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Calgary police continue to reform workplace culture after harassment claims

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WATCH ABOVE: Allegations of bullying and sexual harassment within the Calgary Police Service are forcing some to ask difficult questions. A report from 2013 says over 60 officers and civilian employees complained about how they were treated by fellow employees and managers. Gary Bobrovitz has more – Oct 24, 2016

The Calgary Police Association says workplace harassment is a serious issue, but not widespread within the Calgary Police Service (CPS) after claims of inappropriate workplace behaviour.

“I deal with these situations and they do occur and we assist our members through them, but I wouldn’t say that this is a widespread problem,” CPA president Howard Burns said. “But it is a serious problem that the service does need to address.”

A former Calgary police detective who did not want to be identified told Global News she was a victim.

“I was fortunate in that I did not have episodes of sexual harassment, but definitely gender issues and family status issues,” she said. “But there’s also men and women being equally bullied and harassed by members within the service.”

A workplace review report from November 2013 commissioned by former police chief Rick Hanson uncovered over 60 complaints from CPS employees claiming they were subject to bullying, sexual harassment and intimidation.

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Scroll down to read the full workplace review from November 2013

There are over 3,000 employees in the organization, including over 2,000 sworn police members and about 1,000 civilian staff.

Hanson established the Office of Inclusion in October 2014. It aims to upgrade and improve human resources (HR) functions at CPS and deal with gender-based issues.

The office has implemented a series of workplace reforms, including training for civilian managers and senior police leadership, more flexible work shifts, working with gender issue specialists from the University of Calgary and hiring a lawyer for the police HR department.

Current Calgary Police Chief Roger Chaffin says he is continuing to move these reforms forward since taking over from Hanson in late 2015.

“We have a strong obligation to make sure that we have a fair and respectful workplace and that everybody feels safe in the workplace, so the issue is very serious,” he said.

Chaffin says not all of the workplace issues have been resolved. He said it will take time to change values and improve the work environment.

Read the full workplace review from November 2013 below:

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