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September 2, 2022
TORONTO – Discussions between B’nai Brith Canada and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have led to a commitment to allow Ontario police officers to wear an officially approved kippah – the Jewish religious headgear.
In a letter to Marvin Rotrand, B’nai Brith’s National Director of its League for Human Rights, Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique stated that the OPP is committed to an inclusive workplace culture and recognizes the importance of reflecting the diversity of the communities it serves.
The Commissioner stated that current OPP policy allows uniformed officers to wear specific articles of faith as part of the OPP Order of Dress, in line with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
However, he recognized that the OPP does not yet provide an issued kippah. “As you indicate in your letter, the OPP does not currently provide an issued kippah,” wrote Carrique. “I appreciate your suggestion in this regard and am pleased to advise that the OPP’s Fleet, Supply and Weapons Services Bureau (FSWSB) will initiate the research to identify a kippah design that meets the operational and safety requirements for an OPP-issued kippah.”
“We are delighted with the Commissioner’s promise to allow officers to wear kippahs should they wish, and to consult with B’nai Brith on the design of an approved kippah,“ said Rotrand.”The force is working to remove barriers that prevent otherwise qualified members of religious minorities from serving the public as police officers.”
Carrique noted that the approved policy language in OPP Police Orders is being reviewed to streamline the process for members to acquire OPP-issued items including the kippah, turban, hijab and Metis sash. Additional items including ribbon skirts are under consideration for inclusion as well.