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North Bay Police honour Pride month by wearing rainbow flags

'Members in the service are encouraged to wear the hat year-round if they wish or choose to do so'
2022 06 21 pride hat
The North Bay Police Service has new hats with rainbow flags as a symbol of support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

The North Bay Police Service has created new hats with the Pride flag on them as well as velcro patches for officers to wear on their uniform to honour Pride month.  

However, Chief Scott Tod says the hats were not meant to wear for only a month. 

"Members in the service are encouraged to wear the hat year-round if they wish or choose to do so," said Tod after Tuesday's Police Board meeting at North Bay Police Headquarters on Princess Street.

"We also have a pride patch, it's the pride flag that has been imposed with a velcro attachment that members can wear on their vest or on another garment if they wish." 

See related: Students raise flag for Pride month

See related: Sale of Pride beer tackling political issues 

 Tod knows it is not much but he feels it is an important symbol to show support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community within North Bay. 

"It is to show our support to our pride community in North Bay and recognize discrimination and honour inclusion and equity as being great values to our police service," said Tod.  

"Our police service represents what the community is and we need to do this more often and looking at the discrimination that has occurred in the past and human rights and the right to have those rights enshrined in what the police service is doing in our community and the hat is just a small token of that effort we want to make towards inclusion and equity within our community."

Jason Maclennan, communications director for North Bay Pride believes it is a step in the right direction. 

"Chief Scott Todd and the North Bay Police Service, have been working with North Bay Pride to improve their relationship with the 2SLGBTQ+ community," Maclennan told BayToday.  

"They want all communities to know they are changing and working towards inclusion for all. It is  a step to show communities that they are hearing the call for change in policing, how they approach things and they want the community to know they can reach out for help. Chief Todd has made a commitment, to ensure the community is safe no matter your sexual orientation and he wants us to know, that they are progressing with the times.

"Unlike Toronto, we have a greater opportunity to work with the police, to improve relations, and learn from each other for the betterment of everyone. They are walking the walk. Last year, they were the first police service in North America to understand and endorse the U=U Campaign for those living with HIV. We can all do better and we are doing better than before. And that speaks volumes."