CALGARY – Across the nation there have been discussions of law enforcement participation within Pride celebrations. In consultation with Calgary Police Services (CPS) and VOICES, a local coalition of Two-Spirit and racialized LGBTQIA+ community members, Calgary Pride has prepared a statement regarding law enforcement participation in Calgary’s 2017 Pride Parade and Festival. The aim of this announcement is to communicate that as an organization, we believe banning Calgary Police Services, and other law enforcement agencies from participating in Calgary’s Pride activities deters from engaging in meaningful discussions on how law enforcement agencies can best support Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse (GSD) community. We welcome the participation of Calgary Police Services, and other law enforcement agencies in a manner that demonstrates allyship and understanding.
We acknowledge the historical oppression and institutionalized racism faced by queer/trans people of colour and Indigenous persons, and the potentially negative association with weapons, uniforms, and other symbols of law enforcement. We also recognize the oppression of the gender and sexually diverse community at large, the discrimination faced by members of law enforcement who identify as part of the GSD community, and the challenges they may have encountered as a self-identified GSD community member in the workplace. Both groups continue to courageously face these challenges through advocating for cultural shifts in their communities.
Similar to past Calgary Pride events, Calgary Police Services will continue to provide security as a part of their civic duty to ensure participants, and activities are safe. Calgary Pride encourages law enforcement members to celebrate and participate under the following conditions:
- Participating staff and officers of Calgary Police Services and other law enforcement agencies (RCMP, Correctional Services, etc.) will participate without uniforms, firearms, vehicles, or any forms of institutional representation, such as floats etc.
- Calgary Police Services Chief of Police Roger Chaffin, and Deputy Chief of Police Sat Parhar, in addition to the Senior Executive team of Calgary Police Services will engage in formal Diversity and Inclusion training, prior to displaying institutional representation within future Calgary Pride activities. Similar conversations will take place with other law enforcement agencies. We believe CPS Senior Executive team’s engagement in formal Diversity and Inclusion training will demonstrate their commitment to allyship and creating a cultural shift in law enforcement agencies’ approach to diversity and inclusion, within a top-down approach. This commitment will strengthen community relations with Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse community. The proposed date of this training will be announced when details have been finalized.
These conditions have been communicated in detail to Calgary Police Services’ senior management team through discussions with VOICES, to ensure collaboration, community-connectedness, and transparency. With the 27th Pride Parade activities approaching, we will continue to consult with our community, partners, members, and law enforcement agencies seeking to foster collaborative solutions regarding police participation within future Calgary Pride events and Calgary’s gender and sexually diverse community.
Calgary Pride is a not-for-profit organization that exists to promote equality and celebrate Calgary’s diversity. The signature Calgary Pride Parade on September 3rd, 2017 is one of the most colourful celebrations of the year. This family friendly parade sees upwards of 60,000 spectators as over 150 entries from community groups, corporations, politicians, churches, and public services celebrate the tremendous diversity of Calgary’s community.