A Toronto Police Service officer was honoured by the Portuguese community for his outreach work with young people.
Constable Peter De Quintal, of 12 Division, was honoured with the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business & Professionals New Generation Award at the gala at Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton on March 25.
“This job can be thankless and tough with the way police and policing are portrayed at times,” he said. “However, I am just one amongst thousands who are proudly serving you and am working towards positive change and ensuring our communities are safer than ever.
De Quintal thanked his family, his Divisional command and his work colleagues for their support over the years.
“I am sure many of you had no idea who I was until today but, if you get the chance to look me up on Google, you will find some of the work I do to bring that positive change. I take pride in wearing the uniform and the city I serve and also in my Portuguese heritage and community. We often focus so much on the negative and we miss the positive in both our personal and professional lives. I ask you to focus on the thousands of things that we have done right that may get overlooked daily and don’t dwell on the few that go wrong. I believe in never giving up and that life is about perseverance and making your dreams happen.”
This is the second award in the last 10 months for De Quintal, who has been at 12 Division since joining the Service 11 years ago.
The School Resource Officer was presented with a Community Safety Award at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association annual luncheon last May.
De Quintal, better known as @StarWarsCop on Twitter, started a bike rodeo for young people in his Division four years ago.
The rodeo is geared at engaging students in several fun activities, including obstacle courses to help develop skills on two wheels, as well as adhere to the rules of the road. They are also required to wear helmets.
By law, it’s mandatory for every cyclist under 18 to wear a helmet. Helmets have been proven to greatly reduce the risk of brain and head injuries, preventing concussions and potentially even death. Studies have shown that helmet use reduces head injury risk by over 80%.