Over the next 12 months, OJEN will tailor the Navigating Police Procedures (NPE) program for vulnerable, racialized youth audiences in Ottawa with a grant from Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO).
The NPE program was developed in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, which focused world-wide attention on racial injustice. It responds to numerous requests from our community partners to address youth concerns about police interactions.
Over the summer the two-session online program was piloted with positive response. The first session is a guided discussion that includes problem sharing and exploring perceptions of police. The second session focuses on relevant public legal information and sources of legal support, where a lawyer (and possibly a police officer) attend and answer participants’ questions.
The program is currently being tailored to meet the specific needs of our Ottawa stakeholders. In addition to delivering NPE for Ottawa youth audiences, OJEN is adapting a version for parents, youth workers and other adults who support young people. Four sessions have been confirmed to date with the possibility of more before the granting period comes to an end. The program is offered online now, however should it become possible for in-person delivery to be done safely, based on local and provincial health guidelines, OJEN will shift to an in-person delivery model.
Another major component of the grant involves training justice sector volunteers to deliver the NPE program in Ottawa. By building local capacity, OJEN hopes that the NPE program will become sustainable beyond the end of the grant.
OJEN is pleased to have this opportunity to collaborate with Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Ottawa Police Service, local lawyers and Ottawa community partners who share the common objective of fostering community safety.