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Workforce Census Report

Diversity within the Thunder Bay Police Service: Comparisons to broader communities

In 2017 the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS), led by Deputy Chief Hauth, began an organizational change initiative. The purpose is to re-right relations inside and outside of the TBPS to respond to calls of systemic discrimination within TBPS. To begin, Senior Management and consultant Leisa Desmoulins developed and tested the Workforce Census to gain a baseline of the socio-demographic characteristics of its staff.

Download a full copy of the report here. 

The TBPS Workforce Census

On December 4, 2017, all TBPS staff received an email with a link to Survey Monkey. The voluntary survey asked 25 questions that took respondents about 10 minutes to complete. In her new role as A/Chief, Hauth emailed four reminders to staff that had not completed the survey before it closed on January 5, 2018. When it closed, 171 staff members (171 of 320, 53%) had filled the survey.

Some of the survey questions offer a snapshot of the diversity of its staff. For the TBPS, diversity in policing matters for public trust and for recruitment of new employees from diverse communities [1]. These are vital for effective policing, perceived legitimacy, and community relations [2].

Typically, staff surveys have response rates of 30-40% or more [3]. The response rate for this TBPS survey has a 90% confidence rating, which measures how closely survey respondents reflect the workforce of TBPS [4]. All data were aggregated to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of respondents’ data.

Comparisons to other surveys to assess diversity

The purpose of this report is to compare TBPS survey respondents to other police and civilian survey respondents on representation of women, visible minorities, and Aboriginal peoples in the workforce. Historically these groups have been under-represented in the workforce, particularly in police services [5]. Comparisons were drawn from the working age population of the Thunder Bay CMA (Census 2016) and the Police Administration Survey (PAS, 2017) [6]. Using these surveys, the charts below also compare age of respondents [7] to gauge the potential for new diversity hires at TBPS.

Representation of women

The charts below examine the representation of women at the TBPS compared to working age Census respondents, Thunder Bay (chart 1), sworn respondents from PAS, Ontario (chart 2), and sworn women respondents by rank from PAS, Ontario (chart 3).


Sources: TBPS Workforce Census. Census profile 2016, Thunder Bay CMA (age 15-64).

Sources: TBPS Workforce Census. PAS data from CANSIM table 254-00002.

Overall, the TBPS has a smaller percentage of women working in its service than women in the working age population (15-65 years of age) of Thunder Bay. The TBPS percentage of female sworn respondents (19%) mirrors the percentage of women officers working within police services across Ontario.

Sources: TBPS Workforce Census. PAS data from CANSIM table 254-0005.

The TBPS has a lower percentage of women at the rank of Constable, comparable women at the rank of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO), and a greater percentage of women at the Senior Officer/Director level compared to women in police services across Ontario.

Findings suggest that the TBPS increase its recruitment of women into the organization as constables and continue to support and promote women officers to the rank of NCO to reflect women in the workforce within the city and police services in Ontario more closely. Importantly, a police service that reflects its community may enhance its recruitment from diverse communities [8].

Representation of visible minority groups

The charts below look at the representation of respondents that identify as visible minority in the TBPS in relation to census respondents in Thunder Bay (chart 4), PAS sworn respondents in Ontario (chart 5), and civilian members of TBPS in relation to Census respondents in Thunder Bay (chart 6). 

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. Census data from Statistics Canada, Table 1, Text box 2, Catalogue no. 85-002-x

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. PAS data from Statistics Canada, Table 1, Catalogue no. 85-002-x

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. Census data from Immigration and ethnocultural diversity highlight tables, Census profile 2016, Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)

The TBPS has a slightly higher percentage of respondents (<1%) that identify as visible minority than Census respondents. Among civilians at the TBPS, there is a smaller percentage that identify as visible minority than Census respondents (~2%). For sworn members, TBPS has a far smaller percentage of respondents that identify as visible minority than other police services in Ontario (6% vs. 29%). Findings suggest that the TBPS recruit civilians that identify as visible minority to meet representation within the broader community and aim to maintain the current percentage of sworn members.

Representation of Aboriginal peoples

The charts below look at the representation of respondents that self-identify as Aboriginal in the TBPS in relation to census respondents in Thunder Bay (chart 7), PAS sworn respondents in Ontario (chart 8), and civilian members of TBPS in relation to Census respondents in Thunder Bay (chart 9).

