Nicole Mangos has been preparing for this day for a long time.
She will be among 15 new recruits who will graduate on September 29.
Mangos was attracted to policing at a very young age.
“I grew up with several male cousins and we often played cops-and-robbers,” she said. “I was always the police and they were the bad guys. That’s where this journey started for me.”
After graduating from Markville Secondary School, Mangos completed Centennial College’s police foundations program and was hired as a court officer in 2009.
Mangos has been assigned to 55 Division, which is a place she’s very familiar with, having worked as a custodial officer at the Division.
Her association with the Service, the last seven years, exposed the recruit to many mentors.
“They pushed me and were very positive influences in my life,” Mangos, who also has a human resources diploma certificate from the University of Toronto, said. “Without their guidance, I might not be where I am today, standing as a proud Toronto Police officer.”
Mangos’ younger brother, Justin Hebert, will present the new officer with her badge on graduation day.
“He is a correctional officer in Ottawa and he knows the struggles I have endured to get to this point,” she said. “I wouldn’t want anyone else to have that honour.”
Joining Mangos at 55 Division is Sarah Matthews, the daughter of retired Detective Scott Matthews, who spent 35 years with the Service.
They became close during the orientation, prior to entering the provincial police college for training.
“We clicked from the very first day we met,” said Matthews. “We have a lot in common, including goals, and I am happy that we will be working at the same Division.”
Matthews is excited to be following in her father’s footsteps.
“He took me to Take your Kids to Work days and I got hooked,” she said. “When I was hired, he congratulated me and offered some useful advice. He reminded me to be smart and continue to exude confidence.”
Born and raised in Whitby, Matthews studied criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where she was a member of the school’s Lady Ridgebacks hockey team.
She was a bar manager in Oshawa prior to being hired by the Service.
“In that position, I interacted with different kinds of people and I think that will serve me well in my role as a police officer,” said Matthews.
Erik Barbosa spent nine years as a Special Constable with GO Transit before joining the Service.
He said the training was rigorous.
New recruits undergo two weeks of orientation at the Service’s police college and 12 weeks of training at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, before returning to the Toronto Police College for a further six weeks of preparation.
“I thought I was in pretty good shape coming in,” said the York Memorial Collegiate Institute graduate. “It was definitely not the case. The training was very intense and mentally demanding.”
Barbosa is assigned to 14 Division.
The graduating class comprises 53 per cent women and 33 per cent visible minorities. A total of 93 per cent successfully completed post-secondary education and 33 per cent have previous military or policing experience. Of the six new recruits that speak a second language, 20 per cent speak two or more languages other than English.