The numbers are overwhelming.
A total of 1,169 city high schoolers, a record since the program started nine years ago, applied for Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) summer positions with Toronto Police. The applicants included a teenager residing in Winnipeg.
“We have had one or two candidates from outside the Greater Toronto Area who had sent in applications and we have directed them to the police services that may be running a similar program in their area,” said program coordinator Melva Radway. “This is the first time we have had someone from outside the province applying to be part of the initiative.”
Over a three-day period from March 9 to 11, 420 candidates were interviewed at police headquarters.
“On the first day, the six people I interviewed were simply outstanding,” said Const. Luke Watson, from the Divisional Policing Support Unit. “They have leadership skills, they were eager to learn about the Service and they want to gain experience and be useful citizens in the community.
“This is such a valuable program, which will open windows and doors for these youths.”
A total of 153 students will be selected in the second week of May for this year’s program that starts in July.
The YIPI program engages students between the ages of 15 and 18 from some of the city’s designated priority neighbourhoods who face significant challenges, including finding summer employment. Students will be paid to work alongside Service members in administrative and support roles.