FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition welcomes plans to restructure the Community and Police Action Committee (COMPAC) to better represent Ottawa’s diverse communities.
(Ottawa, October 13, 2017) The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition (Coalition) welcomes the news of plans to restructure the Community and Police Action Committee (COMPAC) in order to better represent and serve the needs of Ottawa’s diverse communities. The Coalition endorses the key recommendations made by COMPAC’s leadership group and urges they be implemented in a timely fashion.
Since the untimely death of Abdirahman Abdi in July 2016, the Coalition has been unwavering in its calls for change to community engagement practices by the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). In August 2016, the Coalition submitted a list of key issues and recommendations to improve policing in Ottawa. Among the recommendations was a call urging the OPS to turn to sincere and consistent engagement with Ottawa’s diverse communities and to reassess the current structures in place to engage the community.
“The absence of an effective and formal police feedback mechanism for our communities remains one of our most crucial concerns” said Farhia Ahmed, Chairperson of the Justice for Abdirahman coalition. “We are pleased to see that our recommendations are being implemented and we view this announcement as a positive step towards developing a community advisory body that can build trust and confidence in policing, especially with the communities who need it most” says Ahmed.
The Coalition is encouraged to learn that COMPAC plans to conduct a transparent, public process to establish a mandate and goals that better reflect the needs of the residents it serves. The Coalition is committed to closely engaging in this process and will seek to ensure that the voices of the Ottawa residents who are adversely affected by certain policing practices are conveyed and well represented. The Coalition calls on all city stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity, and to join in building a community advisory group that represents and serves the needs of Ottawa’s many diverse communities.
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Justice for Abdirahman Coalition
The Justice for Abdirahman (JFA) Coalition (“the Coalition”) is a group formed within days of Mr. Abdi’s death. The Coalition is based in Ottawa and supported by local and national advocacy groups. The Coalition’s objectives are to obtain greater transparency, challenge racial inequity, increase support for mental health needs and bring positive change to our law enforcement institutions. The Coalition asserts that fairness, transparency and accountability in our law enforcement institutions are critical to ensuring all of our safety and security.