The Regina Police Service (RPS) wants to increase the proportion of its uniformed officers who are women to 30% by 2030.
The lens is part of a US initiative called 30×30. In Regina, it will start with a new recruiting site aimed at attracting more women to the force, RPS Deputy Chief Lorilee Davies told CBC The morning edition.
“Once a group in an organization is able to get to that 30% mark…they have the ability to make changes in an organization, there really is that autonomy,” Davies said.
Currently in Regina, 102 of 418 officers are women, or about 24% of the force, Davies said.
“Studies have also shown that female police officers tend to use less force in fewer public complaints and that translates to better outcomes for victims of crime, especially when you think about sexual assault,” said Davies.
Morning Edition – Saskatchewan8:30 amRegina Police Service works to put more women in uniform
RPS executive director Elizabeth Nguyen said more female role models and a change in advertising are also needed to attract more women to the police.
“When you see ads for the police, historically it’s a lot of male-type imagery,” Nguyen said.
“There’s more to policing. It’s not just a male culture with tactics and policing. There’s also a caring component and a supportive component with the community as well. “
The 30×30 model includes mid- and long-term goals, as well as work culture and feedback from all force members, Nguyen said.
“We’re not just trying to stick to the numbers, we’re trying to set everyone up to be successful in our organization.”
She noted that having a female deputy at Davies helps provide an example for other women who want to join the force.
Nguyen said they also hope to increase the overall diversity of the force.
According to the latest figures, 8.3% of members of the Regina Police Service identify as a visible minority and 7.3% are Aboriginal.
“I think police in general in North America are definitely having a hard time recruiting right now, sort of going through the funding movement and through COVID,” Davies said.
Calls to defund police budgets and direct money to other agencies have drawn attention, particularly after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a US police officer in 2020.
Davies said meeting with members of the community is key to increasing diversity.
“We can’t just expect diverse people from our community to come knocking on our door. We need to forge those relationships and build trust in the community.”