Diversity is a part of who we are as Canadians. We pride ourselves on the mosaic of our communities: from ethnicity and culture, to religion and sexual orientation, we accept everyone for their differences. As police officers there are times that we witness something that disrupts that collective belief, some act of hate or intolerance reminds us that while we are diverse, we have work to do to be authentically inclusive of people different from ourselves.
Authentic inclusion is not diversity, it is about creating an environment of acceptance, where people can be their true selves. It is not simply about accepting differences, but celebrating those differences and recognizing the value that life experiences can bring to a community, a social network or to an organization.
Diversity, particularly in a work environment can be created through strategy, policy and legislation. It can form the basis for hiring practices and it is prevalent in recruiting strategies across virtually all sectors. We work hard at trying to represent our community — all of our community — but while organizations focus on diversity, the real work and the true value lies in inclusivity.
The Delta Police Department strives to be authentically inclusive. Not just for ourselves, but for the people we serve. We are not perfect but we are absolutely committed, and it starts with training and education.
The DPD was one of the first agencies in B.C. to conduct formal and mandatory training on “bias free” policing. The curriculum focuses on creating awareness of implicit biases in ourselves and how we must learn to recognize them and, most importantly, ensure that we are not allowing any personal biases we may have to direct our behaviours. Every person our officers and staff come into contact with should be treated with the same level of dignity and respect. Period.
June is Pride month and it is also the month in which the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics happens. While vastly different from each other, these events encourage empathy, understanding and inclusion. Delta police openly support and participate in a variety of cultural celebrations and community events not only because we value our relationships with the public, but because we want to deliver a message: that we believe in diversity and espouse the principles of authentic inclusion.
Neil Dubord is the chief constable of the Delta Police Department.