LGBTIQ community forming closer ties with Windsor police
Bob Williams holds pamphlets at the Windsor Pride office downtown Windsor on Feb. 14.
As diversity grows in the LGBTIQ community, knowledge grows in the Windsor Police Service.
The announcement from Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders saying his force will not participate in this year’s Pride Parade has made headlines around Ontario. In contrast, Windsor Police Services are working closely with the LGBTIQ community to grow in strength, taking new diversity classes.
Steve Betteridge, public information officer at WPS said their relationship with the Windsor community is very strong.
“We have an excellent relationship with the LGBTIQ community. We are often invited to attend functions they are involved in. Our recruiting and diversity officers reach out to all communities,” said Betteridge. “We strive to reflect our community.”
Windsor police also participate in the Windsor Pride Fest Parade each year.
“We are traditionally invited and anticipate to have contact with this year’s organizers as well,” said Betteridge.
Bob Williams, consultant and executive director of Windsor Pride also believes they have a healthy working relationship with police services.
“Windsor Police Services has been a very important ally to the (LGBTIQ) community and they provide a great amount of insight to us as we do to them,” said Williams.
He said the police force has been taking steps to instruct new officers in diversity training.
“Soon the entire staff will be participating in a diversity training program that we offer and also offer throughout the community,” said Williams. “Four to five thousand people have already taken this program over the years.”
Williams also said the community is always changing and the efforts of the police services have been accommodating to them.
“We have not had any disappointments with police services,” said Williams.“We’re all in this together. The important thing is that we do it well, we do it together and we don’t leave anyone behind.”
Recruitment efforts of the local police services have identified diversity as a priority and bring officers on board who have an understanding of diversity. These efforts have included adding a diversity officer position.