Windsor Police Focused on Diversifying Force

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The push continues to diversify the Windsor Police Service.

A recruitment open house held Wednesday night focused on the need to better represent the community.

The 2018 Windsor Police Service Workplace Census found that the top three racial identities most commonly reported by respondents were white at 83.7 per cent, Arab at 3.3 per cent and Afro-Canadian 3.1 per cent. But officials say that trend should be changing as hiring reports show 40 per cent of new hires over the last five years are considered racially diverse.

Diversity and Recruitment Officer, Constable Neil McEachrane says changing the face of the police service is going to take time.

"We are quite a diverse community and we want to see that representation with our service," says McEachrane. "We are getting there, but we need to get there a bit quicker. I think sometimes people look at us and they're not quite sure. That's why we get out there and try to talk and tell people what we're like. Let them see and meet us and know that we're just like everyone else."

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Windsor police diversity and recruitment officer Neil McEachrane speaks at a recruitment open house held on November 6, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

The 2018 census also found that of the total respondents, 66 percent of those employed by Windsor Police indicated male as their gender identity while 34 per cent indicated female. That includes 83.7 per cent of sworn employees listed as male while 71.2 per cent of the civilian members of the service were listed as female.

McEachrane says there has also been a focus on hiring more female officers.

"We need more women in policing. Our percentages for women have not been very high, and that's throughout Canada," he says. "So we've got to try to find a way to have them participate more and hopefully the more women we see coming in, young girls will look at that and follow that trend."

Windsor is listed as the fourth most diverse city in Canada.

McEachrane says open house events help break the wall down between police and the community.

"A little chance to have a one-on-one conversation, let them talk to us. Then we talk about recruitment, but really and truly, it's a way to be in our community and see that we're not to be feared," he says. "That's why we're out here, for many reasons, not just recruiting. It's a good reason for us to be in our community."