Youth Murals Inspire

By Superintendent Gord Jones,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 4:29 p.m. December 15, 2014
Updated: 1:07 p.m. December 16, 2014

A police-student partnership has created a lasting tribute to traffic safety in the city.

A man stands over two men in TPS uniform and a teenage girl seated at a table holding brushes over an artistic work
Teacher Adam Passarello gives instruction to a student as well as officers Sergeant Steve O'Donovan and Constable Jesse Riley
  • A man stands over two men in TPS uniform and a teenage girl seated at a table holding brushes over an artistic work
  • A collage of photos in black and white drawings with a building, a line of officers on motorcycles, several other vehicles and a line of tow trucks
  • Three murals hand on hands linked by a road along the wall. Tables are in the middle of the room

A number of people had approached Sergeant Steve O’Donovan indicating that they felt our new building’s halls and walls were lacking. The cement block was less than attractive and they felt it needed improvement. Steve wanted something on the walls that could inspire Traffic Services (TSV) personnel, he felt that the addition of colour incorporating a traffic theme would be an excellent starting point.  

Myself and Steve decided the lunchroom was the best location for the project as it is utilized daily by the majority of members. Steve contacted Constable Jesse Riley (who was then the 14 Division School Resource Officer, and is now the Crime Prevention/Graffiti Liaison Officer), in order to initiate a community partnership with one of the local schools. This project has been in the works for a few years.

Jesse contacted teacher Adam Passarello of the art program at East York Alternate Secondary School and the program got underway. Students Zach Lefevre, Kayla Cook, Teisha MacDonald, Jill Duncan, Kyra Schoutan-Pace and Natalie Guarnaccia all gave their time and talents to create the work. We presented several with thank you cards and gift cards provided by ProAction Cops & Kids.

Photo Journal of Mural Project 

The long-term partnership began with the help of the students who liaised with not only Jesse Riley but also Detective-Constable Courtney Yourkin, Constable Jill Miller and Sergeant Steve O’Donovan. 

The students were given some basic guidelines however they were the ones who visualized and then completed the murals. It was their creativeness that shaped the artworks. The base is Traffic, prisoner transport and Fleet.

Sergeant O’Donovan tracked the progress of the project and introduced a further design concept, which was to connect the murals with a roadway that would be covered with the handprints of local elementary school children, the children of the members of 9 Hanna Ave. and 14 Division, all of whom will be be identified by their first names.

Sergeant O’Donovan sought to further link the murals to TSV personnel with the addition of text between the murals and above the roadway that emphasizes who we work for and why, with the text: “Preserving the past, Protecting the Present, and Working toward the Future."   

I would like to thank ProAction Cops & Kids who sponsored our project.

TPS crest watermark