Sgt. Julie Evans knows that kids benefit from having opportunities no matter where in the city they're growing up.
The product of a single mom and growing up in a tough neighbourhood motivated Evans to seek out policing as a career.
“I just wanted to have a better life and I saw policing as an opportunity to help me overcome the adversity and intersections I faced,” said the officer, who was recognized with the 42 Division Community Policing Liaison Committee (CPLC) Officer of the Year Award on June 8.
Hired in 2001, Evans started her career at 33 Division and has worked at various units and divisions, including Sex Crimes and TAVIS before joining the 42 Division Neighbourhood Officer program five years ago.
She is now giving back to kids and has been instrumental in implementing a Life Skills program that emerged out of a grant proposal written by S/Sgt. Andy Ecklund.
The program was launched last March.
“With this federal grant, we are able to provide 18 months of programming to help young people in challenged neighbourhoods overcome obstacles,” said Evans. “They get First Aid, food handling, financial management and cooking training among other things and they are taken on trips to help build teamwork.”
A/Insp. Gerry Heaney said Evans is an excellent representative of 42 Division.
“She supports different opportunities to advance positive and transformational initiatives,” he said. “As the leader of the Neighbourhood Officer program overseeing 12 officers working in the Malvern and L’Amoreaux neighbourhoods, she quickly established herself in making tremendous changes with enthusiasm, bringing positive changes to those neighbourhoods.”
The annual CPLC Scholarship and Student Award were also presented at the 42 Division Family Fun Day in Scarborough.
Justin Mendes, who graduated from Francis Libermann Catholic High School with a 95 per cent average, was the recipient of the $2,000 scholarship. He’s enrolled in the University of Waterloo Electrical Engineering program.
Stella Falana was presented with the $500 Student Award. The St. Mother Teresa Catholic Academy graduate is pursuing History & Sociology Studies at Queen’s University.
“This award is a big boost,” said the 2017 Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) graduate who accumulated over 400 hours of community work in high school.
Carol Evans, the head of the CPLC scholarship committee, joined Supt. Tony Riviere – the 42 Division Unit Commander – in presenting the awards to the students.
“The two young people stood out because of their commitment to community work while excelling in the classroom,” she said. “They were not just showing up to clean a park for two hours and then moving on.”