Employee Survey shows police morale slowly turning around
Results of a recent survey of Calgary Police Service (CPS) employees show that morale and employee engagement is slowly starting to improve. The survey also showed a small increase in employees who agreed that Calgary is a safe place to live and that the CPS is providing satisfactory service to Calgarians.
However, both job satisfaction and engagement remain well below what they were a decade ago, showing there is still work to be done. Employees also continue to have low trust in the leadership of the Service, including the Calgary Police Commission.
“Many of the problems undermining employee morale and trust at the CPS have built up over years, and it will take years of sustained effort to fix them and regain employees’ trust,” said Calgary Police Commission Chair Shawn Cornett.
“Our hope for the survey this year was to see some indication that the CPS and our Commission are on the right track with the changes we are making. We clearly still have a long way to go, but it is encouraging to see morale and trust finally trending in the right direction.”
The CPS launched a concerted effort last year to address employee concerns through the Pathways to Engagement program. After consultations with employees, the CPS identified over 500 recommended internal changes for the program to tackle and it has so far evaluated and implemented more than 350 of them.
The Commission and City Council also supported a $64-million annual budget increase and 290 new full-time positions for 2022 to 2026, to help alleviate unmanageable workloads. The provincial government has also committed to fund an additional 50 police officers, which is expected to further address workload concerns.
The added resources will also help support the significant work done over the past few years to enhance partnerships with other agencies and community organizations. Over time, this work is expected to better support officers at calls related to mental health, addiction and homelessness, or to divert those calls entirely away from the police to better-suited agencies.
"Our members care a great deal about our community, and we recognize the impact job satisfaction and morale have outside of the walls of the Service,” said Calgary Police Service Chief Constable Mark Neufeld. “Our members have shown time and again that they want to be a part of improving the workplace for each other and Calgarians and have done a tremendous job of coming up with employee-driven solutions that continue to be actioned through Pathways to Engagement.”
The Calgary Police Commission is one of only a few commissions that conduct an Employee Survey annually to help inform the priorities of the Service and track the success of efforts aimed at improving the workplace. The results are released publicly to be transparent with Calgarians and CPS employees.
Illumina Research Partners, who the Commission contracts to conduct the survey and analyse results, is presenting the 2023 survey results at the Commission’s Oct. 25, 2023, regular meeting. The full report on the survey is available in the online meeting agenda.
The Calgary Police Commission is a body of 13 community members and two city councillors appointed by City Council and the Government of Alberta to provide independent governance and oversight of Calgary’s police.
To protect the political neutrality of law enforcement, Calgary’s police chief reports to us instead of elected leaders. We provide direction to the Calgary Police Service through the police chief, police policies, monitoring of the police conduct complaint process, and approval of how the police budget is spent.