Regina Police Service launches new website aimed at drawing female recruits

·2 min read
Currently, 24 per cent of Regina police officers are women.  (CBC - image credit)
Currently, 24 per cent of Regina police officers are women. (CBC - image credit)

The Regina Police Service (RPS) wants to increase the proportion of its uniformed officers who are women to 30 per cent by 2030.

The goal is part of an initiative out of the United States called 30x30. In Regina, it will start with a new recruiting website aimed at attracting more women onto the force, RPS deputy chief Lorilee Davies told CBC's The Morning Edition.

"Once a group in an organization is able to achieve that 30 per cent mark …they have the ability to enact change in an organization,  there really is that empowerment," Davies said.

Currently in Regina, 102 of 418 officers are female — about 24 per cent of the force, Davies said.

"Studies have also shown that female officers tend to have less uses of force involved in less public complaints and that translates to better outcomes for victims of crime, especially when you're thinking about sexual assaults," Davies said.

LISTEN | Regina Police Service working on getting more women in uniform:

RPS executive director Elizabeth Nguyen said more female role models and a change in advertising are also needed to bring more women into policing.

"When you see ads for policing, historically it's a lot of masculine type of images,"  Nguyen said.

"There's more to policing. It's not just a masculine culture with tactics and law enforcement. There's also a caring component and a support component with the community as well."

The 30x30 model includes mid-term and long-term goals, as well as workplace culture and feedback from everyone on the force, Nguyen said.

"We're not just trying to meet the numbers, we're trying to set everyone up for success in our organization."

She noted that having a female deputy chief in Davies helps provide an example for other women wanting to join policing.

Nguyen said they are also hoping to increase general diversity on the force.

Regina Police Service
Regina Police Service

According to the latest numbers, 8.3 percent of the Regina Police Service identifies as a visible minority and 7.3 per cent are Indigenous.

"I think policing in general in North America for sure is having a hard time recruiting right now, sort of going through the defund movement and through COVID," Davies said.

Calls to defund police budgets and directed the money to other agencies have gained attention, particularly following the death of George Floyd at the hands of an American police officer in 2020.

Davies said meeting with members of the community is essential to increasing diversity.

"We can't just expect diverse people in our community just to come knocking on our door. We have to be out forging those relationships and creating trust in the community."

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