Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity
The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) has taken the first steps towards the creation of an “Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Action Plan.”
During the development of the current Strategic Plan, the CPS made building relationships with diverse communities a clear priority. As an organization, we are compelled to reflect on our values of equity, diversity and inclusion and the reality of the lived experiences of many diverse communities. In doing so, the CPS is committed to developing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Action Plan.
As a first step, the CPS has defined Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as follows:
Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. Our definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.
Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It’s important to note that while an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group isn’t always inclusive. Increasingly, recognition of unconscious or ‘implicit bias’ helps organizations to be deliberate about addressing issues of inclusivity.
Though the plan itself is in the early development stages, the CPS is hopeful that the plan will help increase awareness of diversity issues within the CPS; ensure equitable treatment of all people; and, promote better relations between CPS employees and diverse communities.
“This is an issue of compassion, understanding and patience of ALL people,” said Deputy Chief Shawna Spowart. “This is an issue of humanity, which is why it is of such importance to the Cornwall Police Service and our community.”
Acting Staff Sergeant Tracey Pilon has been assigned as the lead on the plan and will be working closely with local organizations and diverse communities to bring the plan into development. Acting Staff Sergeant Pilon will first be tasked with developing a framework for the plan, which will include the collection of statistical data, community surveys, and collaborating with community partners.
“The Cornwall Police Service is committed to having a workforce that is reflective and understanding of the community we serve,” said Deputy Chief Spowart. “Through the development of this plan, we look forward to enhancing our relationship with the diverse communities in Cornwall and surrounding areas.”
Further details of the plan are expected to be shared later this fall.
For more information on this and other CPS initiatives, please check our website and follow our social media pages for all future updates.