Description: Today, police legitimacy appears to be directly related to diversity in society; in so far as minorities in particular, are more likely to feel represented if the police corps is diverse. This project focuses on the Belgian case and investigates ethnic diversity within a predominantly white police force. We interview officers with a migrant background in order to acquire insight into how they see their role within the organization, and how they approach migrant/minority communities. We plan to organize focus groups with civil society organizations that represent citizens with a migrant background, to discuss how they perceive the role of the police, and especially the role of officers with a similar background to them. This research will elicit greater insight into the ‘lived experiences’ of police officers with a migration background and how their distinctiveness could strengthen police legitimacy. We fully expect the research results to be translated into a number of specific HRM policies via a ‘toolkit’ for police training and education. The toolkit will include innovative teaching methods for teachers and trainers in Belgian police schools and a (short) recruiting video for social media. In addition, we will contribute to developing a broader awareness about the importance of diversity within the Belgian police by organizing an internal police diversity seminar, the publication of a coffee-table book giving voice to diversity. We fully expect the research to produce a number of scientific articles in peer reviewed journals.
Outputs: The research results will be translated into a number of specific HRM policies. For this we will create a ‘toolkit’ for police training and education (including innovative teaching methods) to be used by teachers and trainers of Belgian police schools and a (short) recruiting video for social media. In addition we aim at contributing to create broader awareness about the importance of diversity within the Belgian police by organizing an internal police diversity seminar, the publication of a coffee-table book aiming to voice diversity and publishing at least one scientific article.
Researchers (from CRiS): Yana Audrey Demeyere
Partners: PZ Mechelen-Willebroek, Belgian Police diversity network, Open Society Foundation
Funding: Open Society Foundations
Duration: November 2018 – March 2020