Toronto Police Service (TPS) Chief of Police James Ramer, a member of the OACP Board, added, “The issues experienced by some members appear to be sector-wide and require sector-based solutions. This is why, in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), we – with the endorsement of the OACP – have initiated the establishment of a committee called the Working Group on Respectful Workplaces in Policing, with 16 other police services across the province.”
Established in November 2021, the multi-service group is working collaboratively to create safer law enforcement workplaces that are psychologically safe and respectful for all police employees, both sworn officers, and civilian members. The working group’s preliminary insights and recommendations for moving forward were presented in a White Paper authored by the Bernardi Centre, the training arm of Bernardi Human Resource Law LLP, a human resource law firm with extensive experience working with police agencies across the province.
The OACP committed to sharing information and encouraging greater collaboration on the issues being addressed by the working group. The OACP has made the group’s Terms of Reference and the Bernardi white paper available on its website. Please visit, Respectful Workplaces in Policing Working Group on its website, www.oacp.ca.
According to OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique, who is also a member of the OACP Board, the OPP is proud to co-lead the working group with TPS and in partnership with police services across Ontario as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to develop new measures focused on supporting a workplace culture of respect, dignity, and inclusion.
“A healthy workplace is one in which respect, equity, inclusion, and leadership form the foundation for how we interact with one another and of what we do each day,” said Commissioner Carrique. “We are committed to making meaningful changes and taking measurable steps to ensure that workplace policies, procedures, practices, and most importantly, our actions reflect principles of equity, respect, and fairness for all, and support an organizational culture of inclusivity – our members expect it and the people of Ontario deserve it.”
The working group will continue to meet regularly over the coming months to develop shared approaches and responses.