A group of people sit facing each other on separate tables, some chatting, others laughing, some are seriously listening to the officers across the table.
A Speed Recruiting event was set up by the Employment Unit for those who showed a keen interest in policing. In less than a week, over 150 applicants applied, of whom 80 were chosen to attend the Toronto Police College March 25 to meet Toronto Police Service members, uniform and civilian.
“Normally our recruiting is at arm’s length with individuals, so this was an opportunity to allow potential candidates to come in and engage with members in our Service,” said Employment Unit Manager Annmarie Henry.
The candidates chosen had the opportunity to ask questions of personal interest, compared to the General Information Sessions, where Recruiting Officers deliver a lecture about the Service and the hiring process.
While candidates were from all walks of life, some looking at policing as a second career, there were also some students and recent graduates as well, added Henry, who said this was the first Speed Recruiting event for the Service.
The representatives from the Service were also from all across the board, from superintendents to newly recruited constables as well as various units like the Emergency Task Force, Forensic Identification Services, Court Services and Parking Enforcement.
New Constable Stacey Jiggins was asked a lot of questions about the hiring process.
“When people find out that I had two months on the job they were a little shocked and then had all these questions for me,” said Jiggins, who also chose policing as a second career after working as a professional volleyball player. “Times have changed and so has the hiring process, so some questions I could relate to a lot because I know coming from where I was a year ago these were the question I would have wanted answered.”
Jiggins said every participant she had spoken too was eager to get into policing.
“As soon as that buzzer goes off, they say: ‘I can’t wait to be here one day’… they have the right mentality and are willing to do whatever they have to do.”
For Liang Zhal, who was hoping to have his many questions answered, the three minutes were not enough. But the biochemist, who wants to get into policing to apply his scientific background in an area where he can help people more directly, left with an optimistic thought.
“Forensics will be my first choice, but I heard it is hard to get into. But I will try because, if you try you get a chance, if you don’t, you get nothing,” said the young scientist.
While there were many participants who had questions about the job, and many about an officer’s personal experience on the job, some were hoping for a bit more.
“Somebody just asked me if I could be their running buddy to help them prepare for the PREP!” exclaimed Constable Deborah Martell who, while happy to help someone out, had to decline. “She lived too far away from me, but I love to run,” said the officer, who gave some helpful tips on passing the physical test instead.
Inspector Myron Demkiw, who has been on the job for 25 years, said he met many great candidates for the job.
“There are many people here who are clearly highly motivated and would be potentially high-calibre applicants for the Toronto Police.”
The next step for potential recruits, according to Henry, is simple. You just have to apply.
For more information on both uniform and civilians jobs, visit the Toronto Police Service Careers webpage