Over the past two weeks, voices across North America and the world, have spoken loudly about racism. As the Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP I have been listening, reflecting and looking inward. Our own organization has a history that has seen racism. We have taken many steps to hear, understand and act upon these kinds of incidents, but I know we can do more. As a police service we have a very important role to play in the elimination of racism.
We have a duty to hear these voices and an obligation to act.
Police officers are rightfully held to a higher standard by people we serve. In the policing world, accountability is key to earning the trust and respect of these communities we serve every single day, especially those who need and expect the most of us. I have, along with our employees, witnessed instances of injustice and inappropriate behaviour that police officers have taken part in across Alberta and Canada. The Alberta RCMP has no tolerance for such conduct and will hold employees responsible for this kind of behaviour – no individual is above the law in Canada.
I expect our employees to demonstrate care and sensitivity, exercise judgment in word and action to be in line with our core values of honesty, integrity, professionalism, compassion, accountability and respect. Day-to-day I witness this behaviour from Alberta RCMP employees, and the respect our organization has worldwide is built on the trust that has grown from those actions. When our employees conduct themselves outside of those expectations, it is my job to hold them accountable, and I assure you I do - and will continue to do so.
In Alberta we have taken steps down the road to Reconciliation, building a plan by working with our Indigenous leaders and communities. We have formed committees to ensure inclusivity and balance – not only in how we deliver our services, but also in how we diversify our staff, thoughts and actions. Alberta RCMP employees are committed to the communities we serve by being present, listening to community members and leaders, and taking their needs into account. Our organization also remains sensitive to, and respectful of, the diverse and multicultural communities with which we work.
We owe our community members service with clarity, character, integrity and professionalism, while keeping in mind the current and historical experiences of diverse and culturally diverse Albertans.
There has been much said, by many organizations, over the past few weeks. I firmly believe it is time for organizations like this one to continue to hear and understand, and act swiftly and accordingly when racism occurs. I commit to you to continue to hold the Alberta RCMP to that standard.
Curtis Zablocki, M.O.M