As students filed into the classroom at the Toronto Police College, there was plenty of anticipation for the behind-the-scenes look they’d get at policing.
Selected from over 200 applicants, the 35 students who make up the spring session of the Community Police Academy are as diverse as the many neighbourhoods they represent.
“I’m interested in learning a bit more and advancing my knowledge. I’m really happy to be here,” said Lana, a downtown resident.
The students will spend the next eight weeks learning about components of the Service and policing in general. The sessions, taught by TPS subject-matter experts, will include classroom instruction, scenario-based experiences and tours of various operational areas of the Service.
Organized by the Divisional Policing Support Unit, unit commander Inspector David Rydzik welcomed the class with encouraging words.
“We want you to leave here with a greater understanding of what we do, how we do it, and why we do it,” he said. Rydzik also told the students to share their newly acquired knowledge with their friends, family and co-workers.
Working in partnership with Humber College, the students who successfully complete the Community Police Academy are eligible for two credits towards a Police Foundations Diploma. The Community Police Academy runs every Saturday until June 3, 2017.
“You have a fantastic opportunity ahead of you to learn about policing,” said Kim Pavan, Director of Professional & Continuing Education at Humber. “This is a great way to start a continuing education opportunity as well”.
No one was more eager to launch this opportunity than Chief Mark Saunders.
Chief Saunders recalled his time as an instructor at previous community police college sessions, explaining why he felt it was so important to re-launch the program.
“Some of the best ideas come from those outside of policing,” said the Chief, reminding students they have the chance to “make us better at what we do.”
The Chief took the time to encourage the students to ask questions and engage in the two-way dialogue that will be central to every week’s instruction.
Touching on the cornerstones of the Transformational Task Force, the Chief explained why that active participation is so important.
“We know that, for us to be successful, one of the strongest components of successful policing is to listen. We have to listen to everybody or else we will fail.”
To learn more and apply for a future session, visit the Community Policing Academy webpage