Auxiliary Sgts. Mel D’Mello and Maria Quijano spearheaded the unfolding of a Babysitting Certificate course for 42 Division youth as a means to connect with community through the Neighbourhood Community Officer program.
“Children’s safety and life skill opportunities were quickly identified by the team,” said then 42 Division Community Response Unit Sgt. Andy Ecklund. “Their goal was to create a sustainable community program that would benefit youth by giving them important life & work skills, something that would forge community & police partnerships and could be implemented within a short period of time.”
D’Mello and Quijano, who worked tirelessly with Auxiliary Consts. Ashton Fernandes and Tiffany Lam to set up the course, known as the Malvern & L’Amoreaux Auxiliary Summer 2019 Neighbourhood Officer Initiative, are the joint October 2019 Auxiliary Officers of the Month.
“These monthly awards are just one of the ways our unit is trying to encourage and motivate our Auxiliary members,” said Supt. Dave Rydzik of the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit. “The members are certainly deserving of the honour.”
A total of 25 young people between the ages of 11 and 16 graduated in August 2019 and were the recipients of certificates.
“It was indeed a wonderful experience for us to work together with Mel and Maria and a host of others on this initiative,” said Rev. Barbara Duguid, of the Malvern Presbyterian Church. “And blessings to all, especially the young people who are our main objective.”
A total of 12 youth came from the Malvern community and the rest from the Chester Le neighbourhood.
“More importantly, the graduates were able to develop firm partnerships between the Neighbourhood Officers, Auxiliary members, community leaders and community groups,” said Const. Andrew Rosbrook, who nominated D’Mello and Quijano for the recognition.
The Auxiliary Sgts. were humbled by the recognition.
“We don’t really want to take credit for what we were part of,” they said. “It is the community that deserves this.”
They participated in nearly 20 community events over the summer.
“At 42 Division, Neighbourhhood policing is at the heart of what we do,” said Acting S/Sgt. Julie Evans. “I want to congratulate the Auxiliary members and their team for all they have done.”