Graduating class members of the Calgary Police Auxilliary Cadets program await their group photo at HMS Tecumseh June 12, 2015.
Ted Rhodes / Postmedia archives
Calgary police executives said they hoped for a return of the service’s auxiliary cadet program after they faced questions Tuesday about its cancellation last month.During a Calgary police commission meeting, a member of the public who identified himself as Matthew McIntyre expressed his concern about the cancellation that he said resulted in the loss of about 50 jobs.“I think the program was outstanding,” McIntyre said. “I think that CPS should be applauded for having created it a number of years ago. It’s very difficult for young people … to get experience in police services, and the program was a great opportunity for those young adults to get that kind of experience as they pursued a career with CPS. The program also did a terrific job in recruiting diversity into CPS, both with respect to ethnic groups from within the city and as well as gender.”Coun. Jyoti Gondek, a member of the commission, also raised questions about the end of the auxiliary program, asking interim chief Steve Barlow “what went sideways.”
City Councillor Jyoti Gondek of Ward 3 in Council Chambers.
Darren Makowichuk /
Barlow responded that “errors were made a couple of years ago” when CPS did not follow up on a request in 2017 for a review of the program.“When we found out about it in the latest hours of the (CUPE) Local 38 negotiations, we opened the dialogue … I worked with the city to try and bring this forward as a significant concern by the CPS that we had missed the opportunity to work with Local 38 so that they had an understanding of what we were trying to accomplish and their concerns with the program and how we could move forward.”Gondek also asked Barlow if there is any hope to get the program back in place. The interim chief said CPS is doing a “complete review” of the program to “hopefully look after the concerns that were raised.”Chair Brian Thiessen said the commission was concerned when the program was cancelled and is hoping it can be brought back in some form.“We hope that CPS … can engage with Local 38 and maybe re-think the role and address the concerns they had that auxiliary cadet members were performing duties within the scope of their (bargaining) unit. I think that’s a solvable issue.“I can understand their frustration and so from the commission’s point of view, we just want to make sure CPS is engaged on it, that we can re-engage those individuals. We think the auxiliary cadet program, whether it’s re-imagined or not, offers a real benefit to Calgarians and CPS.”Thiessen said the commission wants the police service to provide an update on the program in September.