Since Gurpreet Singh Dhanoda can’t put on the Toronto Police uniform himself and help keep his community safe, he decided to create an online world where he can do just that.
The 13-year-old aspiring police officer is recreating the 23 Division police station using game-creation software called Roblox.
In the game, players are able to create their own virtual world in which they can invite others to play. “I get excited every time I pass by this building, so I decided to build it,” said Dhanoda, who plans on becoming a police officer. “I have finished most of the exterior which I can see and am in the process of putting together the community room which is a bit of a challenge because of the layout.”
While on a visit to 23 Division on August 18, Dhanoda was taken on a tour of the division. “It’s the first time I have done that and it will allow me to see some things inside the building that I can incorporate in the building I am setting up,” he said. Roblox also allows participants to role play.
Dhanoda is the Chief of Police and he spends most of the time with his officers on the streets patrolling 23 Division in their scout cars, fully equipped with handcuffs, pepper spray, Tasers and Glock pistols.
“I just love this game and what it can do,” said Dhanoda, who graduated from Smithfield Middle School and will enter Grade Nine at North Albion Collegiate Institute next semester. “I love policing because you can help make a community safe. I want to make a difference and policing will allow me to do that.” S
Shashi Dhanoda, Gurpreet’s mother, said he has always been drawn to policing, watching police shows on TV and asking for police-related toys as a child.
“There was something about that place that always caught his attention,” recalls his mother, Shashi Dhanoda. “He just somehow seemed to be attracted to that station and policing in general.”
Constable Ryan Willmer is impressed with Dhanoda’s creativity and love of policing.
"Gurpreet is very innovative and what he's doing helps people understand the role of the police and their day-to-day operations,” said Willmer, who is the Division’s Crime Prevention and Social Media officer. “He already has a head start in his bid to become a police officer because he has done some online training. Hopefully, I will see him one day in our uniform.”