Saskatoon police won’t be wearing uniforms when they march in the city’s Pride parade on June 23.
A joint statement released by police, Pride organizers and OUT Saskatoon on Friday announced officers would instead wear Saskatoon police golf shirts during the event.
“The goal of all involved in the conversation is to ensure that the primary focus of Pride Month was the LGBTQ2S+ community, including celebrating its strengths and working to overcome barriers people still face, over and above undue media attention around police involvement in the Pride Parade,” the statement reads.
Pride co-chair Connor Rodriguez is quoted as saying one of those barriers can be the uniform police wear.
“We collectively made a decision with the Police for their members to walk in Saskatoon Police golf-shirts to stand in solidarity and eliminate those barriers,” he said. “We all hope that this act will truly bridge our communities.”
In the statement, Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper said the police service was pleased to participate in the parade again in 2018.
“Whether we are in uniform or not we serve all citizens of all genders and sexual orientations,” he said.
“We are committed to reflecting that in our day-to-day operations.”
Pride festivities, focused on inclusion for the LGBTQ community, start on Saturday with a youth Pride prom at Village Guitar.
A flag raising will be held at city hall on Monday, launching a month of events culminating in the parade on Saturday, June 23.
Saskatoon Pride Festival also announced on Thursday the parade marshal for 2018 wouldn’t be a single person, but instead the entire Two Spirit community — Indigenous individuals who identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered.