Calgary Pride organizers have requested that police not wear their uniforms while participating in the upcoming parade.
In a statement released on July 26, Pride organizers said they wanted to engage in “meaningful discussion” on how law enforcement can support Calgary’s LGBTQIA+ community.
Calgary Pride is encouraging law enforcement officers to participate in the parade under the following conditions:
- Participating staff and officers of Calgary Police Services and other law enforcement agencies (RCMP, Correctional Services, etc.) will participate without uniforms, firearms, vehicles, or any forms of institutional representation, such as floats etc.
- Calgary Police Services Chief of Police Roger Chaffin, and Deputy Chief of Police Sat Parhar, in addition to the Senior Executive team of Calgary Police Services will engage in formal Diversity and Inclusion training, prior to displaying institutional representation within future Calgary Pride activities.
‘Disappointed’ with the decision
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) responded to Pride’s statement saying they will still participate in the parade.
“We will have an entry in 2017 Pride Parade and will respect the request of Calgary Pride that no uniforms should be worn,” said the CPS in an online statement.
— Calgary Police (@CalgaryPolice) July 26, 2017
Chief Constable Roger Chaffin said the decision was disappointing.
“We are obviously disappointed with the decision that police will not be allowed to march in uniform, but we are not going to allow it to undo decades of progress between law enforcement and the LGBTQ* community in Calgary,” said Chaffin, in the statement.
“We have a far better relationship with the LGBTQ* community now than we did even ten years ago and we want to keep that forward momentum.”
Other Calgarians shared their feelings about the decision on Twitter:
— Cst. Mark Smith (@CstSmith) July 26, 2017
— Chris Koch (@chrispykoch) July 26, 2017
— Christopher Blatch🍁 (@chris_blatch) July 26, 2017
— Dylan Paré (@MxDylanP) July 26, 2017
— Mercedes Allen (@Mercedes_Allen) July 27, 2017
Calgary isn’t the first city involved in the police at Pride controversy.
The 27th annual Calgary Pride Parade will take place on September 3.