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. Census data are taken from Aboriginal Peoples Highlight Table, Aboriginal identity.

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. PAS data are taken from Table 2, Text box 2, Statistics Canada catalogue no. 85-002x

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. Census data are taken from Aboriginal from Aboriginal Peoples Highlight Table, Aboriginal identity.

The percentage of TBPS survey respondents that identify as Aboriginal is less than the community of Thunder Bay (5% versus 13%). While a higher percentage of TBPS sworn respondents identify as Aboriginal than other services in Ontario (11% vs. 3%), Census (2016) data show that Thunder Bay has the “largest proportion of Aboriginal residents among major Canadian cities” [9]. Findings suggest that the TBPS recruit civilians and sworn candidates that self- identify as Aboriginal to meet representation within the broader community.

The comparisons in the charts above offer evidence for areas in which the TBPS needs to diversify its workforce. This is a national challenge among police services in Canada. In a recent study CBC News found that Halifax was the only major city in Canada with a police service as racially diverse as its community [10].

To explore the potential for bringing diverse hires into the organization in the coming years, this report ends with age groupings. Data on age groupings inform the socio-demographic make-up of the TBPS and provide important information for potential recruitment.

Representation by age groupings

The charts below compare age groupings of TBPS respondents in relation to census respondents in Thunder Bay (chart 10), and PAS sworn respondents in Canada (chart 11). While these charts inform the socio-demographic make-up of the TBPS, they also provide important information for potential recruitment.

Sources: TBPS data from Workforce Census. Census data from Census profile, 2016 Census, Thunder Bay, (age 15-64).

None of the TBPS survey respondents identified in the <25 years old group. TBPS has a greater percentage of respondents age 35-44 (31% versus 17%) and age 45-54 (46% versus 22%) than Census respondents in Thunder Bay.

Source: TBPS data from Workforce Census. Census data from Census profile, 2016 Census, Thunder Bay, (age 15-64)

Nearly half (47%) of the TBPS sworn respondents selected the 45-54-year-old age grouping, which is higher than their peers in policing from across the country (31%).

Findings and Next Steps

To recap, this report examines how closely TBPS respondents reflect the diversity of the broader community and it provincial peers in policing. Findings show that TBPS exceeds the diversity of Thunder Bay slightly for identifying as visible minority (< 1%) and exceeds representation among women officers in senior management positions significantly compared to other police services in Ontario (33% vs. 14%).

Findings also show that the TBPS does not reflect the diversity of Thunder Bay and other police services in Ontario on race and gender representation in three areas: 1. civilians that identify as visible minority; 2. civilians and officers that identify as Aboriginal; and 3. women Constables. These gaps identify areas for TBPS to focus its recruitment efforts toward a diverse workforce for women and racialized staff members.

Moving forward with its organizational change initiative to re-right relations, the TBPS has three next steps in order to activate its commitment to a diverse workforce:

1. estimate the number of potential retirees at TBPS by positions among the 45-54-year-old group (46% of the workforce) to find hiring opportunities

2. investigate and eliminate any existing employment barriers at TBPS that are not essential qualifications for work to be performed within the service

3. develop and implement strategies for targeted recruitment to attract under-represented groups as identified in the charts above.

These steps will aid TBPS to reflect the diversity of its community and peers in policing.

A service that reflects the broader community can attract diverse recruits and is more effective when it is trusted by members from all groups within the broader community.

Notes

[1] See Clark, Davidson, Harahan, & Taylor, 2017; Lee, 2016; Maslov, 2015; Sunshine & Tyler, 2003 for public trust in policing. See Setkzo for recruitment of employees from diverse communities.

[2] See Bradford & Jackson (no date) for United Kingdom contexts, Clark, Davidson, Hanrahan, & Taylor (2017) for international contexts, Murphy, Mazerolle & Bennett, (2014) for Australian contexts, and Sunshine & Tyler, 2003 for US contexts. Taylor (2017) discusses Canadian contexts. These authors discuss trust in policing and police legitimacy.

[3] Fryear, A., 2015 and Gorsht, J. 2013.

[4] Survey Monkey, 2017.

