Hamilton Police Seek Community Advisors for Race and Identity-Based Data Strategy

Community Advisory Committee Twitter-JAN31

Hamilton Police are inviting individuals to join its Community Advisory Panel to advise on the development of a Race and Identity-Based Data Strategy (RIBD).

The RIBD strategy is focused on understanding and addressing police impact on racial inequalities, including differences in outcomes like use of force among racial groups, internal policies, and training practices.

"As Chief, I cannot stress enough the value of community involvement in shaping our Race and Identity-Based Data strategy. The establishment of a Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is a pivotal move towards better transparency and accountability,” said Chief Frank Bergen.

In 2020, Ontario's Ministry of the Solicitor General directed police to record the race of individuals in use-of-force incidents. This revealed a higher incident rate in communities such as Black, South East Asian, and Middle Eastern compared to benchmark populations. Guided by human rights and trauma-informed principles, Hamilton Police are developing a strategy for Race and Identity Based Data Collection (RIBD) in line with the 2017 Anti-Racism Act (ARA).

“It's crucial that community members bring their perspectives, expertise and lived-experience, to guide us in analyzing critical data on issues like use of force. Their input is not just welcome – it is essential for ensuring this approach is fair, effective, and truly reflective of the community's needs,” added Bergen.

The Community Advisory Panel will consist of 8-10 volunteer members who will play a key role in shaping the RIBD strategy. Their task is to infuse the strategy with perspectives, insights, and viewpoints to ensure it is well-rounded and actionable.

Interested individuals can apply to the Community Advisory Panel at www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca/RIBD. Applicants will be asked to fill out a survey application. Based on the weighted survey and diversity of the pool, successful applicants will be invited to a panel interview made up of community and Hamilton Police members. The procedure for setting up the Community Advisory Panel has undergone examination by two independent academic experts from McMaster.

Who Should Join?

  • Individuals passionate about data, social justice and community service.
  • Those with experience in human rights, procedural justice, and race and identity issues (i.e. racism, trauma, bias).
  • Individuals with a diversity of perspective and representative of all backgrounds and positionalities (including; but not limited to, race, ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, citizenship, and socio-economic status).  
  • Community members eager to contribute to positive change in policing and public safety.

The Race and Identity-Based Data (RIBD) Strategy will assist the Hamilton Police Service to better understand and address racial disparities. It will also help the Service to identify ways to better support members in their delivery of fair and equitable service.

Hamilton Police will be holding a Race and Identity Based Community Information Session to learn more about the RIBD framework, the Community Advisory Panel and the path forward. The event will take place at the following date and location:

Date: February 21, 2024

Time: 5:00pm-8:00pm

Location: Courtyard by Marriott, 1224 Upper James Street, Hamilton

Registration is free and dinner will be provided.

“We are deeply committed to this collaboration, recognizing that only by working together can we address and rectify racial disparities in policing," said Bergen.