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BC RCMP respond to global protests on racism and oppression

The BC RCMP has released a collective statement on events unfolding in the United States and around the globe following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Deeply saddened by the anguish expressed by so many,” the BC RCMP said their organizations, members and staff are unsettled by the events in the USA and what happened to George Floyd.

“We understand that there is an increased focus on how we address racism and biased-free policing in Canada, and that these events have caused members of the public to ask what the BC RCMP does as an organization to address this issue,” said BC RCMP.

“We recognize racism and other forms of discrimination exist in Canada. The BC RCMP acknowledges there is still work to be done to reduce, not just the impact but the very existence of discrimination. We continue to strengthen relationships with the people who live in our communities from all faiths, orientations, backgrounds and cultures to promote and foster an environment of inclusivity and diversity.”

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BC RCMP said they have a dedicated Hate Crime Team that provides guidance and advice to police around B.C. that are investigating hate crimes. As well, BC RCMP noted their work with business owners to establish the Safe Place Program to offer shelter to LGBTQ2S+ if they are concerned for their personal safety or are victims of a crime. BC RCMP said the RCMP’s Indigenous Policing Program “provides culturally-sensitive service to the more than 200 Indigenous communities” in the province.

“We strive to ensure biased-free policing within our own organization to foster an inclusive workplace and improve policing service to the public. We actively recruit from diverse groups to ensure we are reflective of the communities we serve,” continued BC RCMP’s statement. “Beginning at Depot, RCMP cadets are taught to recognize biases, challenge assumptions and identify potential impacts of those biases. Similarily in the field, the Gender-Based Analysis+ (GBA+) course is mandatory for all members and civilian staff.”

“We continue to make deliberate and significant investment in education and training of police officers and civilian members to address issues of racial bias and discrimination,” added BC RCMP. “These are some of the many ongoing efforts by the RCMP to address racism and other forms of prejudice.”

According to BC RCMP, the Commanding Officers Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Board as well as the Indigenous Cultural Advisory Committee have provided advice and guidance to the BC RCMP Senior Management Team on how to improve and promote inclusion in the organization and in the communities they serve.

“The public should have confidence that BC RCMP officers adhere to the highest standards of professionalism in providing services to all citizens.”

The BC RCMP said that in the “rare instances” where an officer doesn’t adhere to the standards, they are held accountable for their actions. Those mechanisms include internal performance and conduct processes, as well as the external Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) and Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIOBC).

“Racism and discrimination are societal challenges that transcend policing, but the BC RCMP will continue its efforts to deliver a workplace and police services free of bias by addressing these issues openly and transparently as part of the global community’s united stand against prejudice,” concluded BC RCMP. “This is one of the ways in which we strive to improve ourselves, our service and public confidence in policing.”

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