Investigating the race-based experiences of ethnic minority law enforcement officers with members of the public

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Fedynets, Bozhena
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Only 8% of police officers in Canada identify as people of colour, while approximately 26.5% of Canada’s general population identify as people of colour. Law enforcers do not currently mirror the demographics of the populations they serve, as agencies report difficulty recruiting ethnic minority officers who then also have higher resignation rates than their White counterparts. Many studies explore the intraorganizational discrimination and unique challenges faced by ethnic minority officers. However, there is currently no research addressing the public race-based experiences of officers of colour with civilians in the field. This study identifies the types and frequencies of race-based interactions experienced by ethnic minority officers in the field and how these interactions impact officers’ job satisfaction, professional identity, and in turn, intention to resign. Second, this study gathers officers’ suggestions regarding improvements in current policy, recruitment practices, officer training, and available support, as related to officers of colour. This mixed-methods research addresses a major gap in the current literature that supports people of colour entering and maintaining more positive law enforcement careers. Written responses from 49 officers provide insight into the unique challenges faced by ethnic minority officers in the field and the organizational and clinical implications of those events.
ethnic minority police , officer of colour , diversity in law enforcement , representative bureaucracy , Canadian police , Canadian law enforcement , officers of colour , visible minority officer , visible minority police , diversity in policing , diverse police , double marginality , racial battle fatigue , racial battle fatigue in police , double marginality in police , RCMP , RCMP diversity , police diversity , people of colour in policing , race-based experiences , race-based interactions , race-based , improvements to law enforcement , agency improvement