Update on Calgary Police Service Anti-Racism Commitments - School Resource Officer Program Review
We continue our work to further the Calgary Police Service’s (CPS) commitment to anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion.
Community engagement is essential to guiding this work. Hearing from as many diverse voices will allow us to better serve our city.
“From the presentation to Council in the fall of 2020, up until now, we have been working to ensure that a solid foundation is being set to meet the commitments we have made to the community we serve,” says Deputy Chief Katie McLellan of the Bureau of Service and Community Support. “We know this is a long road and we must do this work hand in hand with the community to achieve our goals.”
We are entering phase two of an independent review of the School Resource Officer Program. We know that many cities and police services with similar programs are making decisions related to their future, and we want to make sure that our approach is best suited for our community.
The review of this program will help us understand its impacts, determine if it is achieving positive outcomes for all students, and to determine future strategies.
Phase one of the public consultation, which is now complete, resulted in 1,400 responses to an independent survey from students, parents, teachers, administrators and CPS officers. These responses are being used to identify key themes that will guide further consultation.
Phase two is moving forward with additional engagement through virtual events.
An online engagement portal has been developed to target feedback from students and young people who are currently attending, or may have recently attended, a school from the following:
- Calgary Board of Education
- Calgary Catholic School District
- Palliser School District
- FrancoSud School Board
This portal, which can be accessed here will remain open until Monday, May 17, 2021.
Virtual sessions are also being held. Registration is required for these events:
- Parents and Guardians – Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 6 p.m. Register here
- Teachers and school staff – Thursday, April 29, 2021, 4 p.m. Register here
Written submissions with feedback about the School Resource Officer program can be sent directly to the independent consultant firm, Argyle PR, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The School Resource Officer program was established in Calgary in 1976 with the goals of:
- Maintaining a safe and secure environment within the schools to support a positive atmosphere for education.
- Promoting awareness of the role of the police in society through engagement with students in both formal and informal activities.
- Establishing and maintaining a relationship with school personnel and students to prevent criminal involvement.
- Bridging the gap between police officers and young people to promote positive attitudes towards law enforcement and reduce youth involvement in crime.
“As a Service, we understand our intent of this program and this review will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the impact it has had on the lives of students, families, teachers and school staff,” says Superintendent Asif Rashid of the Calgary Police Service Strategic Planning and Partnerships Division. “Calgarians have told us that they want us to look at what the police does and how they do it. As well, they want us to engage with the community to ensure they are better served. This review is a direct response to that feedback.”
Our Diversity Advisory Boards, as well as external and internal Anti-Racism Action Committees, will also be consulted throughout this review.
The entire review of this program is expected to be completed this year, with a full commitment to sharing results and next steps with the community.