President of the Police Association
The president had a lot of praise for Chief Paulson and his personal openness. However, she felt that this was personal and that it was not being pushed into the senior ranks. She also felt that most consultations were a joke, usually more of an announcement than a real effort to consult, which should involve, in her view, actually asking for and listening to the other party's opinion.
In general, working conditions were good for most of the officers. She noted that one recent survey of sworn officers indicated that 60 percent reported they had enough time to do their work. She was surprised at that.
The president felt that the Police Service was like all the rest – mostly white men – at a time when society was changing. However, she acknowledged that there were no ready answers and that she would speak for all her members, even the white men. However, the hiring practices should beef up recruitment of minorities, but without sacrificing standards. She has a personal focus on harassment in the workplace and had personally filed complaints about inappropriate sexual comments by senior staff.
The Police Service just seems to be keeping up to the minimum of training requirements. It is always scrambling to meet standards without thinking about staff development. As such, there is a rush for the mandatory training and very little else. She feels the Police Service should be working harder on such issues as diversity awareness, use of technology, and emerging crime issues. Often the younger staff members are way ahead of the senior people on computer crime, but their capabilities are never used.
The president doesn't feel that the Chief does enough to build up the image of frontline staff. He is too quiet with the media and seems to be responsive but not proactive on issues. He seems cautious in defending officers when something goes wrong. He should be more aggressive.
While she has been with the Police Service for 12 years, the president says she feels like an old-timer. That's because she is. She is worried about the influx of younger officers who lack experience. She is also seeing promotions much earlier in people's careers than in the past. She supports the members getting ahead, but all this change can destabilize the Police Service. She sees management as responsible for making sure that these people succeed.