New Parking Enforcement Officers will get the opportunity to serve their city, keeping the city moving while pursuing their own career paths.
Deputy Chief Shawna Coxon welcomed the new members and reminded them they have an important role to play with Canada’s largest municipal police service.
“Your role in our city is crucial to the safe and orderly flow of traffic,” she said. “As members of the Parking Enforcement Unit, you will provide operational support to our Service each time you recover a stolen vehicle, conduct language interpretation, attend a community policing initiative or assist with emergency support crime management. You will work towards crime prevention by being a uniform presence as the eyes and ears on the street. We thank you for standing up to take these important tasks and for your commitment to our city and its communities.
“This is an exciting time in your lives and you have chosen an honourable profession in which you will work to keep Toronto moving, including not only residents but also the massive volume of commuters, tourists and other people who come in and out of our city on a daily basis.”
Jim Hart said the Toronto Police Services Board, which he chairs, recognizes the value that Parking Enforcement officers bring to the city.
“Tasked with the responsibility for the safe and orderly flow of traffic in Toronto, you maintain road safety by monitoring and enforcing parking laws on our streets,” said Hart. “You also play a critical role in helping Torontonians live, work and play on a daily basis, ensuring that parking spaces are used appropriately and for other proper purposes. As you do your jobs, interacting with members of the public each and every day, you also act as important ambassadors for our Service. Be proud of the organization your represent as your demonstrate your professionalism, integrity and work ethic in all that you do.”
The recruits were in training for six weeks covering many subjects, including writing handwritten and electronic hand-held tickets, towing, private property, fire routes, accessible parking, considerations and by-laws.
Ticketed four times for parking infractions in the city, Tenzin Zompa will soon be on the other side looking for violators and issuing tickets.
She was among 37 Toronto Police Parking Enforcement officers sworn in at the police college on February 7.
“I clearly remember the number of tickets I was issued because they were all for alternate side parking in which I forgot to switch my vehicle over to the other side of my street,” said Zompa. “It was my fault.”
She said the training has been informative and is looking forward to working on the streets.
The York University graduate is using the position as a stepping stone to become a Special Constable with the Service and has served four years in a volunteer Auxiliary Officer position.
“I have been an Auxiliary officer for the last four years and have enjoyed that role.”
Zompa was introduced to Canada’s largest municipal police service Auxiliary program while working as a security guard during the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games.
Auxiliary officers – working 24-hour shifts – undertook 836 assignments and contributed approximately 8,370 volunteer hours.
Born in India of Tibetan heritage, she came to Toronto in 2009 and was a Loss Prevention Officer at Sears after graduating from university six years ago.
Applying last year to be a uniformed and parking enforcement officer at the same time, Steven Murad’s first call came from the latter.
He aspired to policing after an officer responded to a break and enter at his Rexdale home.
“I was about six or seven and I recall an officer coming and escorting us safely into our house,” he said. “He was very calm and professional and he made us feel safe. I told myself I wanted to do what he did when I grew up.”
The first member of his family to pursue post-secondary education, Murad graduated from Sheridan College with a Police Foundations certificate and was a Health & Safety officer at Walmart Logistics and a part-time security officer at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health.
Growing up watching forensic and investigation shows fuelled Rosnidda Chanthoumphone’s interest in law enforcement.
“The First 48’ is my favourite,” said the University of Toronto Forensic Anthropology & Archaeological Studies graduate who was born in St. Catharine.
A Field Archaeologist for a short period, Chanthoumphone also worked in the banking and restaurant industry and launched a pet shop.
“I was doing all these things, but law enforcement is the area I wanted to be in,” she said. “I didn’t want to let this opportunity go by and then say, “What if’?”
She aspires to be a uniformed officer.
Ano Shan also wants to be a police officer.
He’s been an Auxiliary officer with 32 Division for the past three-and-a-half years.
“The experience that I have gained so far coupled with what I get in Parking Enforcement will certainly prepare me for my ultimate goal,” he said. “Every interaction I have had with a police officer has been positive and that has reinforced that I made the right choice years ago. I like to engage with people and help them which is something that you get to do when you are a police officer.”
Pamela Carswell, Glen Germain, Keith Chipman and Lori Young conducted the training.
The new officers will spend the next five weeks with a coach officer on the road before being assigned to Parking East, West and Central Units.
The Service continues to hire Parking Enforcement Officers, for more information visit tps.on.ca/careers