Police hirings reflect diversity
TIM WIECLAWSKI/METRO OTTAWA
Efforts should and are being made to recruit new police officers from cultural groups to better reflect Ottawa’s diversity, the city’s police chief said yesterday, with one of the famous faces of the integration movement at his side.
With Minnijean Brown Trickey — famously a member of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ — sitting nearby, Chief Vern White opened Crime Prevention Week yesterday by saying that bridging the gaps between police and communities requires a force that better mirrors those it serves.
“I think it (is) important that this city, which each and every day becomes more diverse, becomes more accepting of its differences,” White said.
“This can be accomplished through education and reaching out to every part of our community.”
Brown Trickey said the anti-racism message in this year’s Crime Prevention theme is key, because building trust between groups assists in law enforcement.
Crime prevention is about intervening before something happens, she said, and that means building relationships where honour and value between parties opens communication.
Ottawa proclaimed yesterday ‘Minnijean Brown Trickey Day,’ capping a weekend in which the 66-year-old civil rights hero returned to the city she lived in through most of the 90s, and attended Carleton University and raised a family.
Amber Davison, a Grade 12 student at Sir Wilfred Laurier High School, made sure she met with Brown Trickey, saying it was inspiring to meet someone you can read about in history books.
“It’s cool to see someone so humble, after influencing things so much,” she said.
“We really want to encourage diversity in our school,” added her schoolmate Paula Collins. “It’s importance that we keep what (Brown Trickey) started going on now.”