February 16, 2017 8:05 pm
Updated: February 17, 2017 7:33 am

Saskatoon Police Service look to change entrance exam to diversify workforce

The Saskatoon Police Service is looking to change its entrance exam to accept more diverse recruits and meet Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission standards.

File / Global News

The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is working to diversify the force to meet and exceed standards set out by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC). In order to do so they have to change the entrance exam.

Based on the population of Saskatoon, the SHRC suggests a workplace should have the following representation in 2016:

  • Aboriginal people: 14 per cent
  • Visible minority group: 11 per cent
  • Persons with disabilities: 12.4 per cent
  • Women in under-represented occupations: 46 per cent

According to a report by the SPS, none of these recommendations were met in 2016:

  • Aboriginal people: 11.1 per cent
  • Visible minority group: 4.7 per cent
  • Persons with disabilities: 4.8 per cent
  • Women in under-represented cccupations: 33.2 per cent

The SPS has been working towards the employment equity plan since 2002. The overall change in percentage of equity group members has increased from 33.42 per cent in 2002 to 53.86 per cent in 2016.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Police Service looks past the misconceptions of the working blind

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Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill identified the SIGMA entrance exam as the main barrier to entry for indigenous people and new Canadians. In order to reach the SHRC goals, the SPS has tasked the planning and research section to investigate how the exam can be adjusted.

“We found it’s a barrier for hiring indigenous and new Canadians,” said Weighill.

“We still want some type of written exam. We want to make sure that the candidates can problem solve and have the education level of understanding and writing that we need for a police officer,” he added.

The only section where Weighill said police won’t be able to reach commission standards is with persons with disabilities.

“Front line officers have to be physically fit, they have to have everything at their disposal. Full sight, full hearing and full physical capabilities.”

Saskatoon Police Service 2020 target goals:

  • Aboriginal people: 16 per cent
  • Visible minority group: 8 per cent
  • Persons with disabilities: “continue to increase where positions allow”
  • Women in under-represented occupations: 47 per cent

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