Recent events in the United States that have re-ignited social action against institutional racism has forced us all to look at ourselves, our work, and our society, and to acknowledge that we all have a responsibility to stand against racism.
I speak for us all on the Calgary Police Commission when I say that we condemn anti-black racism, and racism and prejudice in all forms. We stand in solidarity with our black, Indigenous and people of colour colleagues, families and citizens.
The Commission – a group of citizen volunteers and two city councillors- has a responsibility to make sure the police service is responsive to community needs. Our role is to listen to concerns that Calgarians are bringing forward and to incorporate those views into how CPS is resourced and operated.
We know that there are differences between policing in America and policing in Canada. Although we are different, we are not so different that we can’t reflect on ways that police in Calgary can better serve all members of our community. We still have much more to learn to be able to meaningfully address this issue so we can support real change within our community.
We have confidence that CPS leadership also takes this issue seriously. Together, we have already begun the work of re-envisioning the strategic plan of the organization, which includes ensuring a focused commitment on inclusion and diversity both within the CPS and in its relationships with the community.
The events of recent weeks have reinforced the need and the urgency for this work to continue and we will do so. We will develop a plan of action that involves listening to citizen experiences, improving our literacy on racism, and showing our city’s black, Indigenous, and people of color communities that they don’t have to fight this battle alone.
We are eager to participate in broader community conversations about the purpose of policing and how policing intersects with social issues and thinking about whether there are better ways to serve all citizens. We are pleased to hear that Police Act modernization is a priority for the Province and look forward to engaging in that process.
Your perspective matters to us and we are committed to continuing to serve and to listen. We invite citizens to contact the Commission directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.