Ottawa·Human Library

Ottawa officer breaks down barriers between police, marginalized communities

Isobel Granger began as the first black officer to work in the white ranks of a segregated police force in her original home country of Zimbabwe, and in 30 years as a police officer has kept community and inclusion at the heart of her work.

Isobel Granger is a 'book' in this year's Human Library event on Feb. 27

Isobel Granger on being a police officer as a black woman

Ottawa

5 years ago
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Isobel Granger wants to break down barriers between marginalized groups and police 0:33

Throughout a policing career that's spanned nearly three decades, Isobel Granger has kept community and inclusion at the heart of her work.

Now a staff sergeant with the Ottawa Police Service, she began as the first black officer in the white ranks of a segregated police force in her original home country of Zimbabwe.

"I have a unique perspective, because I understand both perspectives," said Granger.

"And I know that traditionally, the marginalized communities, or ethnic minority communities, a lot of times the relationship between the police and the communities is tumultuous, and sometimes there's a divide, and I know that I have a role to play in which I can actually help to break down the barriers between the community and the police."

'I like that you can impact people at really crucial points in their lives'

That's what has motivated her ever since she joined Ottawa police 26 years ago. During that time, she's worked in its youth section, diversity and race relations, and most recently with the partner assault unit.

"I like that you can impact people at really crucial points in their lives," she added. "I like that it's an area of society where you can do a lot of things to build capacity in the community that you're living in."

Granger will be one of the "books" in this year's Human Library on Feb. 27, presented by CBC Ottawa and the Ottawa Public Library.

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