3 police chief vacancies in Alberta an opportunity for women, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says

The province’s justice minister says she’d like to see more women in top leadership positions as three Alberta police forces seek new chiefs.

Speaking Monday at the International Association of Women Police conference in Calgary, Kathleen Ganley underlined how important it is to keep pushing for Alberta’s police organizations to keep women in leadership roles.

She said she sees an opportunity with the vacancies on the Edmonton and Calgary police forces and the provincial RCMP.

Women from police forces around the globe listen attentively Sunday during the International Association of Women Police conference in Calgary. (Audrey Neveu/Radio-Canada)

“Undoubtedly there are women who are qualified — I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Obviously, someone other than me will ultimately make that selection,” she said.

“I think they bring several things. It’s a demonstration to young women that they should go into these careers because they can attain high level positions. Another thing is that it enables them to think about what would make the service more welcoming to women like themselves, so they’re able to put in place policies that improve that.”

Calgary Police Service Chief Roger Chaffin announced his retirement in July after three years on the job. On Sunday, he said whether his replacement is male or female is not his main consideration.

“I hope the next police chief is someone who is capable and competent in leading change — it doesn’t have to be gendered, but that would be terrific if we saw a really strong chief come forward who is willing to continue this work,” he said.

A committee is currently looking for Chaffin’s replacement.

The International Association of Women Police was founded in 1915. This is the first time its annual conference is being held in Calgary.

The conference runs from Aug. 26 to 30 and includes officers from 35 countries.

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