RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson noted the value women bring to policing while responding to a question of misconduct during his appearance before a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
“The value of having women in a police role is that you take the interaction with a citizen away from the force dynamic, and you put it in the behaviour, thoughtful dynamic. It is quite a powerful force to be reckoned with,” Paulson told the Status of Women committee.
Paulson said there is an idea that policing is about force, but women bring a power of persuasion that can be more effective.
The committee is studying sexual harassment in the federal workforce.
Paulson took the reins of the national police force as an ongoing controversy surrounding sexual harassment in the force escalated.
It’s not my experience that complainants are afraid to come forward out of fears of reprisals from the RCMP.
— RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson
In November, Paulson told CBC the controversy has challenged his efforts to address other long-standing issues within the RCMP, namely the misuse of force.
Paulson testified before the Status of Women committee immediately after he testified before the Public Safety committee on the same issue. There, Paulson faced questions about the RCMP’s treatment of aboriginals.
Paulson didn’t accept suggestions the RCMP did not treat native complaints seriously. A recent report from New York-based Human Rights Watch alleged RCMP abuses against aboriginal women in British Columbia.
Paulson discounted suggestions aboriginal women did not bring complaints to the RCMP because they were afraid to come forward.
“That’s not my experience. It’s not my experience that complainants are afraid to come forward out of fears of reprisals from the RCMP,” he said.
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