Ottawa Police Service

Ottawa Police Service
Ottawa Police Service
Service de police d'Ottawa
Ottawa Police Service Logo.svg
Logo of the Ottawa Police Service.
Motto Community Service Communautaire
Agency overview
Formed 1995 (OPS), 1855 (Original)
Annual budget $237 million (2011)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Legal jurisdiction City of Ottawa
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Elected officer responsible The Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Agency executive Vern White, Chief of Police
Stations 5
Official website

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) (Service de police d'Ottawa in French) serves the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



The OPS roots come from the formation of the "Bytown Association" in 1847.[2] In 1855 Roderick Ross was the first Chief Constable for the newly formed City of Ottawa. Over time, neighbouring municipalities also formed their own police forces, including Eastview in 1913 (which became the Vanier police in 1963) and Gloucester-Nepean in 1957 (in 1964, this service split into separate Nepean and Gloucester forces). As a precursor to future amalgamations, the Vanier Police was absorbed by the Ottawa Police in 1984.

In 1995, the Ottawa, Nepean and Gloucester police forces amalgamated to form the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Service. The service area of the new force was extended to those portions of Ottawa-Carleton that had previously been policed by the Ontario Provincial Police.

The service was given its current name in 2001, to reflect the amalgamation of Ottawa-Carleton's constituent municipalities into the new City of Ottawa.[3]

Over the course of Ottawa's history, the Police forces have lost 14 officers in the line of duty.[4]


The current Chief of Police is Vern White, formerly of the Durham Regional Police Service.

The rank structure consists of the following: 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Class Constables, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Inspector, Superintendent, Chief Superintendent, Deputy Chief and the Chief of Police. The rank of Senior Constable is no longer awarded, however the rank is still in effect until the last Senior Constable retires. To have become a Senior Constable, an officer had to have had ten years service and have successfully completed the Sergeant's promotional exam.[5]

With very rare exceptions, all Police Officers receive their three-month police training and Basic Constables diploma at the Ontario Police College, located in Aylmer Ontario.

New Police Recruits are hired as 4th Class Constables, and without any training or discipline issues, can expect to reach the rank of 1st Class Constable within three years. A 1st Class Constable has a base salary pretax of approximately $73,000, not including overtime and off duty court time. This pay rate is the norm compared to other Police Services found within Ontario and generally the Ottawa Police Service falls within the top five highest paid services in the Province.

Inter-agency relationships

Security services at Parliament Hill and all embassies in Ottawa are handled by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), not the OPS. The RCMP generally do not play a role in municipal police operations in Ottawa, except in emergency situations or if they receive a request for assistance from the OPS.

The Ontario Provincial Police patrols Ottawa's main provincial highways (Highway 416 and the Queensway).

The Canadian Forces deploy their own Military Police to patrol Department of National Defence property, including CFB Ottawa. Military police officers are also sworn peace officers and have law enforcement powers outside of DND property, however they do not usually act in this capacity unless a request from the OPS is received.

The OPS provides law enforcement services at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and is also authorized to act on behalf of Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority to provide certain security services. Before the 1997 semi-privatization of Class 1 Canadian airports, these services were provided by the RCMP to Transport Canada.


OPS has five police stations and 19 community policing centres.[6]

Patrol Operations

  • East Division
  • Central Division
  • West Division

Criminal Investigative Services

  • Major Crime Section
  • Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section
  • Partner Assault Section
  • Organized Auto Theft
  • Guns and Gangs Unit
  • Fraud Section
  • Elder Abuse Section
  • General Investigative Services
  • Break and Enter Response
  • Victim Crisis Unit
  • Direct Action Response Team (DART)
  • Street Crime Unit
  • Hate Crime Unit
  • Diversity, Race and Relations Unit
  • Internet Child Exploitation Unit (ICE)
  • Drug Unit

Support Services

  • 911 Communications
  • Court Security & Temporary Custody - This section is responsible for prisoner security. The unit is staffed with police officers and special constables (Special Constable). Special Constables are sworn-in pursuant to section 53 of Police Services Act which confers Peace Officer status. Special Constables have the powers of a Police Officer when in the execution of their duties.
  • Victim Services
  • Telephone Response Unit (Call takers for minor crimes with no investigative leads)

Emergency Operations

  • Tactical Unit
  • Canine Section
  • Traffic Escort
  • Emergency Services Unit
  • Marine Unit
  • Underwater Search and Recovery Unit
  • Collision Investigation Unit

Corporate Services

  • Media Relations
  • Quartermaster
  • Planning, Performance and Analytics
  • Community Development
  • Diversity and Race Relations

Executive Services

  • Professional Standards Section
  • Corporate Communications


Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor from the Ottawa Police Service.

The majority of marked patrol vehicles deployed by the Ottawa Police Service is the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. Recently, the Dodge Charger was added to the fleet, but only a few vehicles on an experimental basis in order to determine if they would make a suitable police vehicle. The Chargers deployed by the Ottawa Police Service have the base V6 engines, and not the Hemi V8. Some other marked vehicles are the Ford Explorer and Ford Expedition.

The OPS has one fixed wing aircraft, a Cessna 206[citation needed] and various marine vehicles that patrol Ottawa waterways in the summer.

Unmarked vehicles consist of many different vehicles. While the most notable is the Chevrolet Impala, the unmarked fleet also has vehicles from almost every make, most of which are not police package vehicles. Even some minivans and a few Smart Cars are included in the unmarked fleet.

In late 2007, the OPS purchased a small group of on wheels equipped with Ford's Street Appearance Package, making the cars look more like civilian Crown Victorias. The vehicles are recognizable, however, by its police wheel covers and LED strips at the top of the front windshield and rear window.

2006 Ottawa Police Fleet:[7]

Vehicle Quantity
Ford Crown Victoria/Police Interceptor 170
Chevrolet Impala 27
Dodge Charger 4
Other sedans 158
Vans 50
SUVs/Small Trucks 44
Motorcycles 29
Trailers 17
ATVs/Snowmobiles 8
Boats 5
Aircraft 1
Specialty vehicles 6
Total 520


  • Glock pistols, tasers, batons, pepper spray, handcuffs, radios and other operation equipment requirements.

See also


External links

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