Uday Jaswal named Ottawa’s new Deputy Police Chief

Uday Jaswal named Ottawa's new deputy police chief
Uday Jaswal named Ottawa's new deputy police chief.

Uday Jaswal, a former Ottawa police superintendent has been named deputy chief of the Ottawa police, replacing Jill Skinner, who retired in June.

Jaswal will be sworn in on Sept. 24.

Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said Jaswal beat out four other competitors, who were shortlisted for the job as part of a country-wide search.

“[Jaswal] met all the criteria,” said El-Chantiry. “He’s a young, innovative thinker. He’s educated, bilingual.”

El-Chantiry said the board was also impressed with the knowledge and experience Jaswal gained as deputy chief of the Durham Regional Police Service, located east of Toronto.

He held that position for two years.

During that time, Jaswal looked into how Durham Police investigated a black teenager’s alleged beating by a Toronto officer in Whitby, Ont. It took Durham Police four months to notify the SIU.

This is only the second time OPS has hired someone into its executive ranks, without promoting from within. The other example is former police chief Vern White.

Ottawa’s other deputy police chief, Steve Bell, was hired through an internal process in 2016.

Uday Jaswal, who hails from Ottawa, has 23 years of policing experience.

During his time in Ottawa, Jaswal oversaw the guns and gangs unit, as well as the human trafficking unit. He was responsible for drafting a plan to give every frontline Ottawa police officer access to a taser.

As a former OPS Superintendent Jaswal also presided over disciplinary hearings for officers who violated the Police Services Act and served as the chair of the Ottawa Youth Services Board.

Jaswal’s hiring comes at a pivotal moment for the city in police race relations. Four police officers have filed human rights complaints against the force for racial discrimination.

In 2019, the case of Const. Daniel Montsion, the officer accused of manslaughter in the death of Abdirahman Abdi, will go to trial.

El-Chantiry said the board is committed to diversifying its workforce and Jaswal has a “full understanding of diversity.”

“What Uday brings to the table is the knowledge of how to reach out. He’s done it before,” said El-Chantiry.

“The future of our city, of our service, [is] to be diverse, to be understanding, to have more women, to have more visible minorities, and to have more new Canadians. We want to be representative of the community,” he added.