News release - Constable Joel Thirsk receives the 2022 CACP/Axon Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award
08/08/22 - 08/08/27
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2022
Constable Joel Thirsk receives the 2022 CACP/Axon Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Leadership Award
QUÉBEC, QUÉBEC – The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) is pleased to announce the winner of the CACP/Axon Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award which recognizes excellence, dedication and initiative to enhance community trust and create a corporate culture that is fair, supportive and inclusive. This award is presented to an individual who demonstrates a passion for achieving progress in this area.
Left to right: Deputy Chief Farica Prince, Mr. Vishal Dhir, and Constable Joel Thirsk.
This year, the award goes to Constable Joel Thirsk of the Delta Police Department (DPD) in British Columbia for his leadership within the police service’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Unit (EDIU).
Through the EDIU, Constable Thirsk champions leadership behaviours and aims to centralize, support, and advance a greater sense of belonging and engagement within the DPD and within the community. He encourages a supportive environment, which is nurturing of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, language and other human differences and drives engagement to achieve an inclusive work environment through various initiatives.
One of his most significant accomplishments has been establishing and implementing the DPD’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Roadmap. This strategic guidance document was developed following extensive consultations and highlights the significance of internal and community engagement in EDI. The roadmap focuses on emerging issues and challenges viewed through an external perspective based on guidance and support from community partners, as well as an internal perspective based on input received from DPD staff in different ranks and positions.
He also created and distributed a Hate Crime Tool Kit, reviewed and updated departmental policies to ensure they aligned with EDI best practices, as well as developed and delivered training on anti-racism and discrimination, active bystandership, mindfulness, systemic racism, and unconscious bias.
He authored and launched an internal monthly newsletter updating employees on EDI initiatives, progress, and national trends. This initiative was expanded to achieve a province-wide reach through the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police.
“This year’s laureate is proof of the tremendous difference one person can make in bringing about positive change in terms of attitudes, behaviours, and policy. The reach and impact of Constable 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,” stated Deputy Chief Farica Prince, co-chair of the CACP’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
“Constable Thirsk is to be commended for his drive for change and the leadership to support dynamic, long-lasting, and impactful initiatives to facilitate this change. It’s one thing to personally act in a way that supports EDI; it’s another to successfully inspire others to do so as well. This type of commitment and success should be recognized and rewarded. That’s why Axon is so pleased to sponsor an award that allows us to do just that,” added Vishal Dhir, Senior Vice-President, Americas, for Axon.
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