Race and Identity Based Data Collection Action Plan

A multi coloured puzzle wheelBook a Presentation

Are you interested in the WRPS Race and Identity Based Data Collection Action Plan presentation for your non-profit group?

A one-hour long presentation will include:

  • Defining Systemic Racism
  • Ontario Human Rights and the Anti -Racism Directorate
  • Race and Identify Based Data Collection Action Plan – Waterloo Region

If your organization does not have a meeting space, WRPS is able to provide meeting room space at our North Division.

Click here to request a presentation.

Past Presentations

 Race and Identity Based Data Mini Conference (January 24, 2024)
 Race and Identity Based Data Community Presentation (April 18, 2024)

Community Engagement

Community Collaboratives

The overarching goal of Community Collaboratives are to develop mutual understanding, trust, and partnership between the police and community groups represented in the data, as well as anyone in Waterloo Region with interest in this work. Importantly, the engagement sessions are an opportunity for community members (of all diversities and identities) to speak candidly about their lived experiences and challenges and to identify opportunities on how the police could make improvements to programs and services. The community engagements support an integrated community-based approach to addressing issues related to systemic racism.

  • May 29, 2024 
    • 15 International Village Drive, Cambridge, ON N1R 7M5
  • June 13, 2024 
    • Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, 101 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo, ON N2L 0B4July 30, 2024 - Virtual Event
  • More details coming soon

Community Action Panel

Those with specific interest in coming together on a regular basis are encouraged to attend the Community Collaboratives and work side-by-side with the police and community to listen, learn, and reflect on the experiences of the community as it relates to interactions that mandate race and identity based data collection. A call for applications is coming in May 2024. More details are coming soon.

As common themes and frameworks emerge, operating independently, the Community Action Panel will develop a Terms of Reference for the engagement. 

Academic Partnerships

Lorne Foster
Lorne Foster

Lorne Foster is Professor at the School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA), York University; and the Director of the Institute for  Social Research (ISR), which is a leading university-based survey research centre in Canada. He also holds the York Research Chair in Black Canadian Studies & Human Rights (Tier 1). Dr. Foster has collaborated with communities and organizations in the not-for-profit, private, and wider public sectors on various equity initiatives; and has consulted extensively on anti-racism, human rights and equity issues. He has consulted with local, national, and international governments. His numerous books and research focus on human rights and public policy linkages related to the area of race and ethnicity.

Les Jacobs 

Les Jacobs is Vice-President, Research & Innovation at Ontario Tech University and Professor Emeritus at York University where  he held the York Research Chair in Human Rights and Access to Justice. He was also founding Director of the York Centre for Public Policy and Law and Executive Director of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, housed at Osgoode Hall Law School. Dr. Jacobs is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, appointed in 2017, in recognition of being one of the world’s leading experts on large scale empirical research projects on human rights and access to justice involving data science, and more broadly innovative theoretical contributions to social justice and large-scale applications of data science in the social sciences.


Frequently Asked Questions

 1. Why do you collect race- and identity-based data?

In 2018, Ontario legislated the Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism. This legislation implores government institutions to collect race- and identity-based data as a method to eradicate systemic racism.

At WRPS, the RIBDCS assesses whether racial disparities exist in police data. If disparities do exist, we can investigate those trends further to assess how to eliminate systemic racism.

2. When do you collect this data?

We have been collecting RIBD since 2020. We collect this data in four selected interactions: Use of Force incidents, Search of Persons in Custody, Intelligence Notes, and Regulated Interactions. Each of these interactions has a corresponding form where officers can provide data on perceived race.

3. What is perceived race?

Officers do not ask individuals in police interactions to racially self-identify. As a result, they can only provide “perceived race” data, based on their own perception of the individual’s racial identity. When investigating systemic racism, we are focused on whether there are trends in how officers perceive individuals and any impacts on their outcomes.

4. Who is part of the Race- and Identity-Based Data Collection Strategy (RIBDCS)?

The Strategic Services and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Branches both support the RIBDCS. Members from these branches are experts in data analysis and EDI, respectively.


The work in this strategy is supported by our academic partners, Dr. Les Jacobs and Dr. Lorne Foster, who are both human rights experts and have supported similar strategies in police services across Ontario.

5. How do we know the data is being entered in accurately?

All officers receive training on how to fill out forms, including how to fill out the perceived race section. Additionally, forms are reviewed by Sergeants in corresponding divisions to ensure everything is being filled out correctly.

Since WRPS started collecting RIBD in 2020, missing data rates have dropped significantly and service-wide training has been introduced to support accurate data entry.

6. What is a racial disproportion and enforcement-action benchmarking

Racial disproportionality and enforcement-action benchmarking are the two main strategies when analyzing RIBD.

Racial disproportionalities are calculated by comparing the representation of racial groups within a police dataset compared to their representation in the population.

Enforcement-action benchmarking compares the proportion of racialized individuals in a police dataset compared to the proportion of White individuals.

7. Are the results of your analyses public?

Yes. WRPS publicly shares the results of all reports which include race-based data analysis. 

To access these reports, click here.  

To access associated presentations on YouTube, or to tune in for the next Police Service Board Meeting, click here

8. Do I have to attend all of the Community Consultation sessions?

Community members are invited to attend any of the community engagements offered by WRPS. Note that the content/the information presented is the same for the following Community consultation sessions:

April 18th

May 29th

June 13th

July 30th


We will begin community specific sessions after the July Community Consultation session.

9. What is the Community Action Panel?

The Community Action Panel is a key part of WRPS’ Race- and Identity-Based Data Collection Strategy. According to the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), community advisory panels offer several benefits:

  • Enhanced Communication: Advisory panels provide a structured forum for ongoing communication between law enforcement agencies and community members. This allows for the exchange of ideas, concerns, and feedback, leading to improved understanding and collaboration.
  • Community Input: Panels offer a platform for community members to provide input on policing priorities, strategies, and initiatives. This input helps ensure that law enforcement efforts are responsive to the needs and concerns of the communities they serve.
  • Increased Accountability: By involving community members in decision-making processes, advisory panels promote transparency and accountability within law enforcement agencies. Police actions and policies are subject to scrutiny and feedback from diverse perspectives.
  • Trust Building: Advisory panels contribute to building trust between law enforcement and the community by providing opportunities for dialogue and engagement. When community members feel heard and valued, trust in law enforcement is strengthened.
  • Problem Solving: Panels can play a role in identifying and addressing specific issues or challenges within communities. Through collaboration between police and community members, solutions can be developed that are more effective and culturally sensitive.
  • Cultural Competency: Advisory panels can help law enforcement agencies better understand the cultural, social, and economic dynamics of the communities they serve. This understanding enables police to tailor their approaches to policing in ways that are respectful and inclusive.

Overall, community advisory panels, also supported by WRPS academic partners,  serve as a mechanism for promoting partnership, transparency, and accountability between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, ultimately leading to more effective and responsive policing..

The Panel will include residents of our Region, particularly those from diverse backgrounds and/or represented in the data. The goal is to form a collaboration, where WRPS brings the data and our community can contextualize it through their lived experiences. The Panel will represent our commitment to giving our community members a seat at the table as we work together on determining actionable solutions to flags identified within the data.

10. How do I sign up for the Community Action Panel?

At the end of each Community Engagement Sessions, attendees are invites to complete a survey.  Attendees may indicate in the final question of the survey if they are interested in joining the Community Action Panel. Please state your interest there.


A formal call for applications to be on the Panel will also come out in the Fall.  

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