Plan to see uniform-free Calgary Police officers in Pride Parade
The Calgary Police Service says it will have an entry in the 2017 Pride Parade and will respect the request of Calgary Pride that no uniforms be worn.
“We are obviously disappointed with the decision that police will not be allowed to march in uniform, but we are not going to allow it to undo decades of progress between law enforcement and the LGBTQ community in Calgary,” says Chief Const. Roger Chaffin. “We have a far better relationship with the LGBTQ community now than we did even ten years ago and we want to keep that forward momentum.”
CPS notes it has an entire unit of officers dedicated to building relationships with Calgary’s diverse communities, including the LGBTQ community and visible minorities, maintaining an ongoing conversation about any policing issues that affect those communities.
New recruits receive training on being sensitive to the diverse needs of Calgarians as well as bias-free policing, CPS says. Officers also have the opportunity to take two levels of additional diversity training where members of various diverse communities teach officers about their community and the unique needs in it.
The service also meets regularly with two LGBTQ advisory boards, one made up of citizens and one made up of Calgary Police Service employees, to discuss and address any issues that are important to them. Similar advisory boards exist for many of Calgary’s visible minority groups as well.
“We have shown a commitment as a Service to engaging people in our community who may feel marginalized, and that commitment will not change,” says Chaffin. “We look forward to continuing this work with Calgary Pride and all of Calgary’s diverse communities.”
The Calgary Police Service will still have uniformed officers along the parade route to protect public safety.