Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Pride: Police Can Participate in Parade, but Not in Uniform

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Pride: Police Can Participate in Parade, but Not in Uniform

Article excerpt

Calgary Pride: No police uniforms at parade

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CALGARY - Uniformed police officers will not be marching in Calgary's annual Pride parade in September.

Calgary Pride said Wednesday that it encourages police to take part, as long as it's without uniforms, firearms, vehicles or institutional representation, such as floats.

"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," the group said in a news release.

"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 (gender and sexually diverse) community and the challenges they may have encountered as a self-identified (gender and sexually diverse) community member in the workplace."

Calgary Pride said it also wants top brass at the Calgary Police Service, including Chief Roger Chaffin, to have formal diversity and inclusion training.

As in past years, the group said police will provide security at the Sept. 3 parade, which attracts more than 60,000 spectators.

"We believe banning (the Calgary Police Service), 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 community," Calgary Pride's release said.

"We welcome the participation of Calgary Police Service, and other law enforcement agencies in a manner that demonstrates allyship and understanding."

The Calgary Police Service said it will have an entry in the parade, but will respect the request that no uniforms be worn.

"We are obviously disappointed with the decision that police will not be allowed to march in uniform, but we are not going to allow it to undo decades of progress between law enforcement and the LGBTQ community in Calgary," Chaffin said in a statement. …

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