The Windsor Police Service released the results of their inaugural Workplace Census which was conducted between May 24th and August 31st of 2012. The census was initiated by the Windsor Police Service Human Rights Project team.
Seeking to address policing and human rights issues, the main objective of the Human Rights Project was to develop and implement initiatives aimed at identifying, eliminating and preventing any possible discrimination in the employment practices and service delivery of the Windsor Police Service (WPS).
“We now have an accurate snapshot of what our organization looks like,” commented Al Frederick, Chief of Police, adding, “Understanding the demographic makeup of our members is key to improving our ability to better address the needs of the community, develop our workforce, recruit new employees and conduct succession planning.”
96% of the WPS completed the voluntary census, and the organization plans to conduct another census in three years time to compare results.
“[A] considerable amount of work went into it,” commented Inspector Facciolo of the Human Rights Project, adding, “we had to formulate the questions, make sure that the questions were accurate, that they had some relevance to the police service…being able to analyze that data.”
As the census was voluntary, it had to be entirely anonymous, and the WPS is one of only two other police services throughout the Province of Ontario [Ottawa and Toronto] to complete such an endeavour. “We saw this as a necessity to identify where we were falling short.”
The WPS represents the community as a whole, and Inspector Facciolo explained that while they may never achieve a comparable representation of the community, such is alright.
“What we want to represent to the community is that policing is a good job, that our doors are open, we have no biases, [and that] there are no barriers here at all,” stated Facciolo, adding, “If you have what it takes to become a police officer here, if you can meet the requirements, we have a job for you.”
Inspector Facciolo explained that the WPS is actively attempting to attract diverse segments of the community to consider a profession in policing and that the organization is “going to go out to [the community] … we’ve held sessions within the community, and we’re asking community leaders to get involved and help us out to change the face of the Windsor Police Service.”
Some Statistics of the Census:
- Roughly 79% of the WPS are 35 years of age or older
- 4/5 members are legally married or in a common-law relationship
- 85% identify as religious; 50% as Catholic
- Roughly 90% were born in Ontario
- 5% identify as Aboriginal
- Almost 3% identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning
- 70% of the force are male
- Among sworn members there is one female for five males
- Civilian members: 73.5% female and 26.5% male
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.