Calgary Police Service

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Commitment to Anti-Racism

Calgary Police Service Commitment to Anti-Racism

The Black Lives Matter movement that followed Minneapolis police killing George Floyd in May 2020 demonstrated that more focus is needed on the issues of racism and inequities within our city.

While we know that our officers and civilian employees strive everyday to treat people according to our values, we acknowledge that structural racism still exists in our Service.

View the latest news releases and resources

Our commitment

In September of 2020, we committed to the Calgary Police Commission, City Council and the public that we would:

  • Dedicate resources to anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion work
  • Develop a strategy to address racism and discrimination in our Service
  • Begin to collect and report more disaggregated race-based data
  • Evaluate the Body Worn Camera Program
  • Commission an independent review of the School Resource Officer Program
  • Further review use of force policies, practices and culture
  • Collect and sharing race-based information on street checks and ensuring random stops do not occur
  • Apply an anti-racism lens to our organization
  • Continue reconciliation work with the Indigenous Peoples of southern Alberta
  • Continue improvements to the complaints process, including increased civilian oversight
  • Work with The City to shift responsibility from law enforcement to social agencies to respond to people in crisis when appropriate

Our full report to City Council outlines each of these commitments in more detail and explain how they will help.

Anti-Racism Action Committee and Strategy

Fifteen Calgarians are serving on the Calgary Police Service Anti-Racism Action Committee to help with the co-development of our Anti-Racism Strategy.

Reallocation of Funding

In 2020, in our commitment to anti-racism, equity and inclusion, CPS confirmed that we would allocate funds to improve call response with the goal of better outcomes for citizens in crisis.

Race-based data collection

We are changing our data collection to capture and report more race-based data.

Body-worn camera review

We were the first in Canada to adopt body-worn cameras and now are reviewing their effectiveness.

School Resource Officer program review

An independent review of our School Resource Officer program is being done to ensure it is having a positive impact on all students.

Use of force review

We commissioned an independent use of force review in 2017 and are now implementing the recommendations to reduce the amount and level of force used by our officers.

Equity, diversity and inclusion within the Service

Our Human Resources team is developing a program to promote more diversity and better inclusion within the Service.

InfoPosts (Street Checks)

We have a rigorous process in place to ensure no one is randomly stopped and identified, and to monitor for any potential biases impacting how officers conduct InfoPosts.

Indigenous reconciliation

Reconciliation has been a key focus for us in recent years and we are continuing to implement the recommendations of the TRC and MMIWG inquiry.

Accountability reforms

Our work to improve police accountability and investigations into potential misconduct continues and significant progress has been made.

What Calgarians are telling us

Through The City of Calgary’s public consultation and our own discussions with Diversity Advisory Boards and meetings with the community, we have heard the following themes so far.

Role of police

What the police does and how, needs to be addressed:

  • Police are not the appropriate first response for all calls relating to mental health and addictions
  • Police resources should be reallocated to focus on community safety, social services, and violence interruption
  • Defund the police and reallocate funding to community agencies to allow police to focus on police work
  • Explore new models of policing that address the changing needs of society
  • Remove police officers from schools and replace them with mental health and social supports.

Protect the public fairly and equitably

Police behaviours and actions towards BIMPOC must be open to public scrutiny:

  • Police conduct needs to have civilian oversight
  • Public complaints must be resolved quickly, and the outcomes must be transparent
  • Complaints and misconduct need to be reviewed by a third-party community member who has no affiliation or knowledge of policing practices
  • The consequences for racist actions, on and off duty by an officer, need to be greater
  • Continue use of body-worn cameras
  • Race-based data needs to be collected and shared
  • Evaluation of implicit bias and systemic racism and the efforts to get rid of them at CPS need to be ongoing
  • Calls to Action from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) need to be implemented to further develop the relationship that CPS has with the Indigenous community.

Increase workforce diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion cannot be an afterthought:

  • Calgary’s police service needs to look like the community it serves
  • Diverse communities must be engaged in discussions about policing as a career
  • Data must be collected and shared about diversity in the workforce
  • Culturally appropriate supports must be available for BIMPOC/gender diverse employees
  • The voices of diverse employees need to be encouraged and listened to
  • Diversity and inclusion must be a part of day-to-day practices at CPS
  • Diversity Advisory Boards should be asked to assist with recruiting efforts

Improve community engagement

Engaging with the community will ensure they are better served:

  • Citizen feedback needs to be encouraged and reflected in the actions that CPS takes
  • The role of Diversity Advisory Boards needs to be strengthened to utilize their expertise
  • Youth Advisory Councils should be established
  • CPS employees need to take part in community events to have better understanding and build relationships with those they serve
  • The community needs to know what diversity, equity and inclusion efforts CPS is taking
  • Educational opportunities should be offered for new Canadians to learn about the role of police
  • Citizens should be offered more opportunities to observe officers interacting with the community, e.g. ride-along program
  • The community should have more opportunity to have dialogue with CPS to build awareness, trust and confidence, as well as providing a safe opportunity to discuss concerns

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