Career fairs and expositions provide young people with an insight into some of the job opportunities that are available to them.
For Grade 12 student Roberto Vieira who already knows what he wants to do, attending the first-ever Discover Policing Career Expo simply offered him an insight into the different police services in the province and the work they do.
He was among hundreds of young people that attended the expo at the Toronto Police College on October 15.
“I am interested in a career that entails serving and protecting,” said the Blessed Cardinal Newman High School student, who is also a co-op student with the Toronto Police Service. “That makes policing the obvious choice.”
Under the auspices of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), the Discover Policing initiative seeks to increase collaboration among police services to promote the profession, share best practices in recruiting strategies, ensure that their organizations represent the diversity of their communities and improve the consistency and effectiveness of messaging when it comes to recruitment.
“This is an important event to help promote our services,” said Peel Region Police Chief Jennifer Evans, the OACP president. “This is a viable career choice and we want to show our community members what we do. We want you to join us as we offer opportunities not only in law enforcement but also in building communities.”
Dan Hefkey, the Commissioner of Community Safety for the Ministry Community Safety and Correctional Services, told students that the police officer’s role is constantly evolving.
“Members of the public as well as representatives from the broader public sector, begin to see the police officer not only as an enforcement tool but as a true resource across the compliance and community safety spectrum,” said the former Ontario Provincial Police officer. “We at the ministry and in conversations with the Chiefs and others are seeing repeatedly, as we tour the province, what local agencies what they are doing with police in collectively improving community well-being.”
The expo featured live demonstrations from specialty units and displays by various agencies, including Toronto Police Service.
“This is a great building, so we are excited to host the event at this state-of-the-art facility,” said Toronto Police Service Employment unit commander Annmarie Henry. “The event is important because it helps to promote us and other agencies and show young people that policing is a viable career.”