On February 24, 2011 the Windsor Police Service, Windsor Police Services Board, Ontario Human Rights Commission, and Ontario Police College launched the Human Rights Project Charter(Project) to address policing and human rights issues. The main objective of the Project was to develop and implement initiatives aimed at identifying, eliminating, and preventing any possible discrimination in the Windsor Police Service’s employment practices and service delivery.
Over a three year period, the Project looked at the Service’s existing policies and programs, and developed strategies to help the Service and the Board address human rights concerns. Four Project subcommittees were developed to address key areas: Recruitment, Selection, Promotion and Retention, Accountability, Public Liaison, and Accommodation. Four groups were developed to support the subcommittees and carry out key Project functions: Training, Evaluation, Project Communication, and Research.
The Windsor Police Service is committed to working in community partnerships to identify, eliminate, and prevent any possible discrimination in its employment practices and its service delivery to Windsor’s diverse community.
The WPS HRP has implemented policies and procedures and strategies to ensure the work of the Project continues in the coming years. For example, the review process of Service Directives requires all policies and procedures, which are reviewed at least once every three years, are reviewed with a human rights lens to ensure they are clear and consistent and do not conflict with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The census policy will ensure the service conducts a census on a regular basis to evaluate the Service’s progress toward being reflective and representative of the community it serves.
While the Service has already seen the impact of the Project in the recruitment of female police officers, it is anticipated the full impact of the Service’s recruitment initiatives will not be evident for a few years. There are initiatives focusing on high school students who would not be eligible for employment for some years. As well, as members from marginalized or racialized groups are hired, it takes time for them to move through the ranks to diversify the upper ranks of the Service.
The inclusion of human rights themes through all WPS training and the requirement to monitor training programs to ensure that human rights issues are being addressed on an ongoing basis, will assist WPS members to provide services to the public without discrimination.
An analysis of the Project will be undertaken in the upcoming months to evaluate the Project activities, provide recommendations and future directions to consider. The WPS is currently in the process of establishing a partnership with an external organization to conduct the final evaluation of the Project. Once the evaluation is complete the report will be made available to the public.