Saanich police deploy all-female constable team

The Saanich Police Service took a historic step Sunday evening by deploying an all-female constable team.

Saanich is committed to the 30×30 initiative which aims to recruit 30 percent women by 2030.

The initiative is driven by the fact that women are significantly underrepresented in law enforcement.

“The 30 by 30 program began in the United States several years ago and piqued our interest because we are committed to increasing our diversity within the organization,” said Saanich Police Chief Dean Guthrie.

“We joined the initiative (and) we were one of the first departments in British Columbia in Canada to actually join.”

Guthrie said the department already has a number of women working there so they are looking for ways to increase female employment.

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“There is absolutely room for improvement,” he added. “We are not only focused on recruiting a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates, including women, into the police department, but we seek out and pay a lot of attention to our mid-ranking officers, our supervisory, sergeants, rank of staff sergeant, as well as senior officers and senior executives.

Guthrie added that it is essential to have women on staff because officers serve many different people in the community and it is important to have different perspectives and means of communication.

“And that’s exactly what this 30 Million by 30 program does, where our police officers who are on the front lines are doing a tremendous job and really engaging and investigating and connecting with the community in a way that’s different than this what a male police officer could do.

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Insp. Stephanie Finateri is part of a study called Canadian Policewomen: A National Exploration of the Female Police Experience.

“It is conducted by the Durham Regional Police Service in partnership with Ontario Tech University and is endorsed by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police,” she told PKBNEWS.

“The study aims to fill the information gap regarding the challenges and opportunities faced by women working in law enforcement in Canada and to highlight the critical importance of equity between gender in Canadian police services.

The study has just started and will continue until March 2024.

“There are many barriers in Canada when it comes to women working in police,” Finateri said.

“That’s why this study is very important so that we can better understand these barriers and what we can do in the future to ensure a fair workplace.”

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