OTTAWA -- Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly says a “disgusting, racist meme” has been circulating within the Ottawa Police Service over the past 24 hours.

Chief Sloly told the Ottawa Police Services Board he has launched a Chief’s Complaint into the meme.

“It targets a number of our racialized members within the service. This is an overt act of racism and it’s unacceptable,” Chief Sloly said Monday afternoon.

“It’s more evidence of the need for a serious overhaul of our culture of ethics and ethical behaviour. The culture of the Ottawa Police Service needs significant improvement. We can no longer ignore this reality.”

The Chief met with the Ottawa Police Service executive command Monday morning to launch a Chief’s Complaint into the meme.

Sloly said the Ottawa Police Service will investigate the distribution and sharing of the material, and “ultimately looking for attribution as to the individual or individuals who created this, who brought this into the organization, and who have circulated it and who have harmed many within the organization.”

A Chief's Complaint is a professional standards investigation into an issue within the Ottawa Police Service. 

The Chief announced the Ottawa Police Service is moving forward with the creation of a new directorate focused on equity, diversity and inclusion on respect, ethics and values.