More women than men sitting on Niagara Police Services Board for the first time ever


Published February 24, 2023 at 10:26 am

Nyarayi Kapisavanhu was the regional selection for a public representative on the Niagara Police Service Board yesterday. (Photo: Twitter)

Four women are now sitting on the seven-member Niagara Police Services Board, giving it a female majority for the first time ever.

While Chair Jen Lawson and Tara McKendrick were already part of the three members selected by the Province and St. Catharines Regional Councillor Laura Ip was one of three from Niagara Region, yesterday’s (Feb. 23) selection of Nyarayi Kapisavanhu as the regional selection for a public representative tipped the scales the women’s way.

Kapisavanhu is best known locally as the executive director of TOES Niagara, a Welland-based non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment and interest of marginalized and racialized women in the community.

Kapisavanhu said she was happy for “the opportunity to use my skills and experience working with and in various sectors and communities, to meaningfully engage on Niagara’s growing and diverse community needs and best interests.  I look forward to working and collaborating with my colleagues on the Board, the Niagara Regional Police Service, community stakeholders and the residents of Niagara Region.”

As chair, Lawson emphasized the importance of adding a Black member onto the board.

“Police Boards provide a critical link between the community and the police.  It is imperative that Boards are representative and reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, which in turn improves the quality of policing service to the public, making it more accessible and responsive to different needs.”

Lawson added that Kapisavanhu’s addition would strengthen the police board “and we look forward to her input and new perspectives on matters before the Board.”

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