Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Rawlson King was appointed to the Ottawa Police Services Board on October 14, 2020.
Mayor Watson ceded his seat on the Board and recommended the appointment of Councillor King in his place.
The Board is an independent, civilian body established by provincial legislation to govern the Ottawa Police Service. The Board represents community interests and is accountable to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.
Before his election, Councillor King served as co-chair of the Ottawa Police Service Community Equity Council, which provides advice and insight to the police on ways to improve and strengthen the relationships between the Ottawa Police Service and the many Indigenous, faith-based and racialized communities and organizations in Ottawa.
After his election, Council unanimously recommended on June 10, 2020 that Councillor King be appointed as Council Liaison for Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Relations Initiatives. He is prepared to bring the insights from this mandate to the Ottawa Police Services Board. As Council Liaison, he works at the elected level to develop and implement change to eliminate systemic racism in the Corporation of the City of Ottawa.
Elected Ottawa’s first-ever Black city councillor in a historic by-election held April 2019, Councillor King was successful in securing funding for the creation of an Anti-Racism Secretariat at the City of Ottawa on behalf of the wider community. The Police Services Board directed the Police Service in June 2020 to establish a partnership with the City of Ottawa Anti-Racism Secretariat to ensure that it considers leading practices to address systemic racism.
Councillor King will work to enhance a sustained commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity and to address the challenge of systemic racism at the Ottawa Police Service through his new position on the Police Services Board.