While announcing a series of motions addressing diversity and racism, the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board say they are willing to engage and “difficult and uncomfortable conversations” necessary in order to learn what is needed to ensure all community members feel safe. (Black Press Media file photo)

Police board requests racial, gender analysis of Victoria police force

Board’s motion one of many working to address racism, discrimination in policing

The Victoria Police Department will undergo an analysis to reveal the racial and gender composition of its members against that of the general population, following a decision by the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board.

The results of that analysis, which will look at Black, Indigenous, other people of colour, and women – will provide a baseline for focused recruiting, according to VicPD. The motion is one of four adopted by the police board at a meeting June 9 in an effort to look at “current processes and practices” and find ways to improve.

The meeting comes after weeks of rallies against racism and police brutality across North America following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – along with countless other Black North Americans.

READ ALSO: Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders

On June 7, thousands participated in a peaceful rally supporting Black Lives Matter in Victoria’s Centennial Square.

VicPD calls the movement “an opportunity…to engage in the difficult and uncomfortable conversations that are necessary in order to learn what we need to do to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, everywhere, at all times.”

The board also adopted a motion to have VicPD Chief Del Manak present a comprehensive list of training practices on bias awareness, anti-racism, cultural sensitivity and de-escalation that members receive, as well as his recommendations for more training opportunities.

Finally, the board voted to increase the frequency of presentations from the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee to occur on a quarterly basis.

READ ALSO: Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

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