At the Cornwall Police Services Board Meeting on May 4, 2023, Police Chief Shawna Spowart presented the 2022 EDI progress report. The progress report detailed things that the police service has been doing to enhance equity, diversion, and inclusion in their work as well as what their plans are for 2023.
“There are a number of ways that we conduct ourselves and do this work and one of those is training. In 2022, we did a number of service wide training sessions,” explained Spowart.
Following an introductory EDI training in 2021, members of the Cornwall Police Service were provided with more in-depth training opportunities in 2022. In the fall, service members participated in an Indigenous Awareness Training offered by Circle of Life Consulting. Through the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, Spowart had the opportunity to visit to remote indigenous communities – something Spowart said was a real life-changing experience.
Community engagement is another significant component of the work the CPS is doing with regards to EDI. A strategy survey conducted with local diverse groups showed that 75% found it important to have police presence at community events. In 2022, the CPS were present at the Cornwall Sports Festival, Franco-Ontarian Day, and others. Deputy Chief Foy and other officers walked and participated in the Pride Festival and the CPS actively supported Black History Month, spotlighting black officers, and sharing information about events in the community.
Supporting youth is another area where the service is focused in inclusion and has been since Chief Parkinsons was in charge in the early 2000s. CPS, along with the EOTB, hosted the Youth Symposium in 2022 – a local initiative organized to promote self-worth and resiliency in high school students. Project PYPER is another popular initiative where CPS members give ‘citations’ to local children doing good in the community, whether it is for wearing a helmet, riding their bicycle safely, doing a good deed, or being kind. The service also took part in Take Your Kid to Work Day.
Updated story coming soon…