Why do community members from diverse communities and minority groups hesitate to call the police when they are victims or witnesses of a crime? This was one of the questions explored in an in-depth cultural awareness session at CCI last month by 22 newly recruited police officers.

Police officers, service providers and community members engaged in group discussions on how racial profiling and discrimination has resulted in a lack of trust for many newcomer communities and minority groups.

Constable Lila Shibley and CCI’s Yodit Girmay facilitated the full-day training on bias-neutral policing. Participants explored what community members and service providers can do to eliminate barriers and encourage access to police services by members of diverse and minority groups.

Speakers included Sergent Dave Zackrias (OPS Diversity and Race Relations), Luke Smith and Sergent Sandra Sparling (OPS GLBT Liaison Committee), Belinda Hartsgrove and Justin Holness (Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health).