Board Hires Subject-Matter Expert to Support its Anti-Black Racism and Building Community Trust Committee
The York Regional Police Services is pleased to announce that Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah joins its Anti-Racism and Building Community Trust Committee as its subject-matter expert.
Dr. Owusu-Bempah will provide strategic guidance, expertise, and advice to the Committee and support the development of the final report, implementation plan and presentation to the Board at its June meeting.
Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, an Affiliate Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a Sr. Fellow at Massey College. Professor Owusu-Bempah's work examines the intersections of race, crime and criminal justice, with a particular focus on the area of policing. He has extensive experience working with law enforcement and police agencies to address equity and diversity issues from within the policing structure. He served as a Policing Standards Development Officer with Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He also sat as a member of the Toronto Police Service Black Community Police Consultative Committee.
In 2016, Dr. Owusu-Bempah was appointed as a member of Ontario's Office of the Independent Police Review Directorate's Use of Force Systemic Review. He also provided guidance and conducted research for Justice Michael Tulloch's Independent Review of Police Street Checks in Ontario. In 2018, he was appointed as a member of the Toronto Police Service's Board Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, formed due to the Coroner’s Inquiry into the police shooting death of Andrew Loku in Toronto.
The Board’s Anti-Black Racism and Building Community Trust Committee was formed in July 2021 to address recommendations to the Board by Black community leaders in York Region with respect to eradicating anti-Black racism and strengthening public trust and confidence in policing. The Committee consists of two Board members, Mrs. Norma McCullough and Mr. Walter Perchal; two members of York Regional Police (Retired) Superintendent Chris Bullen and Staff Sergeant Kolin Alexander; and two members of the community Jerisha Grant-Hall, founder and Chair of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) and Gary Thompson, engineer and long-time member of the YRP Police Community Advisory Council including past Chair.
The Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board is a seven-member civilian Board that oversees the York Regional Police and is comprised of one member as Head of Municipal Council, three members are appointed by resolution of Regional Council and three by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Contact: Mafalda Avellino, Executive Director, Police Services Board,
1-877-464-9675 ext. 77906 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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