Joining law enforcement has always been Jordan Doswell’s goal.
Receiving his Toronto Community Housing (TCH) Special Constable badge at a swearing-in ceremony on April 28 now gives him the opportunity to provide hybrid police-security service in the community.
“This is a dream come true,” said Doswell, who was a private security officer for several years. “I can’t think of a better organization that fits my skills set and my personal belief towards community-focused policing and providing the best neighbourhoods for our tenants to live in.”
While ecstatic with his accomplishment, Doswell doesn’t rule out transitioning to the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
“I am quite happy with where I am at right now,” he said. “At some point, Toronto Police might be the end goal, but I love what I am doing here.”
Doswell was among 18 Special Constables who took the oath of office from Deputy Chief Donald Campbell.
“You will be held to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. I believe integrity is one of the most important qualities a police officer and a special constable can possess. Always remember you hold a position of high trust and responsibility,” Campbell told the new constables.
The Service has had a lengthy relationship with TCH over the years.
In 2002, TCH entered into an agreement with the Toronto Police Services Board for Special Constable status.
“The Special Constables agreement between the two parties is a result of a strong partnership between our organizations that goes back many years,” said Campbell. “With the enhanced authorities, training and access to information, Special Constables have been able to support and assist both Toronto Police and TCH residents in hundreds of investigations.”
Last year, Special Constables arrested 280 people for various federal and provincial offences and filed over 400 occurrences. With the TPS, they were called to attend over 10,000 events, including 5,600 neighbourhood disputes.
“The numbers are noteworthy and they show the significant contributions made by Special Constables to community safety,” added Campbell. “When it comes to minor incidents, they report thefts, mischief, threats, assaults and other less-violent matters. As far as major incidents, they have been the first responders on a scene assisting with the preliminary assessment and notifications, perimeter control, crowd management, witness canvassing, evidence security and prison transport.”
Toronto Police approve the training of the Special Constables who carry handcuffs and have the authority of a police officer on TCH property.
“They are a vital part in helping us to keep the community safe,” said Sergeant Gary Olson, the Special Constable liaison. “Like our police officers, these Constables are very embedded in their communities and people know them. By them being there, it helps us a great deal.”
Damali Fedee worked in youth and adult shelters before becoming a Special Constable.
“For me, this is an extension of the work I have done in social services,” she said.
TCH now has 130 Special Constables.