“Saskatchewan’s successes continued to attract a lot of interest in Ontario -- among police services, other human services organizations and municipalities. At the same time, the still emerging work of the province’s multi-stakeholder Future of Policing Advisory Committee (FPAC), and Ontario’s contributions to a national FPT Economics of Policing – Shared Forward Agenda strategy, continued to reinforce the value of collaborative approaches to community safety and new forms of metrics for policing within this context.”
From Russell and Taylor: New Directions in Community Safety: Consolidating Lessons Learned about Risk and Collaboration 2014
Addressing community safety and well-being in Canada’s most populous province comes with its own unique challenges. For its 13.5 million residents, concepts of ‘community’ range from densely populated inner cities, to expansive suburbs and tranquil semi-rural tracts, to vast, sparsely populated and resource-rich wildernesses. Common to all of these, however, is the reality that indicators of health, mental wellness, education and safety tend to cluster together, greatly favouring some while leaving far too many behind in every category. Ontario is also Canada’s most diverse province. Almost one third of Ontarians are foreign born, and in some parts of the Greater Toronto Area, that proportion is expected to grow to 70% over the next decade, bringing a host of settlement issues and contributing to increasing economic disparities.
Chief Matthew Torigian, then-President OACP, writing in A Framework for Action 2012
One of the most promising features of the discussions underway in Ontario is the strong sense of common cause that is growing rapidly across multiple sectors. While the health system is rapidly expanding its Health Links initiatives, built upon the recognition that a mere 5% of clients consume upwards of 60% of health services and expenditures, police and justice officials are following their own data, and finding that it is leading them to many of these same doorsteps. Similarly, the social services, mental health and education systems are pursuing initiatives designed to enhance their own service connections and improve outcomes among many of the same households and neighbourhoods.
All of these sectors are discovering new ways of carefully sharing information and insights about those with the greatest needs for services and supports, while respecting individual rights to privacy. In turn, a more comprehensive understanding of the ways in which multiple risk factors tend to compound in people’s lives will lead to more integrated and system-wide solutions.
WHEREAS the Future of Policing Crime Prevention Working Group recommended that the provincial government mandate responsibility for a Community Safety Plan to municipalities that would set clear goals and objectives, outcomes and performance metrics and provide for the collaboration and integration between community safety service providers, local government, police and community organizations in the delivery of services, and
WHEREAS the [Ontario Working Group on Collaborative, Risk-Driven Community Safety (OWG), a sub-committee of the OACP Community Safety & Crime Prevention Committee] designed a prototype Community Safety and Well-being Planning Framework (the Framework) that provides a strategy to develop Community Safety Plans as a means to better respond to crime, increase crime prevention strategies and promote emerging evidence-based approaches to improve community safety and well-being, and
WHEREAS the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee is committed to promoting the Framework as an effective, efficient, and responsive approach to local needs and priorities that harnesses the strengths of our communities and public safety partners.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police calls on the Government of Ontario to mandate Community Safety Plans in the Municipal Act.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police calls on the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to develop complementary community safety planning tools and to support communities as they implement their local Community Safety Plan.