Tuesday, August 9, 2016

London (Canada) Police Cars-Decals in 5 Languages

Decals of the word "police" in "one of 5 languages" have been put onto police cars in London, Ontario, Canada since 2009. 

Every time people see those police cars, they are reminded of the growing numbers of citizens whose first language is neither English nor French - the 2 official languages. 

The city says it is intended to be welcoming, reassuring, inclusive, supportive of "diversity" and "multi-culturalism".

I have NOT yet come across ANY articles explaining whatever happened in 2009 that led to London doing this.

London (Canada) website
"London is Ontario’s sixth largest city, with a population of 381,000."
I was skeptical that reports were true until I followed a link to the London Police website. 
I thought maybe someone was just having fun with Photoshop to create controversy.

Police Languages on Our Cruisers
London Police webpage
In 2009, we began putting the word "Police" on our cruisers in one of five different languages to include more members of the community. Using Statistics Canada at the time, we added some of the most commonly used languages in the City, being:
Vietnamese: Cảnh sát
Chinese:       警察
Arabic:         الشرطة
Persian:        پلیس
Polish:          Policja
French:        Police
We are hoping to include another commonly used language, Spanish, in the near future.
Canada has had immigrants from most of the world's cultures/countries.
We are all Canadian citizens.

I did NOT see ANY articles/comments re the reaction of other immigrant groups to London giving special recognition to any culture in this manner.  

I have NEVER heard of ANY Canadian community that found it necessary to put "German", Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Hungarian, Russian or "Irish/Gaelic" etc. on its police cars.

In place since 2009, the issue of the cruisers has flared this week after someone in Quebec shared a Facebook picture of a London cruiser
The London Free Press
by Jennifer O'Brien 
2 June 2016 6:59:53 EDT PM

Some people view this as a deliberate "in your face" message to the English/French citizens that specific immigrant groups are growing in number and gaining power/status.

I do NOT think it is helpful to dismiss people who say that adding the languages to police cars is silly, unnecessary - even offensive - as being "racist" or "zenophobic".

London police battle growing war on words
Our London
by Whitney South
2 June 2016
London police diversity officer Sgt. Marcel Marcellin isn't your average cop
Stratford Beacon Herald
by Scott Taylor
23 September 2012 5:54:44 EDT PM

Top 10 Non-official Languages Spoken, 2011
City of London


No comments:

Post a Comment