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)

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.

  • March – Cambridge - coming soon
  • April– Waterloo - coming soon
  • April – Wilmot - 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 disproportionality and a racial disparity?

Racial disproportionality and racial disparity 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.

Racial disparities are calculated by comparing 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. Every quarter, we present the results of our RIBD analysis to the Police Services Board. This presentation is streamed on YouTube on the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board channel

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