The London Police Service is committed to inclusive principles of diversity. With an emphasis on community partnerships, they strive to become leaders in maximizing the potential of diverse talent. Pursuing their policy on Diversity, and their objective “to enhance employee’s understanding and appreciation of diversity within the workplace and the community” and in support of an inclusive workplace, the London Police Service has collaborated with community agencies to provide employment opportunities for people who have a disability. In creating the “I Work” program, they recognize that diversity is their strength and they value the contributions made by their employees through these partnerships. Their goal is to “provide inclusive and meaningful employment opportunities in their workforce for people who have a disability”.
In 2007 London Police Services hired Kevin Hewett and haven’t looked back since. Kevin quickly grew into his job as Document Protection Worker where he expanded his skills and his work capacity.
Last November, Chief Duncan and Kevin spoke at a Police Services training symposium in Mississauga. The symposium was attended by police officers, senior managers, and human resources personnel from across Ontario. The objective was to raise awareness and provide solutions for achieving diversity within police service organizations. The goal was to provide training to help break down barriers that interfere with building partnerships with diverse members of the community. London’s example of the significant benefits was shared and strategies and tools for hiring people who have a disability were provided.
Last June, the London Police Service hosted the 2012 Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Annual General Meeting. Speaking to 200 attendees during the breakfast plenary, Chief Duncan spoke of the value gained by hiring Kevin. Chief Duncan took this opportunity to issue a call-to-action, for all police departments, including RCMP and OPP, across the province; to employ a diverse work force and to experience the benefits they have gained. He encouraged attendees to provide meaningful employment opportunities and to foster an inclusive working environment, where all employees are appreciated and valued.
Chief Duncan followed this up with a letter, written and delivered to all Police Chiefs across Ontario. Since that time, this call to action has been responded to by other Police Services including Peterborough, Durham Region and Woodstock. And this is just the beginning.
Chief Duncan is also investigating ways to share this message at a national level and is exploring opportunities to speak at a conference for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.