How we work (from Strategic Plan)
Crime Prevention Ottawa believes that the best responses are informed and delivered by people from affected communities. We strive to use an anti-racist lens in all facets of our work with a focus on anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism and discrimination based on religion. We work in close collaboration with our partners to develop evidence-informed solutions, conduct research, and address issues affecting the safety of residents in Ottawa. We will stay nimble in our approach to address emerging issues in our communities.
Leveraging the Strength of the CPO Board to Build Community
The board of Crime Prevention Ottawa brings together a promising and powerful mix of key decision makers across various sectors in the city as well as influential community members. CPO strives to leverage the potential of this board to bring forward ideas, promote good practices, and create understanding across different areas of expertise and different viewpoints.
The board is mandated to have top decision makers in areas of public health, municipal politics, funding, social housing, K-12 education, policing, child protection, and emergency services. It also includes community members who are leaders in anti-black racism, various faith communities, the health and mental health sectors, and the local business community. Being an arms-length municipal body, the board also includes two city councillors. The role of the board chair is reserved for one of the councillors.
Building Broad Engagement
CPO engages a broad spectrum of community and agency stakeholders in its crime prevention initiatives. CPO listens to these stakeholders and explores existing research to identify gaps in supports that people need to live safely. We then nurture partnerships that allow for a holistic approach to address those gaps.
CPO strives to sustain collaboration between stakeholders with different viewpoints, service offerings, and priorities. We welcome difficult and productive conversations that build understanding and that centre the safety of people. CPO believes this is the most sustainable and effective way to approach crime prevention initiatives.
Approach to Project and Program Development
- Evidence informed
- CPO strives to be evidence-informed in the work that we do. For us, this means the strategies that we promote and the program elements that we incorporate have been shown by existing research to be effective in increasing safety or reducing crime.
- CPO also invests in local research to better understand the strengths and needs of the community. This research is often the starting point of future projects that CPO pursues. This research also helps draw attention to issues that may help other organizations better positioned to take action.
- Through our Speaker Series (public lectures / webinars), CPO highlights promising work in the field of crime prevention. Like the research CPO invests in, this has sparked work by other local agencies and has helped elevate conversations around issues.
- Local context and limited funding
- The programs that CPO funds and coordinates are tailored for Ottawa’s unique context. Ottawa has a robust social service sector, with agencies of all sizes bringing their expertise to benefit the local community. With CPO’s small funding budget, we seek to invest in addressing the highest need while both building community capacity and leveraging existing assets. We look for agencies who are well-positioned to address the specific need and then co-create projects to deliver services to the intended people. Wherever possible, we also look to strike partnerships with agencies who can help each other grow in capacity and service.
- CPO’s funding priorities are guided by our Reference Groups, our Board of Directors, and our research.
- Building capacity
- CPO also helps build the knowledge and capacity of Ottawa’s robust not-for-profit sector by identifying and funding training opportunities, facilitating collaboration, making connections and sharing good practices and research.
- We also help build the capacity of the general public by highlighting good practices through our Speaker Series and reports, by sharing accessible tools on our website, and by funding workshops open to the members of the public.