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A diverse downtown gets a not so diverse police force

The Calgary Police Service unveiled the 62-member unit that will walkthe downtown streets as part of its new crime fighting strategy.

The Calgary Police Service unveiled the 62-member unit that will walk the downtown streets as part of its new crime fighting strategy.

"You are a symbol, a role model for every person who works, lives [and] visits our downtown," said mayor Dave Bronconnier.

But that symbol is very much white male. Of the 62 officers paraded before the media, only two were women.

"Do we want to become more diverse, are we working aggressively to get more members of the diverse community applying to the police force? Absolutely. Do we need that now and into the future? you bet," said police chief Rick Hanson, who added other areas of the force are more diverse than the new downtown unit.

One of the two women on the downtown patrol is Hayley Chudyk, who says they are just as tough as the men.

"We are a small number as is in the Calgary Police Service, the number is quickly growing over the years, so I'm sure with the beat unit, in time I am sure there will be more officers that apply."

Hanson said the members of the new unit volunteered for the assignment from within the force, so the make up of the beat is of those who wanted to apply.

The officers' aim is to connect with the community and make the city feel safer.

 
 
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