Auxiliary Staff Sergeant Tim Maiola, of 14 Division, a 38-year veteran of the Toronto Police Auxiliary program, exemplifies the kind of leader who has the experience, the know-how and the dedication to show the way to those under his command.
Maiola was recognized as Auxiliary Officer of the Month for April 2019.
He was nominated 14 Division Community Response Unit Staff Sergeant Tam Bui who says Maiola is a great leader.
"Aux S/Sgt Tim Maiola is an absolute credit to the Toronto Police Service, both sworn and Auxiliary officers. I believe the excellent relationship that exists between 14 Division and the Auxiliary officers is largely due to his leadership and drive," Bui said.
In recognition of his outstanding leadership, Tim was presented with a framed certificate, a gift card and TPS memorabilia by Supt. Dave Rydzik, of the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit, in the presence of Deputy Chief Peter Yuen and Sgt. Sheila Richardson, the Auxiliary Program Co-ordinator responsible for approximately 350 Auxiliary members.
Supt Rydzik said the monthly awards are held to thank the Auxiliaries, who volunteer their own time to work with police.
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.
Tim joined the Auxiliaries in 1981 because three police friends who lived on his street told him about the program. He was interviewed by three police officers and then Auxiliary S/Supt. James Carnegie and assigned to 32 Division where he stayed for 10 years.
His dream was to join the motorcycle team, and with the help of Inspector Barb Ewles, he transferred to Central Traffic where he eventually became a lead instructor, training new officers to ride a Harley Davidson.
"It was an exciting time for me, helping others who had the same drive as me who wanted to ride the motors," Maiola said.
One of the highlights of his stay at Traffic Services was riding with the Winged Wheels. One time, he was even allowed to go on patrol with one of the officers answering calls on the highway. Among some of the events he attended were Winged Wheels shows, the Ottawa memorial, various funerals and parades.
When asked about his proudest achievements as an Auxiliary officer, Tim says without hesitation that it was being assigned to 14 Division in 2015 and helping to improve morale and rebuild the team. The first thing he did was to build trust within the team and have the officers buy into his game plan. He then started looking for team members to take on the role as a supervisor.
"With teamwork as our goal and energetic supervisors, we were able showcase our strengths and gain the trust and confidence of the 14D Command officers and the supervisors and officers of the Community Response Unit as well as the Primary Response Unit," said Maiola, who volunteered a total of 517 hours in 2018, with 358 of those hours spent engaging with the community.
Maiola is know for attending or contributing to every event at 14 Division, using each one as a mentoring opportunity. Details such as the Pedestrian Safety campaign, Lock it or lose it, Cram a Cruiser, and a variety of parades from the St. Patrick's Day to Santa Claus and everything in between.
He feels strongly that the Auxiliaries are dedicated team players can help connect the community and the police.
When advised that he was the Officer of the Month for April, Tim was taken back but also extremely honored and pleased to be recognized.
"I have been truly blessed working for the Toronto Police Service and the community that we serve. It has been a blast," he said.
If you are looking for a fulfilling and rewarding volunteer career, you may consider becoming an Auxiliary officer by visiting tps.on.ca/careers.