[5] The federal Employment Equity Act (1995) originally identified these groups. For policing contexts see Connor, 2017, Lee, 2016 (September & October), Marcoux, Nicholson, Kubinec, & Moore, H. (2016) for CBC News, and Setzo, 2014.

[6] To gauge the diversity of broader communities that comprise TBPS members, the researcher looked at two recent surveys: recent census data from Statistics Canada, for the Thunder Bay CMA, 2016 and the Police Administration Survey, 2017, (Catalogue no. 85-002-X, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics).

Census data for the Census for the Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) for  2016 were retrieved from  http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/censusrecensement/2016/dppd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CMACA&Code1=595&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=Thunder%20Bay&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All

Police Administration survey data for 2017 were retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2018001/article/54912-eng.htm

To obtain more information on the methodology for this report please contact Dr. Leisa Desmoulins @ (807) 343-8050 or ldesmoul@lakeheadu.ca

[7] Charts 2, 3, 5, and 8 compare data from TBPS respondents to PAS respondents from Ontario. Chart 11 (age groupings) compares data from TBPS respondents to PAS respondents nationally because data were not available at the provincial level.

[8] Szeto, J., 2014

[9] This statistic from the 2016 Census data was reported recently by Gary Rinne of TBay News Watch (October 25, 2017). The headline reads, Updated: Thunder Bay has the highest proportion of Aboriginal people in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/thunder-bay-has-highest-proportio...

[10] This report by Marcoux, Nicholson, Kubinec, and Moore (2016) can be accessed @ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/police-diversity-canada-1.3677952.

  

References

 

Bradford, B. & Jackson, J. (no date). Public trust and police legitimacy in Great Britain: Short term effects and long-term processes. Retrieved from http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/33155/1/La_Vie_des_idees_-_final_english.pdf

Clark, M., Davidson, R., Hanrahan,V.,  & Taylor, N. (2017, December). Public trust in policing: A global search for the genetic code to inform policy and practice in Canada. Journal of CSWB, 2(3), 101- 111.

Connor, P. (2018). Police Resources in Canada, 2017. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2018001/article/54912-eng.htm

Fryear, A. (2015). What’s a good survey response rate? Survey Gizmo Resources. Retrieved from https://www.surveygizmo.com/resources/blog/survey-response-rates/

Gorsht, J. (2013, October 13). How the best leaders get full participation in surveys. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2013/10/23/lousy-response-rates-on-your-employee-survey-heres-how-the-best-leaders-get-great-participation-every-time/#7848dda2151a

Lee, G. (2016, October 21). Missing in action: The continued shortage of visible minority and Aboriginal police officers in Canada. Retrieved from http://natoassociation.ca/missing-in-action-the-continued-shortage-of-visible-minority-and-aboriginal-police-officers-in-canada/

Lee, G. (2016, September 27). Still an old boys club: Women in Canadian policing today. Retrieved from http://natoassociation.ca/still-an-old-boys-club-women-in-canadian-policing-today/

 

Marcoux, J., Nicholson, K., Kubinec, V., & Moore, H. (2016). Police diversity fails to keep pace with Canadian populations. CBC Investigates. Retrieved from

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/police-diversity-canada-1.3677952

Murphy, K., Mazerolle L., & Bennett, S. (2014). Promoting trust in police: findings from a randomized experimental field trial of procedural justice policing. Policing and Society, 24(4), 405-424.

Rinne, G. (October 25, 2017). TBay News Watch Updated: Thunder Bay has the highest proportion of Aboriginal people in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/thunder-bay-has-highest-proportion-of-aboriginal-people-in-canada-748932

Sunshine J. & Tyler, T. (2003). The role of procedural justice and legitimacy in shaping public support for policing. Law & Society Review, 37(3), 513-547.  

Szeto, J. (2014). Policing diversity with diversity: Exploring organizational rhetoric, myth, and minority police officers’ perceptions and experiences. Retrieved from http://scholars.wlu.ca/etd/1674/

Survey Monkey (2018). Sample size calculator. Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/sample-size-calculator/

Taylor, N. (2017, December). Policing and CSWB in Canada: the next 50 years. Journal of Community Safety and Well-being, 2(3), 71-73.

 

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