Surrey Police Service emphasizes diversity

SURREY Police Service (SPS) Chief Constable Norm Lipinski in a report to the Surrey Police Board noted that the SPS recently completed the initial hiring of executive and senior officer positions. The leadership team represents a broad range of gender and ethnicity factors, supporting SPS’ goals for a diverse leadership team.

The report pointed out that of the 18 executive and senior officers hired, the following diverse demographic factors are represented:

• 4 female

• 3 Indigenous 

• 2 South Asian 

• 1 Japanese 

• 1 Iranian/Belgian

Those hired into leadership positions report speaking English, French, Punjabi, Ukrainian, Spanish, and Farsi. Of these 18 leaders, eight came from municipal police departments, while 10 came from the RCMP, representing a breadth of knowledge and experience. 

The report pointed out: “SPS priority for these key leadership positions was to target those with the critical skills, experience, and abilities to understand the requirements for the successful planning and execution needed to establish the new police service.  It is important to understand that individuals with desirable diversity factors have not historically received equal opportunities and support, therefore have not risen through the ranks in the same numbers as white males. 

“With this in mind, there are still numerous leadership roles that will become available as SPS gears toward operationalization.  It is also anticipated that some of those recently hired will move to other positions within the Service, creating future promotional opportunities for current and new staff.  SPS intends to focus on supporting those members who wish to seek out opportunities to advance in their careers.  In this way, we will create internal strategies to achieve our diversity goals.” 

“As one of the core principles of SPS culture and values, we will continue to strive for diversity in recruiting and hiring practices. Our goal is to achieve organizational diversity that truly reflects the community,” the report concluded.