New Audit Will Determine How Diverse the Police Force is in Mississauga

It seems police have been top of mind lately.

With Mayor Bonnie Crombie relinquishing her role at the Peel Police Services Board to make way for Councillor Sue McFadden and Pride Toronto announcing that uniformed police officers cannot march or operate a police float in this year's parade, it's fair to say that discussions about police and their role in society are flourishing.

Now, it looks like Peel Regional police are preparing for an equity audit that will examine diversity on the force and determine how accurately the makeup of the force reflects the Peel community it operates in.

Peel police report that on Jan. 18, the Regional Municipality of Peel Police Services Board released a request for proposal (RFP) seeking a vendor to conduct an employment and diversity professional review and/or audit.

In layman's terms, the audit will objectively analyze and report on diversity in the force—something members of the board have been calling for, especially since Peel police (much like most police forces) have been criticized for utilizing policies (such as street checks, which have been more strictly regulated by the province) that disporportionately affect residents of colour.

According to Peel police, their organization has met and exceeded standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and Excellence Canada and they're welcoming the equity audit.

"One of the goals we set in our 2014-2016 Strategic Plan was to attract and retain a professional and skilled workplace that is reflective of our diverse community and addresses community growth. I am proud of the progress we have made over the past five years and welcome any recommendations that may help us further our goal," said Chief Jennifer Evans.

According to police, the PRP has a number of initiatives underway to help shape recruiting efforts, including advisory boards within the Muslim, black, Chinese, Sikh and LGBTQ communities.

"Together with our partners, I am confident we will achieve our goal and continue to build upon the 93% community satisfaction revealed to us in our 2016 Community and Stakeholder Survey," said Chief Evans.

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