One Division. One platoon. 39 years.
Constable Victor Kuzmin was assigned to 13 Division “A” platoon when he joined the Service on August 26, 1975.
He never left the platoon, or the 1435 Eglinton Ave. W. building at the base of Allen Rd. during his nearly four decades on the job that culminated with his retirement on September 17.
Very few officers have spent their entire career with the Service on one platoon at the same location.
“I have been both fortunate and lucky to be able to spend my entire time in policing here,” he said, of never wanting to leave the Division for another assignment. “It’s my second home and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the people I worked with, and those that I interacted with in the community over the years.”
Kuzmin joined the Service almost 18 months after graduating from high school.
“I was working with CN Rail at the time when I saw a newspaper advertisement for police officers in the city,” he pointed out. “I applied and the rest is history.”
There have been significant changes in policing since Kuzmin joined the Service.
“The old Plymouth Fury yellow patrol cars had vinyl seats, no air conditioning, one roof light and no sirens,” he recalled. “We had to wear our full uniform in the car. If a supervisor came by and saw you without a hat, you would be chastised. The traffic cars were the only police vehicles equipped with sirens back then and our reports, of course, were written and we used carbon sheets and had to press very hard to make sure that ther writing went through to the last sheet of paper. Now there are computers and other new technology that make the job a lot easier. We have come a long way.”
The married father of two plans to spend quality time with his family in retirement.
“I like to stay busy and I have been very active during my work career,” he added. “It’s going to be an adjustment but I am getting up in age and it’s time for me to go. My time on the job has been very rewarding, but now I am looking forward to another chapter in my life. There’s more than enough work at home to keep me occupied.”
Unit commander Superintendent Scott Baptist used hockey terminology to sum up Kuzmin’s stellar career.
“Vic is one of those solid stay-at-home defencemen,” he said. “He comes in, does his job and is well-regarded by his peers and supervisors. He also really cares about people and, while sitting at the front desk for the last few years, has made sure they get good service whenever they come here. It’s a shame to see him go, but one of the advantages of the job is that there is a pension at the end of the day and he’s going to enjoy it. We wish him all the best.”
Staff Sergeant Bruce Newman recognized Kuzmin’s exemplary service.
“He is well-like and respected not only by members of our platoon but the entire station,” he pointed out. “Vic showed up 30 minutes early for his shift and was always available to help officers – young and old. He has been a model police officer.”