Policing students undeterred by OPS census
Survey revealed deep rift over Ottawa police force's mission to diversify its ranks
Students in the police foundations program at Algonquin College say they're not discouraged by a recent census of Ottawa Police Service officers and civilian employees that reveals a deep divide over the force's attempts to diversify its ranks.
The draft report obtained by CBC News shows while there's been a increase in visible minorities joining the force since 2012, there is also a growing perception of reverse discrimination among employees, who are overwhelmingly white.
For future hires, the report certainly doesn't paint a pleasant picture of working for the Ottawa Police Service.
Here's what students had to say about whether or not the census affects their decision to pursue a career in policing.
Zachary Shameer, Ottawa
Sort of, but the police force has said they're looking for more visible minorities, so that's somewhat encouraging, knowing that we have a chance to get in.
I want to have a job in law enforcement one day and I want to help people.
Thomas Mckenney, Halifax
It makes me wonder about the job security and the job certainty just because of my race, like if I'm going to be not considered because there are too many white applicants. What can I do to change that if I can't really change that?
It's not enough to make me feel that I would have to change my plans or anything. I think it's something that will be able to get managed, it's just something that's going to take time.
Abinaya Uthayakumar, Sri Lanka
It's kind of a problem that there's not a lot of diversity in the Ottawa police force, so I would say it's even better for me. It's more of a plus point for me to get into this, whatever law enforcement [agency], and I'm not just going for policing. It could be like CBSA or anything of the sort.
Ali Abou-Abbas, Ottawa
No, I don't really let that bother me. I understand it's something that's an ongoing issue, but at the same time I don't let it distract me, I don't let it get to my mind.
I believe like everyone of all genders and race, they should be able to be a police officer without having any discrimination against them.
Nathan Smith, Ottawa
I don't think it does. I've wanted to become a cop for a while and regardless of the diversity issues in the police force, I'm going to try and be a good applicant.
I think the change needs to be in community policing, not the diversity issues.... It needs to be how people feel about the police, not how the demographics of the police are.