OACP Awards, Proudly Sponsored by ASSI
Each year, we sponsor many awards to highlight the amazing work individuals, and police services’ dedication to our communities. We had the absolute honour to sponsor the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP)’s Award of Excellence in Community Safety, Wellness, and Crime Prevention, as well as the Award of Excellence in the Advancement of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in Policing.
The recipients of the 2023 OACP Award of Excellence in Community Safety, Wellness, and Crime Prevention was Pauline Larsen and the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area in Toronto (DYBIA). This award is presented in recognition of the accomplishments of an officer and their community partners working together to improve community safety and well-being.
In recognizing that safety is paramount to a city’s success, Pauline teamed up with the Toronto Police Service to create a community-policing partnership based on empowering community members through the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a forward thinker, she identified community needs and deficiencies while coming up with innovative solutions.
The Community Engagement Team, initiated by the DYBIA and endorsed by the Toronto Police Service, have had a profound impact on the community. This program incorporated an outreach model pairing uniformed police officers with outreach workers to provide rapid response supports and intervention for crisis-situations focusing on members of society that deal with mental health, addiction, and homelessness.
This unique partnership led to new relationships among officers, outreach workers, the community, and vulnerable members of the community. Ms. Larson and the DYBIA transformed the relationship of police community relations from a polarized perspective to that of a unified team-based approach. She and her team exemplify police community partnerships and demonstrate a holistic, community-centric approach to not only public safety, but to community improvement and city building.
The recipient of the OACP 2023 Award of Excellence in the Advancement of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in Policing was Staff Sergeant Brooke McRoberts of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). This award honours an individual or organization that demonstrates exceptional commitment to achieving/advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion within their police organization and/or communities.
S/Sgt. McRoberts is an outstanding example of Indigenous leadership for her contributions to the OPP, the policing profession, and Indigenous communities. She conducts herself with humility, honesty, respect, and consistently demonstrates ways to improve training and outreach. As an Indigenous Awareness Trainer, she teaches about Indigenous people, their cultural practices, history, and ongoing issues impacting Indigenous people and communities.
As the Training and Policy Coordinator/Sergeant with the Provincial Liaison Team, she has built relationships with Indigenous communities and provided training for officers on appropriate responses to demonstrations and critical incidents potentially involving Indigenous people. In her current role as the Manager of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Team, she draws upon her experience, cultural teachings, and connections with the community to advocate for positive changes across the OPP and policing overall to increase the safety and security of Indigenous people. In her commitment to facilitating organizational learning opportunities, S/Sgt. McRoberts created an eight-session Competency Building Series on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, which provided more than 12 hours of multi-disciplinary content to OPP members.
Congratulations to this years winners!