JOE L. COUTO
Director of Government Relations and Communications
Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
Joe Couto is a veteran public policy and communications professional who brings 29 years of proven experience to meeting the government relations and communication needs of Ontario’s police leaders. Currently, Joe serves as Director of Government Relations and Communications for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. Prior to serving with OACP, he was Senior Consultant with Enterprise Canada Consultants Inc., one of Ontario’s leading government relations and communications firms, where he developed a thorough expertise in a number of public policy areas including municipal affairs, housing, energy, and taxation and fiscal policies.
Prior to joining Enterprise Canada, Joe was Communications Manager for a national non-profit organization where he was responsible for media and public relations, development of the organization’s social media strategy, and event production/management. He also has an intimate understanding of the needs of private sector organizations based on his experience in strategic and public policy development with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Fair Rental Policy Organization of Ontario.
Joe’s extensive government relations experience includes serving on the staff of a former Ontario MPP and managing the South Korean government’s public, government, and media relations initiatives in Canada during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
In addition to his professional work, Joe is also a Professor (part-Time) in the University of Guelph-Humber’s Justice Department and Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning’s School of Social and Community Services (Criminal Justice), and a part-time faculty member in Royal Roads University’s School of Communication and Culture where he was awarded the 2016 Outstanding New Faculty Award.
Joe is a regular lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business Management’s Police Leadership Program and the OACP’s Media Relations Officers Course at the Ontario Police College. He is the author of Covered in Blue: Police Culture and LGBT Police Officers in the Province of Ontario, a landmark academic study of gay police officers in Canada, and Lobbying vs. Advocacy: Police Leaders as Advocates for Their Police Services and Their Communities.
His current academic project is entitled, Female. Gay. Cop: The Intersectionality of Gender and Sexual Orientation in Police Culture.
A native of Brazil, Joe holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communications degree from Royal Roads University, a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Ryerson University, and a Certificate of Public Relations from the Canadian Public Relations Society. Joe is a member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and Serving With Pride.
In 2013, Joe was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to policing and public safety in Canada and the 2016 Ally Award by Serving With Pride for his on-going work in the areas diversity and inclusion on behalf of the LGBTQ community within Ontario law enforcement.