Staff Sergeant Matt Moyer feels extremely fortunate that he has the time and resources to support others.
The veteran officer gives his time to several charities when not working at 53 Division or spending time with his family.
“Once you get involved in one charity, you are easily drawn into another,” he said. “It is almost infectious.”
On February 28, Moyer was honoured for his significant community service with the St. Michael’s Award presented at the 52nd annual Toronto Police Communion Breakfast.
St. Michael is the patron saint of police officers.
“I was blindsided by the recognition as I didn’t see it coming,” the father of three said. “However, I was extremely happy that my family was able to share the occasion with me because of the vast amount of time I spend away from them doing community service.”
Moyer, whose policing career started in January 1990 at 14 Division, has been a Special Olympics Ontario volunteer and supporter for the past two decades. He has a complete understanding of how sport helps improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities as his sister-in-law, Lisa Porter, is a Special Olympics athlete who has excelled in figure skating over the years.
She has won nearly 60 medals during an outstanding career.
“I take her to many police events in the community and she keeps me grounded,” Moyer noted.
Inspector Sonia Thomas nominated Moyer for the prestigious honour.
“Matt has genuine warmth for these athletes which reflects on the faces of the Special Olympians who greet him with hugs and laughter,” she said. “He strives to utilize every available resource in an effort to raise awareness of the athletes including social media and community events.”
Moyer also supports the Canadian Mental Health Association’s “Ride Don’t Hide” campaign that sparks awareness and helps break the stigma surrounding mental health while raising essential funds to support mental health programs and the Community Head Injury Resource Centre (CHIR).
Starting in 1978 as Abbey House, the CHIR was the first community-based brain injury rehabilitation program in North America.
The versatile Moyer and his son James – a Constable at 14 Division – are members of a rock band – Faded Genes.
“We are an eight-piece band and we donate both time and funds to various charities in the last 10 years,” he said.
Moyer, who was also assigned to 51 Division before moving the 53 Division where he was raised, was a hockey referee before entering the policing profession 26 years ago.
“I thought that was the route I was going to go, but things changed and here I am in a career that I relish,” he added. “I love what I do and I am not done yet.”