From the outside at least, Uday Jaswal looks like a great new resource as deputy chief of the Ottawa Police Service.
Jaswal is a former Ottawa police officer and was the chairman of the Youth Services Bureau. As well, Jaswal was deputy chief of the Durham Regional Police Service.
And let’s discuss the elephant in the room … Jaswal is a person of colour. Good. We’ve seen racial tensions well up in this community, particularly directed at the Ottawa Police Service. The optics of the hiring say the OPS does not discriminate.
The YSB background is very helpful. Old men rarely show up at gang meetings where guns are present and being fired around the city. Maybe Jaswal can change the OPS’s top down strategy on dealing with gangs (more officers) and get the service more intertwined in communities from the bottom up. People in troubled neighbourhoods are reluctant to talk to the police for fear of retribution by gun-toting gangs. Officers must be in a situation where community members feel safe to talk to the OPS. That means less time in cars and more time in neighbourhoods.
Jaswal has his work cut out for him. Relations between the boots on the ground and the police executive have never been worse.
Damning recordings of questionable authenticity have further stirred the pot on that score.
Jaswal has his work cut out for him.
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