FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 9,2002 8:00 p.m
CHIEF VINCE BEVAN ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE REPORT OF THE CITIZENS PANEL ON POLICING AND THE COMMUNITY
(OTTAWA) - Tonight, following the release of the Citizens Panel Report, Ottawa Police Chief Vince Bevan issued the following statement:
"We have received the report of the Citizens Panel. It is an important and valuable contribution to the public consultation process the Ottawa Police Service launched at the end of April with the publication of An Agenda for Excellence for Major Events: Police and Community Challenges.
I have already met personally with Marion Dewar, who has briefed me on the details of the Panel"s report.
I want to thank those who volunteered their time and energy to make this report possible. In particular, Marion Dewar, Kenneth Binks, Reverend Peter Coffin, Jacqueline Pelletier and Dr. Anne Squires deserve special mention. Their input and ideas are welcome by the - Ottawa Police Service.
Many of the issues we have raised for public discussion in the Agenda for Excellence for Major Events have also been identified as recommendations in the Panel"s report. I am very pleased to see this substantial degree of common ground. This foundation will provide a solid basis for planning how the Ottawa Police Service will handle upcoming major events in Ottawa such as the meetings of the G8 at the end of June.
The Panel states that trust in the police service has been affected for some in our community. For those whose trust in us has been diminished, I want to clearly state our commitment to work to re-build that trust. [Our (the Panel's) emphasis, not their's]
Policing major events in Ottawa is a concern for everyone in our community. I know the Citizens Panel agrees that ensuring the safety and security of everyone involved - demonstrators, police officers, emergency workers, community members and bystanders - is our mutual goal.
It is equally important to guarantee the democratic rights and freedoms Canadians have - the right to free speech, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly.
The_Ottawa Police Service wants to hear from everyone who is interested in the policing-- of major events- including from those on all sides of the issue - during this consultation process, before drawing any conclusions or commenting directly on any one set of recommendations. The Ottawa Police Service is currently preparing for major events in the coming months, and in the upcoming weeks, we will be able to announce further initiatives we will undertake to provide safe and secure events for everyone.”
Chief Vince Bevan is out of town at a previously scheduled official meeting. Deputy Chief Larry Hill is available for comment to the media. He can be contacted directly after the release of the report.
Released by: S/Sgt. Leo Janveau,
236-1222, ext. 5366
Deputy Chief Larry Hill,
236-1222, ext. 5581