RNC embraces LGBT-friendly recruiting policy
Newfoundland police force aims to remove 'barriers that prevent LGBT people from serving,' video says
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has posted a video in its attempt to get recruits from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
"At the RNC, we're committed to removing the barriers that prevent LGBT people from serving on our force," an officer says in the one-minute video, posted on Monday to the RNC's YouTube channel.
The video shows a series of officers, who together spread a message of tolerance, respect and diversity.
"At the RNC, if you can serve, you can serve," one officer says from a patrol car.
"When you serve with us, I'll have your back," another says.
The video was released just before the launch next Monday of Pride Week in St. John's.
'You're welcome and wanted'
RNC Chief Bill Janes said the ad is part of the force's new approach to being more diverse.
"Sometimes, you don't know you're welcome and wanted until someone says you're welcome and wanted," he said.
Const. Alexandra Mackey has been on the force for almost six years.
"I feel quite welcome," she said. "When you become a police officer, it goes down to being a police officer first, and everything else is secondary."
"It doesn't matter at all. I think anybody in the LGBT community could apply for any type of job, and I think policing is a profession that they might want to get into," she said.
Mackey said the community is changing, and the RNC has to change with it.
"St. John's is becoming more diverse. Every year, there's different groups coming up in St. John's, and we want to be able to connect, communicate, and interact with our community as best we can," she said.
Janes said the force is working toward being a reflection of the community.
The video is part of the chief's new corporate plan to reach out, not only to the LGBT community, but also to other underrepresented groups, to build a more inclusive, diverse police force that reflects the community it serves.
But this approach doesn't just extend to new recruits.
"It's about ensuring that we're approachable for potential victims of crime in the members of the LGBT community," Janes said.
Residents pleased with ad campaign
"It's really great to see," said St. John's Pride committee member Jamie Harnum, who especially liked seeing all sorts of officers in the video.
"The people that you could see around, they are in the video," Harnum said.
"So if someone was in trouble, even if they weren't interested in getting involved in the RNC, if they saw one of these police force members they would know, 'OK, this is someone who has promoted LGBT equality, they're probably a safe person to talk to.'"
Two weeks ago, a photo it posted to its Facebook page that shows two officers from the RNC's mounted unit heading to Fort Amherst with a Pride flag drew scores of shares and likes from the local community.
"As a proud parent of a gay daughter, and recently daughter in-law, you have no idea how good it feels to know that you are sincerely making our province a safer and happier place for them to live," wrote Cyril Humby on the comment thread on that photo.