Race Against Racism aims for positive relationships
Saskatoon Police Service says its Cultural Unit is helping to improve perceptions
This weekend Saskatoon Police held their annual Race Against Racism.
The event invited members of the public to race alongside the Saskatoon Police Service and members of their Cultural Resources Unit in a 3 and 5 kilometre race.
The event raises money and food for the Saskatoon Food Bank, and it's also aimed at increasing public awareness about the measures the city's police force takes to break down barriers between police and minority groups.
Monica Goulet is a Métis woman who now serves as a civilian consultant for Saskatoon Police Service's Aboriginal Relations department.
Goulet's background is in Human Resources, but she says she realized the need for her role after what she describes as a 'catalystic' event she witnessed while crossing a road in down town Saskatoon.
"There was a little aboriginal boy standing beside me. And just about that time there was a police paddy wagon that came around the corner. And that boy was physically upset about seeing the paddy wagon," Goulet said.
Now Goulet's job is to act as a liaison between First Nations people and Saskatoon Police. She says Aboriginal People's confidence in the SPS is up from 38 per cent in 2005 to 68 per cent today.
Constable Jing Xiao is a member of the SPS Cultural Unit. Xiao says her work is important because it humanizes police officers.
"We are trying to be really pro-active, to meet the community. And let them know, police officers, we are human beings too. We have our feelings and we really care," Xiao said.