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Committed to Community Safety & Well-beingA MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENTBy Chief Nishan Duraiappah When you got into policing, what were your prime motives for choosing law enforcement as a career? For me, an important motivator was the desire to do something – that would make a difference – that would have a positive impact on the world around me. I suspect that many of you would echo that sentiment.Throughout my policing career, there have been highs and lows, challenges, opportunities and many experiences in my professional and personal life that have influenced this journey. As police leaders, we need to constantly ask ourselves – whether as individuals or as members of the police – if we are “making a difference,” especially as our police profession navigates evolving community safety needs.When I started out as a new cadet in December 1995, the world was a very different place. Policing was different, too. However, many of the issues we are dealing with today haven’t really changed. For example, we are still wrestling with how to deliver effective public safety services in an efficient manner that respects taxpayers’ investments in their police organizations while supporting the important work of our frontline officers and our civilian personnel. As a result, we have evolved our policing approach to addressing these long-standing issues.Over the last few years, I’ve worked with senior police executives from across Ontario, Canada and the world through the OACP, the CACP, the IACP, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and other policing groups. I have grown increasingly convinced that the concepts of safety and well-being are critical if we are to achieve success in today’s world.Dedication to Commitment Anyone who knows me or has heard me speak has probably heard me emphasize the need to ensure that community safety and well-being be the foundation for all we do. Whether we are talking about multi-sector partnerships or taking care of our own people, we need to do so while ensuring people feel safe and respected for who they are and what they do. That means every encounter with an individual is an opportunity to make a positive impact. These are opportunities to make individual lives and communities better. When it comes to our police members, those in both formal and informal roles of leadership must care about their people’s professional, physical and mental well-being.The concept of accountability can sometimes have a negative context, but in my view, it’s another word for commitment – Commitment to each other within policing and commitment to the communities we serve. As our work continues to evolve, we are compelled to ensure our people feel supported in every aspect of their work and that we continue to invest in them in order to meet our profession’s expectation of high standards.OACP members are looked to by Ontarians to be community leaders and advocates. As we know, our job is not just to enforce the law. It’s also about finding innovative public safety solutions that are co-owned with community partners. In this issue of H.Q. magazine, you can see what some of these leaders are doing to make community safety and well-being become a reality, making vibrant police organizations real, tangible things.I’m pleased to share with readers what my own organization is doing when it comes to the concept of community safety and well-being. This issue also features what the Wikwemikong Police Service is doing to promote culturally-based and trauma-informed workplace wellness, how Halton Regional Police Service is fighting workplace harassment, the ways in which the Toronto Police Service is addressing the important issue of race- and identity-based data collection and the lessons learned by Barrie Police Service as they navigate the world of evidence-based policing.All these articles – and others on our H.Q. magazine website oacp.fthinker.ca – point to the importance that OACP members place on community safety and police member wellness. Throughout 2023, I anticipate that these two issues will remain critical for all police leaders in Ontario. I know OACP members are up for the challenge.Nishan Duraiappah is Chief of Police of Peel Regional Police. In 2022-23, he served as President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.