Officers Build Up Community Program

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:30 a.m. October 24, 2014

Officers in 42 Division are recognizing a community builder by flexing some renovation muscle of their own.

Six men and one woman standing together
Sergeant Doug Minor and Constables Calvin Clarke, Ramace Persaud and Grant Pritchard as well as Lowe's employees Dave Chan and Sean Scanlan with Cyleta Sealy, who runs the Beyond Academics program

A group of 42 Division officers teamed up with Lowe's Canada to renovate a room used to tutor youth in the L'Amoreaux area.

Constable Calvin Clarke nominated Cyleta Sealy, who runs the Beyond Academics program out of a community space near Birchmount Rd. and Finch Ave. E., for the Lowe's Canada Heroes Program. Clarke, who has known the good work Sealy has done for several years had initially only planned to paint the room before discovering the Heroes program. 

“The room was in bad shape and needed a facelift,” said Clarke, who has been with the Service for nine years. “It’s my belief that in order for kids to learn, they need to be in an inviting and bright environment.”

The program accepted the nomination not only providing paint but window treatments, a fridge, stove and materials to build a wheelchair-accessible washroom. Lowe's staff members are also working alongside officers over the next few weeks to complete the project.

Sealy, who migrated from Barbados nearly four decades ago, was full of praise for the 42 Division crew.

“There is a negative perception out there about the police,” she said. “The officers from this Division have, however, demonstrated that policing is more than just coming into the community and doing their law enforcement work. They saw an opportunity to invest in the community and our young people who are the future. What they have said to our youths by their actions are that we are here for you to help make things better for you.”

A man stands on a ladder painting a doorway
Sergeant Doug Minor paints some trim work
A man a woman stand together
Cyleta Sealy and Constable Calvin Clarke happy with the progress being made on the room

A member of the 42 Division Community Police Liaison Committee, Sealy started the club after moving into the Glendower Circuit community about 14 years ago.

“It began with one child coming over to my home and the next thing I knew there are about 10-12 children,” she added. “I needed a larger space and that’s how we ended up in this community room.”

On weekday afternoons, between 3.15 pm. and 6.30 p.m., about 25 young people from the kindergarten to Grade 10 level gather in the room for reading lessons and help with their homework.

“I enjoy doing this,” said the Toronto District School Board contract worker. “I grew up in a home in Barbados surrounded by educators and kids would often come to our home for help.”

A few weeks ago, Sealy received a set of books donated by Constable Steven Fernandez’s wife, who is a teacher.

“The police are playing a part in a major way to help our children succeed and I am forever grateful for that,” she said.

In addition to Clarke, Sergeant Douglas Minor and Constables Ramace Persaud, Grant Pritchard, Jaime Knox and Jeff Burleau along with Lowe’s employees Dave Chan and Sean Scanlan are assisting with the refurbishment.

The police are playing a part in a major way to help our children succeed and I am forever grateful for that

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