Police reconfirmed their commitment to end racism in front of a Baptist congregation yesterday.
It’s a service held every year to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21. Deputy Chief of Police Chris McNeil read the proclamation to the congregation at Cornwallis Street Baptist Church.
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Const. Dean Simmonds, the HRP’s equity diversity officer, said they are getting better, but there is work to be done.
“Halifax Regional Police understand when dealing with a subject like racism, it’s important not to only recognize that racism exists, but we must also deal with this issue when it occurs,” he said.
Last summer, the HRP dealt with a racism complaint after an incident in Digby.
It was alleged a racist taunt sparked a brawl in June between several off-duty officers and two young black men. Const. Adam Stewart Whynott of the HRP and William Edward Drummond were charged with causing a public disturbance by fighting. Both pleaded not guilty in court. RCMP conducted an investigation and said they couldn’t find evidence a racist statement was made.
Simmonds said the HRP has a number of community programs in place, including officer training, geared toward ending racism.
“By working on projects together, we get to know each other and continue to understand and appreciate one another’s differences,” he said.
“I believe we have to go above and beyond our regular duties to fight racism. We have to get involved, not only through our work environment, but our personal life as well.”