One of the first tweets that Auxiliary Police Constable Trevor Quinn posted on behalf of the TPS 22 Division Auxiliaries was a photo of a dog in the middle of a winter storm with the hashtag #ONStorm and the safety message "Drive safe, storm is coming..."
The tweet was picked up by the Weather Network and within several hours it had received 70,000 views. Although no stranger to social media that was the moment Quinn realized the powerful reach of his tweet.
"It was such a different feeling... that a tweet you compiled could be seen by so many people in such a short time,” he said.
For his work above and beyond in engaging with the community at 22 Division through social media, Quinn was honoured as Auxiliary Officer of the Month for August and presented with a framed certificate and a gift card on September 17th.
As A/Supt Dave Rydzik said, “These monthly awards are just one of the ways our Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit (CPEU) is trying to encourage and motivate our Auxiliary officers."
CRU Staff Sergeant Doug MacDonald said 22 Division benefits greatly from Quinn’s work.
"Trevor has been a solid contributor to the Auxiliary program at 22 Division. Whether he's engaged through social media or on hand for a community event, he engages with professionalism and understanding. We really appreciate all that he does as a TPS volunteer,” MacDonald said.
Sergeant Sheila Richardson and Constable Andrew Rosbrook, who are the Auxiliary program co-ordinators at CPEU with responsibility for 395 members, made the presentation. The uniformed auxiliary officers volunteer approximately 70,000 hours annually to assist the Service’s community engagement initiatives, crime prevention programs, special events, parades, searches for missing persons and emergency call outs.
Quinn took over the Twitter account in May of 2017 on behalf of 22 Division, taking TPS training thanks to support from Auxiliary S/Sgt. Andy Mitchell.
With his involvement, the 22D Auxiliary Twitter account has grown from 30 to 600 followers and is emerging as a voice for the Toronto Police in South Etobicoke. “Trevor is a true ambassador for the program,” Sgt. Richardson said.
As Quinn explains, "I want to use Twitter to focus on the positive areas of policing." Whether the topic is bullying, crime prevention or promoting local community events, he uses his photos and stories to showcase what auxiliaries do.
Quinn first joined the Auxiliary program because he wanted to become a police officer and to give back to the community. He has maintained an average of 250 hours per year.
He finds it very rewarding and never expected to be recognized.
"When I'm out there on a detail, people will come out and say thank you to us for keeping their community safe.”
Follow Trevor @tpsaux22Div
To learn more about becoming an Auxiliary officer, visit tps.on.ca/careers