Two Toronto Police sergeants were recognized with Italian Federation of Allied Combatants (FIDCA) medals at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Remembrance day mass on November 9.
In the presence of Staff Superintendent Mario DiTommaso, Superintendent Scott Gilbert, Inspector Ed Roseto and other officers, Anthony Castellucci and Marisa Reggimenti graciously accepted medals awarded to individuals who promote spiritual and cultural awareness and participate in national and international events that embrace veterans.
Both officers are the products of Italian immigrants.
Raised in Little Italy, Castellucci was an Auxiliary member before becoming a uniformed officer 25 years ago. Starting at 11 Division, he spent nearly 17 years in 14 Division and was the Service’s point man for the annual Good Friday Parade.
“Sergeant Castellucci was the face of Toronto Police in in many Italian events and festivities that took place in Little Italy,” said Roseto, who nominated him for the award. “His outgoing personality and excellent communication skills strengthened the relations between the Italian community and the Toronto Police Service.”
Castellucci was assigned to 23 Division for three years and seconded to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for a year prior to being promoted in 2008 and dispatched to 53 Division.
“This is quite an honour,” he said of the recognition. “This is my community and I feel privileged to be recognized by them with this prestigious award. I will wear it proudly.”
As the Service’s first Italian liaison officer, Reggimenti made numerous appearances on Italian television and radio programs to reach abused women and provide them with resources. Reggimenti was recognized by the Centro di Assistenza Famiglie Italiane (Centre for Family Assistance to Italians) for the strong support she provided to the Italian community through her participation in these media appearances.
“I was quite surprised when I learned I was nominated,” said Reggimenti who also created the ‘Stay Alert, Stay Safe’ street safety program, assisted physically challenged Italian and Bulgarian youth during the International Special Olympics and participated in the CHIN Radio telethon that raised almost $4 million for physically challenged young people.
Reggimenti was one of the original Toronto Police Italian liaison officers. In this capacity, she was recognized by Emilio Biscaglia, the president of the Italian/Canadian National Congress for her accomplishments in improving the relations between the Toronto Police Service and the Italian community.
In addition to her volunteer work in the Italian community, Reggimenti, who is in her 27th year with the Service, worked undercover for many years and her surreptitiously obtained evidence led to the arrest of multiple drug dealers and booze can operatives.
“We are all proud of her accomplishments and her drive to push forward in the face of some health challenges,” said Roseto.
The 11 Division officer was promoted in 2001.
DiTommaso acknowledged Castellucci and Reggimenti’s significant contributions to the Italian community and the Toronto Police Service and the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers and peacekeepers.
“We must never forget their great sacrifices,” he said. “As we stand here today in peace and safety, we must also stop and think of the sacrifices the combatants families made while their loved ones served to protect us…To all of our fallen, I say thank you and we salute you. We honour you and we remember you. We remember that freedom is never free.”
Sergeant Elizabeth Cordeiro of 52 Division and 13 Division Constable Natasha Hardie played active roles at the Remembrance Day Mass.
Cordeiro did the first reading and Hardie sang the Italian anthem.