At one of our recent public meetings, we had the pleasure of hearing from a group of youth representing the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights Youth Action Project on Justice. This lively and respectful group of young Edmontonians came forward to present four calls to action that resulted from a collaborative project on human rights, police, and relationship building.
One of the calls to action was specifically meant for the Commission and City Council: “to ensure that those with lived experience of poverty and criminalization have a voice on the Police Commission… to approach lived experience as a skill set needed for one’s role on the Commission in order to be valued similarly to financial acumen or legal knowledge.” What it came down to was the importance of diversity.
While the Edmonton Police Commission is committed to supporting diversity within the ranks of the Edmonton Police Service, we also understand the importance of diversity within our own organization. City Council, who appoints members of the Commission, is also committed to ensuring diversity in all aspects of City of Edmonton services.
To oversee the successful operation of what’s essentially a more than 350 million dollar business, Commissioners must have varied work experiences and educational backgrounds such as legal, financial, government relations, human resources, and business knowhow. However, diversity also relates to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs.
At the end of this year, three positions on the Commission will need to be filled, as three terms have come to an end. I encourage Edmontonians of all backgrounds and experiences to put their name forward once the posting opens.
The Commission is also looking at unique ways to engage diverse communities in setting policing priorities in Edmonton; to ensure everyone has a voice as well as a means to have their voices heard. Please keep an eye on our website for more information as opportunities arise.
Thank you to the wonderful group of presenters who set their nerves aside and spoke to us about an issue that was important to them. Your voices were heard.