Former London police chief Brad Duncan says he’s disappointed police officers will no longer be able to walk in the London Pride parade while in uniform.
On Friday, it was announced that officers won’t be allowed to walk in the parade wearing their uniforms or driving police cruisers.
It was a move to make the parade more inclusive for London’s LGBTQ community.
In a letter to the London Free Press, Duncan, who was the first police chief in London to march in the parade and served as its grand marshall in 2015, wrote that to say he was disappointed by the decision is an understatement.
Current police Chief John Pare says they have a good relationship with the London Pride Festival.
“We’ve had discussions with the Pride board in London for a couple years now in relation to our participation in the parade, which we’ve been doing for about eight years now.”
The president of Pride London Festival, Andrew Rosser, says seeing officers in uniform discourages some people from attending the parade.
“We heard loud and clear from members form our Indigenous community and people of colour that when they come to Pride and see such a large presence of police in uniform, it’s a deterrent, and we’re finding people aren’t coming because of that and we want to make sure it’s inclusive to all.”
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London Pride joins parades in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary barring uniformed police officers from participating in pride festivities.
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