Gatineau police launch accelerated training program to increase officer diversity

Gatineau police need more officers who are Indigenous or a visible or ethnic minority, so they're seeking candidates for an accelerated 10-month training program.

Interested candidates have until April 20 to apply

An accelerated police training program is now available for those who are Indigenous and people of colour, Gatineau police say. (Stu Mills/CBC)

Less than five per cent of police officers in Gatineau, Que., have diverse backgrounds. That's 19 permanent officers.

To help remedy the situation, the local police force is seeking more officers who are Indigenous or from a visible or ethnic minority for an accelerated 10-month training program.

Applicants have to be Canadian citizens and have a valid driver's licence, as well as possess either a bachelor's degree or college diploma.

They must also be able to take part in a 30-week training program starting this fall semester at a participating CEGEP (one hiccup: no CEGEP in the Outaouais is offering it at this point), and then a 15-week patrol training program at Quebec's police academy in Nicolet, Que.

If candidates successfully complete those courses and pass a medical exam and security screening, Gatineau police promise to employ them.

Gatineau police Chief Luc Beaudoin said the force needs to better represent the community it serves. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

Building trust

Gatineau police Chief Luc Beaudoin says the force has to better reflect the community it serves.

"The community always has more confidence in its police service when it feels represented," he told Radio-Canada.

Municipal Coun. Olive Kamanyana of the Carrefour-de-l'Hôpital district agrees, saying more racialized officers will help the force build trust with residents.

A virtual information session will take place at 7 p.m. this upcoming Tuesday

Interested candidates have until April 20 to apply.

With files from Radio-Canada