Ottawa police service fights stereotypes of women officers

By: Jessica Thompson
The Ottawa Police Service is holding a women-only event Thursday to try to eliminate the stereotypes that affect women in policing.

An Ottawa Police Services car.

By: JESSICA THOMPSON

An Ottawa Police Services car.

An Ottawa Police Services car.

The Ottawa Police Service is holding a women-only event Thursday to help eliminate the stereotypes that affect women in policing.

The event hopes to promote policing as a career and will target women in order to show that it is a viable occupation for everyone.

“We want to change the idea that it’s a physical, hands on career path — we rarely ever use force, we communicate,” said Const. Ali Toghrol of the Ottawa Police recruiting section.

The event is held annually, where  women are given the chance to meet policewomen from different ranks and have the opportunity for on-the-spot mentoring.

“I am planning on attending just to see what the interest level is for women to become police officers and how I compare to other women who are interested,” said Kelsey Vander Veen, who is a fourth-year criminology major at Carleton Univeristy. She says that she aspires to become a police officer in the future.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, female officers comprise only 23 percent of the Ottawa Police Services.

“We ideally look for a 50/50 balance between men and women,” Said Torghrol. “There is always a need for women. The main fear women have in joining the force is both the safety issues and the whole family aspect,” said Toghrol.

According to Toghrol, many women do not believe they can have a successful family life as well as good career as a police officer.  He thinks  that this event can alleviate that fear.

Vander Veen hopes the stereotypes of being a female police officer will not affect her.

“Women are expected to perform the duties that are deemed caring and ‘appropriate’ for women to handle,” said Vander Veen, “women are expected to sit back and take information while the man handles the conversation.”

“Regardless of gender or race, there’s always a way to get promoted and succeed in this career path,” said Toghral.

The event will take place Apr. 4 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 101 Centrepointe Dr. Women who choose to attend are strongly recommended to bring their resumes.

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