When Detective Constable Dana Cuff joined the York Regional Police (YRP) in 2007, the thought of becoming a member of the Underwater Recovery Team (URT) had never entered her mind. That changed on her first assignment, when she worked with members of the Marine Unit.

“My first dive with the URT was in response to a missing fisherman,” she says. “We knew it was likely he wouldn’t be found alive due to the conditions and, tragically, we were correct. We were able to recover the body and bring closure to a grieving family and that gave me a sense of satisfaction. Although every case or every dive won’t have a positive outcome, we can, hopefully, help bring a resolution and provide people with some answers.”

Today, Cuff is the only female officer serving as an underwater recovery diver in Ontario and one of a few in Canada to suit up for the task.

Hers is among the stories YRP is sharing in a new recruiting campaign launched on International Women’s Day, March 8. The #WhatItTakes campaign showcases some of the service’s outstanding female members, highlighting their achievements, unique career paths and reasons for embarking on a career in policing.

The service is urging exceptional individuals to realize they have what it takes to join the police service and make a difference in the community. Throughout the year, the campaign will also illustrate strategies for potential candidates to overcome obstacles faced during the recruitment process. It will be complemented by recruitment events designed specifically for potential female candidates, such as female-only Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police practice sessions and a women’s symposium, to be hosted in May.

“I am very proud of the efforts made by our Uniform Recruiting Unit to attract more women to careers in policing and we hope to see a corresponding increase in female applicants,” says Chief Eric Jolliffe. “It is important that we continue to pursue candidates that reflect the community we serve.”

YRP is currently hiring in record numbers to fill positions made vacant by a wave of upcoming retirements. In 2017, the service added 100 officers to its ranks and, this year, is actively seeking to hire an additional 100 officers. Visit yrp.ca/en/careers/requirements.asp to learn more about the minimum police constable application requirements.