News / Calgary

Calgary police employee morale declining: Commission report

Almost three quarters of respondents said they feel like their work volume has increased compared to a year ago

Brian Thiessen chairs the Calgary Police Commission.

Elizabeth Cameron / For Metro

Brian Thiessen chairs the Calgary Police Commission.

More than half of Calgary Police Service (CPS) employees feel their workplace satisfaction is worse than last year, a new report has found.

The Calgary Police Commission (CPC) published the results of its annual survey of civilian and sworn CPS employees on Thursday.

The survey shows 57 per cent of the 1,322 respondents feel less satisfied with their workplace compared to 2016 – partly due to increasing workloads, inadequate staffing levels, poor leadership, and poor communication from leadership.

“They are looking for better communication and more support from senior leadership, including better acknowledgement of their contributions,” said CPC chair Brian Thiessen.

“Those expectations are realistic, and it is clear that there is more work that needs to be done to ensure the organization is giving employees the supports they need.”

Almost three quarters of respondents said they feel like their work volume has increased compared to a year ago.

Recently, city council approved a $14.3M increase to CPS’ budget, which Chief Roger Chaffin has indicated will be used, in part, to hire almost 50 new officers.

“We want to get a new recruit class started as soon as we can,” Chaffin told Metro earlier this month.

“We’ve got the money now, so hopefully we can get a class started early in January or February … but we’re going to start implementing some programs right away to start addressing our call response problems and getting some more resources to front line.”

Despite low morale, the optional survey filled out by 47 per cent of CPS employees found their perceptions of their team and direct supervisors remained stable, or even improved.

The declining satisfaction appears to be stemming from the executive level, according to the report.

Thiessen said senior leadership of the CPS is currently working on a plan to address the concerns.

“The message is clear – the time to act is now,” he said.

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