LGBTQ2S+ & Allies Consultation and Reconciliation Portal
Welcome to the Edmonton Police Service’s LGBTQ2S+ and Allies Consultation and Reconciliation Portal. This site is the digital home for all the information and resources you will need to participate and provide feedback as we engage EPS’ sworn and civilian members. We are endeavouring to make this process as transparent as possible – you can expect to see summaries of feedback and all of our major consultation and reconciliation outputs as the process evolves and progresses.
The Apology and Statement
You can also download a PDF of the apology (please check against delivery).
Engagement and Feedback to date
As Chief Dale McFee said in his statement, “To make sure we get this right, it has to be guided and informed by those in our community. By those who have spoken out before, and by those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to share their voices. We are requesting advice, guidance and partnership.”
Between May 3 and June 3, 2019 we asked people for input into two questions:
1. If you were the Chief of Police, what would you change quickly and immediately in terms of EPS’s relationship with LGBTQ2S+ community and
2. What are the different ways we should engage the LGBTQ2S+ community?
The following summary is a capture by themes of the input we received from sworn and civilian members of the EPS.
Question No. 1
If you were the Chief of Police, what would you change quickly and immediately in terms of the EPS relationship with the LGBTQ2S+ community?
The overarching response from the membership who participated was one of a desire for equality and mutual respect for all. As with any cross section of the population, there were responses that can be attributed to coming from uninformed perspectives. This is not an EPS specific phenomenon, but rather a human condition. The following are the major themes of the responses to question #1.
Maintain the current course of action with an emphasis on greater proactive education:
There was a strong call for regular meetings with the LGBTQ2S+ community with a view to determining what went wrong in the past and seek ways to move forward in unity.
It was clear that some members of EPS are unaware of the history of the strained relationship which dampens their understanding of the need for the current initiative.
The lack of understanding of the current effects of the historical actions or inactions of police, leads to a sense among some members that there is no need for an apology as they are not directly responsible for the historical atrocities.
Baseline training/ongoing on all forms of discrimination and their impacts would be valuable.
Ensure strong policy directive on the necessity to treat all equally.
Practical Proactive Steps:
Educate EPS members on how discrimination has occurred in the past.
Gender neutral washrooms in all police facilities.
Greater participation in proactive relationship building initiatives and taking steps such as flying the Pride and Trans flags at police facilities during Pride Week.
Increased recruiting of LGBTQ2S+ officers.
Ensure accountability for disrespectful behaviours to the community.
Some believed nothing should be done.
As stated above, this type of perspective is not unexpected. In such a large group of individuals there are certain to be individuals who for a myriad of reasons, hold divergent views. There was a strong sense that many are unaware of the historical nature of the relationships or having a tangible understanding of the impacts on the lives of individuals. The key to addressing this is awareness through meaningful education/training, strong policy, and accountability
Question No 2
What are the different ways we should engage with the LGBTQ2S+ community?
Three primary themes that surfaced.
There was a strong belief that EPS was doing considerable outreach, and this needed to be given time to show results before additional steps were taken.
Concurrently, there was an equally strong support for additional measures to encourage and strengthen both the internal and external relationships.
Everyone should be treated equally. There was no need to make special outreach to a particular group in society.
We were reminded that members of LGBTQ2S+ community are also members of EPS, and that together, they can build the bridge to enhanced relationships.
Greater intentional recruiting with LGBTQ2S+ community.
Engaging allies in the internal non LGBTQ2S+ EPS community.
SRO’S assisting GSA’S in schools.
Utilizing media to ensure the greater community knows that crimes against LGBTQ2S+ community are hate crimes.
Next Steps on the Engagement
Work is now underway to finalize the engagement plan. This plan will be shared with you later in the summer and will provide specific information on how you can participate in the discussions. Engagement activities will occur late August and throughout the month of September.
A NOTE ON HOW Received CONTENt is USED:
Ensuring the safe flow of direct and unfiltered feedback is of paramount importance to this process. Anyone participating in this process needs to have full confidence they can share their feedback openly and without fear.
The input provided in the questions or throughout this process is completely confidential. Information will not be provided, communicated or disclosed expect under exceptional circumstance as so required by or in accordance with policy and legislation.
Nothing entered on this website or throughout the process will be attributed to anyone at any point, or used for any other purpose than as outlined. The input received throughout this process will be collected, synthesized and stored by a third party – Matrix Consulting Group. Matrix is also monitoring this website, and will be managing and carrying out the engagement process with sworn and civilian members of the EPS. They will share analysis of the input with both the public and the EPS equally, but raw feedback will only be viewed and used strictly by Matrix and its employees. The Edmonton Police Service will not be actively engaging in the consultation process and will not be able to contact any of the internal members who choose to participate.
As this process moves forward, this site will include more and more information. Please stay tuned as we add summaries, event schedules and any other updates relative to this process.
Have Something You Want to Share?
Thank you for your participation.