A Delta Police officer has received an award of recognition for his work to foster equity, diversity and inclusion not only in his department, but in the community of Delta as well.
Earlier this month, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) gathered in Quebec City for its annual general meeting. Beyond the business of policing in the nation, this event allowed the CACP to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of police officers across the country.
Const. Joel Thirsk was recognized for his exceptional efforts in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit (EDIU) as he was the recipient of the CACP/Axon Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award.
According to DPP, through his leadership, Thirsk has worked extremely hard this year to advance a greater sense of belonging of DPD members internally and externally throughout the community. Within the EDIU portfolio, Thirsk has created a supportive environment where cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, language and other human differences are nurtured and championed.
“I was very proud to represent the department. Very humbled to be there to receive the award myself, but also encouraged that the hard work we have been putting in as a unit and as a department is being recognized and paying off,” he said. “We are putting in the time, asking the hard questions. To be recognized for that effort as part of an on-going journey was very humbling.”
Thirsk implemented the DPD’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap initiative that established extensive internal and community engagement in all matters of EDI with a focus on emerging and existing issues.
He also created and distributed the Hate Crime Tool Kit and delivered training to members on anti-racism, discrimination, active bystandership, mindfulness, systemic racism and unconscious bias.
“The work of EDIU is societal. Policing represents just one small part of the work that needs to be done. I’m proud to be a part of a profession that is doing our best to move forward progressively. To have the award recognize that work from across the country, certainly was encouraging.”
The CACP co-chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Deputy Chief Farica Prince said the reach and impact of Thirsk’s initiatives began within his police service and community but are now being felt across the province and are influencing and inspiring EDI at a national level.
“The leadership demonstrated by Const. Thirsk in receiving this national award for developing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program in the DPD is nothing short of exceptional,” added DPD Chief Neil Dubord. “Const. Thirsk has created a path for the DPD to continue this important journey of continuous improvement.”