Over the past few decades, we have seen major changes in communities across Ontario and across Canada. The make-up of our neighbourhoods, and the needs and realities of residents, are very different than they were in past years. Police services are also evolving to reflect the needs and issues of the people they serve. Adding human rights values to the mix is an important part of this evolution.
This guide was developed following a three-year collaboration between the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the OHRC), the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board. Its goals are to share some of the lessons learned, and to encourage and support other police services in their work on human rights organizational change.
The guide looks at how organizational change can promote inclusive police services for the community, and help develop police services that promote human rights values throughout the organization.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles in the Ontario Police Services Act, which enshrines the importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police supports the work of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and its development of Human rights and policing: Creating and sustaining organizational change. In our view, the manual outlines key principles and offers a model for human rights organizational change that may be used by police services in their efforts to meet their obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and to better serve Ontario's diverse communities.
– Chief Robert Herman, Thunder Bay Police Service, President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
The Ontario Association of Police Services Boards is pleased to support Human rights and policing: Creating and sustaining organizational change. Ontario’s Police Services Act requires that police services are provided in a way that takes full cognizance of the Ontario Human Rights Code. As part of their governance responsibilities, police services boards are required to ensure adherence to this principle. This manual illustrates examples of specific actions to consider in the areas of organizational and employment practice, service delivery and training as it relates to human rights. It is a forward thinking, invaluable tool supporting the development and implementation of human rights organizational change. Police services boards and police services seeking to embark on systematic human rights organizational change will benefit from this progressive guide.
– Ontario Association of Police Services Boards
On behalf of the Toronto Police Services Board, I am pleased to support this groundbreaking document. Our Board is a proud sponsor of the Human Rights Charter Project, along with Chief Bill Blair and Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall. The project was born out of our shared vision of a police service that pays the highest attention to issues of human rights in the delivery of services and treatment of people who work for our organization. This project laid the groundwork for Human rights and policing: Creating and sustaining organizational change. The principles and best practices captured in this manual provide in-depth information on sources, systems and standards for human rights organizational change in law enforcement agencies. In seeking to develop respect for human rights values among providers of policing services, I am confident that this manual will be an invaluable tool for any law enforcement agency that wishes to embark on systematic human rights organizational change.
– Dr. Alok Mukherjee, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board
I am happy to whole-heartedly endorse the manual as I believe it represents an important step forward in the delivery of professional, inclusive police service to the citizens of Ontario. The completion of the manual is a laudable achievement, representing as it does the fruition of the dedicated efforts of a number of progressively-minded stakeholders. I am proud of the role the Toronto Police Service played, along with the Toronto Police Services Board and the OHRC, in the Human Rights Project Charter which comprises the foundational work of the manual. The next step forward is to promote the manual to the wider Ontario policing community in order that our various police services can be made aware of key principles and best practices of human rights organizational change.
– William Blair, O.O.M., Chief of Police,Toronto Police Service
The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Human rights and policing guide provides a useful framework to address human rights issues in police services of various sizes across Ontario. Our current human rights project partnership with the OHRC and Ontario Police College is evidence of our commitment. I strongly encourage other police services to pursue, as we are, the next step of implementing the recommendations contained in the guide.
– Chief Gary Smith, Windsor Police Service