Detective Sergeant Paul MacIntyre didn’t know what to expect when he wrote then-Chief Jack Marks inquiring how he could join the Service.
"I was living in Nova Scotia at the time, I had never been to Toronto and all I wanted to do was work for a big-city police service,” he recalled.
To his surprise, MacIntyre received an application form from Marks.
“I made the trip to Toronto a couple of times and the next thing I knew I was hired,” he said.
MacIntyre and the Class of 1988 were recognized for 25 years of dedicated service to the organization at an awards luncheon on October 15 at The Old Mill. A total of 325 uniform, Auxiliary and civilian members, representing 8,125 years of service, were awarded 25-year watches.
“It has been a great ride,” he said, reflecting on his law enforcement journey. “With the support of my wife, I have been able to enjoy my time working for a fabulous organization. The thing that, however, stands out for me is the people I have worked with over the years. That’s what I cherish the most.”
Starting at 54 Division, MacIntyre has been assigned to several units, including Hold Up, Drug, Fugitive and Sex Crimes.
His classmates included Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, among 10 senior officers presented with 25-year commemorative watches.
“I never thought I would work with any organization for 25 years,” said Sloly. “This has been one of the most amazing periods of my life and I am proud of my career milestone. Everyone who is honoured today is doing fantastic work for our organization.”
The other senior officers recognized were Superintendents Debra Preston, Kim Yeandle and Mark Fenton and Inspectors Bernadette Button, Peter Callaghan, Riyaz Hussein, Art Little, Brian Preston and Reuben Stroble.
Yeandle, the project lead for the new records management system that provides Service-wide benefits and contributes to useful partnerships with community partners and law enforcement agencies, shared the special occasion with her husband – Mark Yeandle – a sergeant at 43 Division who has served as a mentor officer in Afghanistan.
Both marked 25 years on the job.
Detective Sergeant Pauline Gray, who thanked the Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Police Service for the recognition on behalf of the uniformed recipients, reminded the honourees that they have the skills and experience to make an even greater impact on the organization.
“Pick someone or two or even a whole platoon on your shift and show them what we all in this room already know,” said the experienced Homicide investigator and recipient of the Ontario Women in Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. “Show them that we are cops, we can do hard things and when we don’t rise to the occasion, we let our profession sink to the bottom. Show them that change takes courage and we are always brave. Reinstall the validation in our people that the job they all have been doing is a fine and noble one.”
Reinstall the validation in our people that the job they all have been doing is a fine and noble one
Rauf Misir, of Criminal Records, represented the Service’s civilian members in thanking the Service and the Board.
He reiterated that their contribution is essential to ensuring the Service meets its mandate of providing the City of Toronto with the best possible service at all times.
“While some of us are in the thick of the action, many of us are behind the scene performing diligently,” he said.
It’s a special feeling to know that your service is appreciated
The honourees included Administrative Clerk Alma Benemerito, who worked at 52 and 55 Divisions and with the Records Management Unit before joining Corporate Communications in 1993, and Court Officer Orlando Rebelo.
Benemerito relished the opportunity to celebrate the milestone with members hired in 1988.
“It’s a special feeling to know that your service is appreciated,” she said. “Toronto Police is a super organization with super people and I am just happy to be part of that.”
It was Rebelo’s wife, Jean, part of the Corporate Services Command, who encouraged him to join the Service.
“She was there five years before I joined and she told me this is a wonderful organization to work for,” he said. “She was right. I have enjoyed every minute of it.”
After working at the Division, Rebelo joined Court Services in 1998.
“I relish working with my colleagues and interacting with the public,” he added.
The Rebelo’s children – Nicole and Lauren – are also Service members.
"The policing profession is a very demanding and honourable career and often requires many personal sacrifices,” said Chief Bill Blair. “Your dedication and commitment to the common good is a tribute to our city and the Service. The strength of this organization is the depth, quality, devotion and perseverance of its people, who routinely rise to high levels of achievement, professional conduct and service. Everyone here is part of that strength and I commend you for your outstanding service and tireless efforts throughout the years.”
The Board provided the appreciation gifts.
“I have always believed that an organization is only as good as the people it attracts and retains,” noted Chair Alok Mukherjee. “The Toronto Police Service is the organization it is because your countless contributions and your knowledge and expertise have made it so. It’s because of individuals like you that this organization continues to enjoy a very high reputation within the world of policing. We are extremely fortunate to have such loyal and long-standing members as all of you.”
The inaugural 25-year award ceremony took place in 1982, when 634 members were recognized at a dinner with a commemorative watch.