Grade 12 student Jennie Semenova aspires to be a crime scene investigator.
In the last three months, the Northview Heights Secondary School student got the opportunity to experience some of what they do through a placement with Toronto Police Homicide.
She assisted with transcribing case lists and other administrative tasks, transferred old audio tapes to digital formats while in the Homicide Cold Case unit and scanned old paper files to electronic format so they could be entered into the Major Case Management format.
She also visited Forensic Identification Services and other units as part of the placement.
Detective Henri Marsman said Semenova was an asset to the office.
“She was always punctual, she was able to work with minimal supervision and she completed her assigned tasks in a timely manner,” he said. “She displayed a very strong work ethic and was always eager to learn new programs and take on new projects. The quality and thoroughness of her work stood out during her time. She was able to handle very sensitive material professionally and in a mature manner.”
In the past, the Homicide office has had Youth in Policing (YIPI) and co-op students from colleges.
“This is the first time we have had high school students and it has worked out very well,” Marsman said. “We are excited when we get to come across bright young students.”
Semenova relished the experience.
“Actually working in Homicide and getting that experience is so valuable,” she said. “Listening to witness statement summaries and getting to analyze what I was hearing stood out for me. I would love to come back and work for Toronto Police.”
The final year high school student plans to study criminology at York University.
Semenova was the recipient of the Co-op Award for overall excellence. The Homicide office nominated her.
“This student performance in her co-op assignment garnered the admiration and gratitude of our members that we felt compelled to nominate her,” said Marsman who has been with the Homicide office for the last three-and-a-half years. “We are happy that she is the winner.”
The award recognizes a student who has surpassed the expectations of the co-op program at work and at school.
The Toronto District School Board administers the Experiential Learning program that provides high school students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills through hands-on experiences. Toronto Police is one of the program partners.