VICTORIA — The police board in Victoria and Esquimalt is doing an analysis of the racial and gender composition of the department to help determine where it should focus recruiting.
The board says it passed four motions at a meeting on Tuesday as the past few weeks have been "very challenging for many members of our communities, in particular Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour."
Protests have been held around the world after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis where a white officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed Black man's neck while he pleaded for air and later stopped moving.
In a statement, the board says it wants to know the racial and gender composition of the Victoria Police Department to see how it measures against the general population.
It has asked the police chief to present the board with a list of bias awareness, anti-racism, cultural sensitivity and de-escalation training that officers receive, with recommendations for additional training.
It also wants the chief to present the board with any other recommendations to address racism and discrimination that he thinks should be considered.
The board says it wants to listen to the community to address racism and discrimination.
"This is an opportunity for the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board and the Victoria Police Department to engage in the difficult and uncomfortable conversations that are necessary in order to learn what we need to do to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, everywhere, at all times," it says in a statement.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press