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Newest police graduates reflect city's changing communities

23-Sep-2022

“EPS is striving to be a more diverse, inclusive, and forward-thinking police service,” said Chief Dale McFee. “We are hiring compassionate, community-minded leaders and aspiring visionaries, and tapping into a broader set of skills to help solve the social issues in our communities.” 

The members of Recruit Training Class (RTC) 154 came from across Canada, Brazil, China, India, Switzerland, and the Philippines, and are fluent in languages such as Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, and Tagalog. 

They also brought a range of experiences and skills not only from law enforcement, corrections, and the military, but from the fields of social services, education, business, medicine, and the arts and sciences. Approximately 90% of the class have post-secondary educations. 

While these demographics fluctuate with each class, EPS is seeing an overall increase in diversity in recent classes. Self-identified diversity in the classes has increased from 57% in 2018 to 70% in 2022. 

The standards for police officers have not changed and the most qualified applicants continue to be hired. However, EPS has recently made significant changes to its recruiting and training programs to strengthen its connection to the community. 

These changes include the launch of a new recruitment campaign, targeted outreach to diverse communities, and the Recruit Mentoring Academy (RMA) to help improve an applicant’s skills and reduce the barriers often experienced by under-represented communities. 

EPS has hired 134 of 217 RMA participants, with 96 of those hires coming from under-represented communities. Half of the recruits in RTC 154 participated in the program before being hired.

EPS is also helping new recruits better understand diverse communities. Training has been increasingly focused on building cultural competency, learning about the impacts of bias and trauma, and providing practicum placements at social agencies where recruits can build relationships within the community. 

“The community is changing and so is policing,” said Deputy Chief Alan Murphy. “We recently established a new integrated Training, Development and Recruiting Division to grow the talents of individuals wherever they are in their policing careers. This new process is helping more individuals succeed and achieve their dreams of becoming police officers.”

Through their hard work and perseverance, 32 EPS constables graduated from RTC 154 on Sept. 16, 2022.

Two constables from the Camrose Police Service and one constable from the Lacombe Police Service who trained with the class also graduated. 

With RTC 154’s academy training complete, the new constables now move into field development with the EPS Community Policing Bureau. Afterwards, they will return for some additional assessment and training to maximize their potential further.

Reflecting on the next generation of police officers, Chief McFee adds, “We are challenged to address crime, harm and disorder in new and innovative ways. We have a unique opportunity to lead this change and deliver better outcomes for all, and Class 154 will be building on this framework and helping us keep our commitment to Edmontonians.”

For more information about a career with EPS, please visit www.newepsrecruits.ca.