The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is displaying a new Pride flag outside of the detachment building on Canada Avenue to demonstrate the RCMP’s commitment to diversity among employees and the public as part of Project Rainbow.
The Pride flag is already an accepted symbol by the LGBTQ2S+ community and used to designate safe spaces for people of all identities.
The flag, which is also flying at RCMP detachments across the province, has a dual meaning, signifying the RCMP’s commitment to ensuring that individuals from all communities are welcome and showing employees that the police force has a respectful and inclusive work environment.
Const. Dayne Lyons is a proud LGBTQ2S+ police officer and has worked with the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP for more than two years.
He feels that diversity among front-line police officers makes a police force stronger, and wants to be a role model to other people who might consider working in law enforcement.
“It is with great pleasure that I am able to represent the LGBTQ2S+ community within my role of policing,” said Lyons.
“I hope that LGBTQ2S+ children or young adults can see themselves as a police officer one day too.”
A press release said the RCMP is as inclusive and diverse as the communities it serves across Canada.
It said that although the relationship between police and the LGBTQ2S+ community has at times been strained, the new Pride flags will be posted at RCMP detachments across British Columbia and show that the RCMP has evolved and wants to highlight inclusivity.
Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, commanding officer of B.C. RCMP, said she supports the project and the diversity of RCMP membership.
“It’s a time when we need to be more overtly responsive to our community and to Canadians,” said Strachan.
“This visually demonstrates who we are.”