Ottawa Police Service

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

Ottawa Police Service
Service de police d'Ottawa  (French)
MottoCommunity Service Communautaire
Agency overview
Formed1995 (OPS), 1855 (original)
Annual budget$330 million (2018)
Legal jurisdictionCity of Ottawa
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
Sworn members1387
Unsworn members600
Elected officer responsible
  • Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Agency executive


The OPS' roots come from the formation of the "Bytown Association" in 1847.[1] 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 were 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.[2]

Over the course of Ottawa's history, the police forces have had 14 officers killed in the line of duty.[3]


The chief of police is Peter Sloly, formerly deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service. [4]

The rank structure consists of the following:

  • 4th class constable
  • 3rd class constable
  • 2nd class constable
  • 1st class constable
  • Sergeant
  • Staff sergeant
  • Inspector
  • Superintendent
  • Deputy chief
  • 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 diplomas 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 $96,000, 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 the parliamentary district in Ottawa are handled by the Parliamentary Protective Service[6] (PPS) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), not the OPS. The RCMP generally do not play a role in municipal police operations in Ottawa, however many of their Ottawa based members have received special constable status by OPS which grants them the same provincial enforcement powers as an OPS officer.

The Ontario Provincial Police patrol 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.

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.

In April 2007, the Ottawa Police Services Board granted special constable status to transit law enforcement officers employed by the City of Ottawa Transit Services (OC Transpo). OPS works in partnership with transit special constables who provide many front-line supplemental police services in cooperation with the Ottawa Police.

In the same way, some of the safety forces of Carleton University are sworn as special constables and hold limited police powers on campus grounds.


The OPS has five police stations and 19 community policing centres.[7]

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
  • Diversity, race and relations unit
  • Internet child exploitation unit (ICE)
  • Drug unit
  • Forensic identification section
  • Human Trafficking and Offender Management (Human Trafficking, Missing Persons, Sex Offender Registry, Dangerous/Long Term Offender, Threat Evaluation and Offender Management, Major Case Management/ViClas)

Support services

  • 911 communications
  • Court security and temporary custody: this section is responsible for prisoner security. The unit is staffed with police officers and special constables. 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
  • Imaging services unit

Emergency operations

  • Tactical unit
  • Canine section
  • Traffic escort
  • Emergency services unit
  • Marine unit
  • Underwater search and recovery unit
  • Collision investigation unit
  • Airport policing section (protective policing services) at Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport

Corporate services

  • Media relations
  • Quartermaster
  • Planning, performance and analytics
  • Community development
  • Diversity and race relations

Executive services

  • Professional standards section
  • Corporate communications


The majority of marked patrol vehicles deployed by the Ottawa Police Service are Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, in 2012 the Ford Taurus was added to the fleet to become the new majority of the marked patrol vehicles. The Ford Tauruses deployed by the Ottawa Police Service have the police interceptor package and offer a choice of V-6s: a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 and an EcoBoost turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. Both are promised to produce more power in police trim than their respective civilian forms of 265 hp for the unboosted motor and 365 for the twin-turbo EcoBoost. Some other marked vehicles are the Ford Explorer and Ford Expedition. The Ford Interceptor Utility, which is similar to the Ford Explorer, is primarily used for two-officer patrols while most of the Ford Expedition are equipped for and used by the tactical unit.

The OPS has one fixed wing aircraft, a Cessna 206[8] and various marine vehicles that patrol Ottawa waterways in the summer.

The OPS use many different unmarked vehicles. While the most numerous is the Chevrolet Impala, the unmarked fleet also has vehicles from almost every make, most of which are not police package vehicles. Black Dodge Caravans and a few Smart Cars are included in the unmarked fleet.

In late 2007, 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 their police wheel covers and LED strips at the top of the front windshields and rear windows.

In February 2012, OPS ordered a total of 58 Ford Police Interceptors based on the new Taurus platform to replace the discontinued Ford Crown Victoria variant. The total cost for the units came to $1,621,596. The new vehicles were deemed necessary to replace current vehicles over three years old or with 160,000 km use.[9] The requirement for replacement of marked general patrol vehicles in 2014 is projected to be a total of 37 vehicles (36 sedans and 1 utility). The 2014 replacement vehicles purchased under this request will actually be the 2015 model. The cost of 37 police package vehicles is estimated to be $1,016,601 including taxes. OPS vehicles that are at the end of their lifecycles are sent to public auction and the proceeds are used to help fund the vehicle replacement program.[10]

Replacement of marked general patrol vehicles[11]

Year Number of vehicles
2009 57
2010 40
2011 58
2012 58
2013 60
Proposed 2014 37

2007 Ottawa Police fleet:[12]

Vehicle Quantity
Ford Crown Victoria (patrol) 147
Ford Taurus 58 [9]
Chevrolet Impala 28
Other sedans 148
Vans 49
SUVs/trucks 38
Boats 5
Motorcycles 29
Snowmobiles 4
ATVs 4
Trailers 16
Specialty vehicles 6
Prisoner transport 3
Ford Crown Victoria (non-patrol) 18
Dodge Charger 1
Ford Expedition
Total 554


  • Glock 22 pistols, Colt C8 carbines, Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 shotguns,[13] X26 tasers, batons, pepper spray, handcuffs, radios and other operational equipment requirements. Many divisions within OPS carry tasers including the tactical unit, DART, as well as many front line patrol officers.[14] Most marked Ottawa Police patrol vehicles are also equipped with automated external defibrillators in the trunk of their car.[15]

See also


  1. "Our History—Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa". Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  2. "Timeline—Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa". Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  3. "Officers Killed on Duty—Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa". Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  4. "Chief Profile—Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa <". Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  5. "Organizational Structure—Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa". Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  6. "Establishment of the Parliamentary Protective Service" (PDF). Parliament of Canada. June 25, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  7. "Site Map—Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa". Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  8. Transport Canada (June 3, 2015). "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register". Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  9. "Purchase of Police Package Vehicles - 2012". Ottawa Police Service.
  10. Director General Frazer (July 28, 2014). "Purchase of Police Package Vehicles - 2014". Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service.
  11. Director General Frazer (July 28, 2014). "Purchase of Police Package Vehicles - 2014". Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service.
  12. "Audit of Ottawa Police Service Fleet - 2007 Report" (PDF). City of Ottawa - Office of the Auditor General.
  13. "Ottawa police will shoot to kill". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  14. "Ottawa police chief wants to arm more officers with Tasers". Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  15. "Detailed City of Ottawa public access defibrillator site list". City of Ottawa. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
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