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Ottawa Police hope to shed light on service changes at info sessions

Sessions next week to talk about new policing model.

Ottawa Police are making changes to their service model.

Metro File

Ottawa Police are making changes to their service model.

There is a lot of change happening in the Ottawa Police Service, and police hope to show residents what that will look like to them at four upcoming info sessions.

Beginning next week, the sessions are expected to have a strong focus on the community policing model, said Superintendent Mark Ford, who’s heavily involved in the Service Initiative revamp of the Ottawa police.

His message on that front is there will be very little change from a civilian perspective.

“You still have your (community police officers), you still have your point of contact,” said Ford. Though some areas will see less of their community police officer than they had.

Rather than assigning them to particular neighbourhoods, they will serve several and go wherever there is a need.

Where those places in need are can change fairly quickly, said Ford. And those without a big need crime-wise won’t be forgotten.

“We are still going to maintain contact with those (communities) and work with them,” he said. “But they just may not get as much attention because we have to focus elsewhere.”

The Ottawa police are moving to a more generalist model for policing, where more officers are available for frontline police work as needed, fewer officers work at service desks, while more online options for reporting are provided.

The info sessions take place at the Nepean Sports Complex on Jan. 16, the Kanata Recreation Complex Jan. 18, the Bob MacQuarrie Rec. Complex Jan. 19 and at city hall on Jan. 25. All sessions begin at 7 p.m.

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