Diversity recruitment goal
Mar 2, 2003
Cultural diversity remains a goal for the York Regional Police recruitment program, says the officer in charge of professional development for the force.
Insp. Dan Robson told members of the police services board Wednesday inroads have been made on efforts to both recruit visible minorities and foster cultural sensitivity among new officers.
Among the initiatives is the Recruit Community Insight Program, which exposes recruits to cultures with which they may be unfamiliar, Insp. Robson said.
A number of groups, including those representing the Chinese, First Nations, Arab, Baha'i, Korean and gay communities will help educate new recruits.
"There's a whole list of groups here who have volunteered to help teach our police officers," Insp. Robson said. "By doing this, we are hoping to provide everyone with a wider view of where we're at in the community."
Georgina Councillor Danny Wheeler, a member of the police services board, said the immersion experiment should be taken even further, with prospective officers being encouraged to spend nights at the homes of people of different cultures.
The recruits will gain valuable lessons about the cultures they are studying by getting up close and personal, Mr. Wheeler suggested. The contact might also create more feelings of goodwill and trust among the community, he said.
"It's excellent if more of that understanding can get going on both sides," Mr. Wheeler said.
Insp. Robson said efforts to recruit minorities continues as well. Last year more than 20 visible minorities signed on with the force, he said.
-- Jeff Mitchell
©Copyright 2003, York Region (Canada)
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