Hamilton Police Service holding recruiting event at mosque

Hamilton Police Service/File

The Hamilton Police Service is making another effort to be more representative of the city’s diverse population.

It’s holding a recruitment event at a mountain mosque Wednesday evening.

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The director of the Muslim Association of Hamilton says the police service has come a long way in the past decade, but Kamran Bhatti says there are still no members of the Muslim community or other diverse backgrounds with ranks higher than first-class constable.

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Bhatti says that compares poorly with nearby communities like Toronto, where police chief Mark Saunders comes from a racial minority community.

Bhatti says that’s the kind of results that they’re hoping for from these types of recruitment events.

According to Hamilton police, 17.5 per cent of the service’s officers are aboriginal or a visible minority and 25 per cent of senior officers are women.

Chief Eric Girt says Hamilton police, along with the city’s other service providers continue, to work to reflect the community.

Bhatti admits part of the problem is that members of his community don’t apply for jobs with the police service, partly because of the “tumultuous” relationship they may have had with police in their home country.

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Bhatti says the event is also unique because it doesn’t just involve Hamilton police. He says it will also include the fire department, paramedics, RCMP and the OPP.

Bhatti is hoping that members of the Muslim community will see “they are going to be able to position themselves into one of these services and really excel.”

The event happens Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hamilton Mountain Mosque, 1545 Stone Church Rd. E.