Youth See Policing Opportunities

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:36 a.m. July 31, 2017

Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) student Alyssa Cabrido relishes the sciences and aspires to be a police officer.

A man in TPS Court uniform beside a prisoner wagon talks to teenagers
Court Services officers explain their role to Youth in Policing Initiative students at the Toronto Police College

At the first ever YIPI Expo at the Toronto Police College on July 28, she took a keen interest in the Forensic Identification Services exhibit.

“This is where my interest lies, so I was happy to talk to some of the people in the unit to get a feel for what they can and ask questions,” said the Humber College student.

Assigned to 11 Division, Cabrido said the expo was a learning experience.

“We see police officers out on the streets and think their job is just to catch bad guys,” she said. “I now know there are so many other things they do and there is a place for me at Toronto Police Service if my application is accepted when I make that decision to apply for a job.”

The Youth in Policing Initiative, which runs all year round, employs 15 to 18-year-old students from priority neighbourhoods across the city to work alongside police officers and civilians to promote connections between youth and police, provide a positive employment opportunity and promote the Service as an employer of choice.

Runnymede Collegiate Institute student Matthew Balkaran also learned a lot at the three-hour event that brought together several of the Service’s units, including Mounted, Police Dog Services, Employment, the Emergency Task Force, Fleet and Crime Stoppers.


A man in TPS uniform beside a teenage girl pulling a dummy along a gym floor
Inspector Riyaz Hussein encourages a YIPI student completing a portion of the police physical test simulating rescuing a person

“I am on the same floor with the information technology unit, but I never got a chance to get an in-depth look at what they do until today,” said the Grade 12 student. 

Chief Mark Saunders attended the event and had the chance to talk with many YIPIs.

“By sectionalizing all of the things we have as an organization, it gives us the opportunity to promote what we do and give a better comprehensive understanding of other opportunities the Service has to offer,” he said. “Anything that expands an understanding of what we do and the range of things we do is good for us. We need young and fresh minds joining the Service.”

A man holding handles on a machine surrounded by teens
Sergeant Vijay Shetty demonstrates a portion of the physical test to become a police officer to YIPI students
A man in TPS uniform surrounded by teens petting a dog
Narcotics and Firearms Detection dog Folsom enjoys the attention from students as Constable Matthew Butt explains his work as a dog handler
TPS crest watermark