Ottawa Police Decline Under Charles Bordeleau Linked to Crime Wave

Ottawa will remember 2016, in recent history, as its most violent year. Twenty-four homicides were recorded in 2016, an increase of over 200 percent compared to the seven of the previous year. This puts the homicide rate at 2.6. The reason remains shrouded in mystery.

The ease of accessing information related to this effect is further obscured by the recent trends in police leadership where avoidance and active denial create a divide that widens through the executive down to the various ranks and the public.

A poke into the internal moral police service members endure among the ranks revealed that racism, sexism, and high sexual assault rate are still some of the burning unaddressed issues. The hue and cry can be summed up into three distinct categories – dwindling organizational performance, the displeasure of employee, and how these impacts on officers and the safety of the public in Ottawa.

Across all professions, unfair treatment, discrimination, inequity, and outright abuse without an effective complaint and redress mechanism leads to the plunge of an employee’s productivity and self-esteem. It is possible that some employees will rise above the negatives – but only for a relatively short period. Others will put in suboptimal performance as stress management techniques.

This quantitative and qualitative correlation between employee satisfaction, job satisfaction and productivity and performance of an organization is enshrined in organizational behavior and social science. In the RCMP, this link has been extensively studied by Carleton University’s Linda Duxbury.

When the police begin to vent anger and unsocial behaviors among some of their colleagues, it is unlikely that same will not translate to the general public.  There have been various calls for the reform of RCMP including the report by David Brown in 2007. After many failed attempts, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission’s Ian McPhail had this to say, “If… over 15 reports and hundreds of recommendations for reform have produced any lessons it is that the RCMP is not capable of making the necessary systematic changes of its own accord.”

It is high time the Ottawa Police Service come to terms with the reality that the reality that there is a strong correlation between the crime rates and state of our communities and the deterioration and breakdown of the Ottawa Police Services.

An organization is nothing but a group of people bound under a common philosophy. This cohesion can become a barrier on strictly dealing with a few bad eggs. This is more so when the organization’s philosophy has been depraved by the senior ranks leading to tolerance of misconduct that clearly does not conform to the organization’s philosophy.

In a frantic effort to redeem their image, the OPS has enacted various public complaint channels including the recent task by Chief Bordeleau which directed call centre staff to “strongly encourage” the public to utilize online crime reporting tools. However, these processes have been made hard to access leading to fewer complaints.

Societal improvement and progress are not achieved only by maintaining law and order but also through access to justice and fair treatment for the public. Just like ineffective policing cannot be tolerated, the police should not also block the road to justice.


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