It’s not uncommon for community residents in 43 Division to shout out, ‘Pappy, Pappy’, as Const. Kirk Papadopoulos is patrolling Scarborough’s east end.
“It makes me feel good because I know I am doing my job and the community is happy with the service,” he said. “Working in Traffic, you get to engage with the community on a regular basis. You are driving around entering neighbourhoods whose residents have complaints and you speak to these people who have concerns. You play a vital role in their lives in ensuring their safety isn’t compromised.”
Papadopoulos is the recipient of the 2019 Norman R. Shaw Memorial Award.
Shaw spent 42 years with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) before retiring as a Sergeant In 2012. He died suddenly at his home two years later.
To keep his memory alive, the Ontario Provincial Speed Advisory Committee – which Shaw co-founded – established an award in his name in 2015.
“This honour means a lot to me because it’s given in the name of a great man who spent most of his policing career in traffic,” said Papadopoulos. “He wasn’t only involved in traffic enforcement, but community engagement, that’s something I take great pride in doing.”
“He takes his role extremely seriously,” said Supt. Dave Rydzik who joined Insp. LeeAnn Papizewski on her first day at the Division in making the presentation. “If you follow him on social media, you can see that he is always out there offering educational tips and talking about aggressive driving.
“He does his job not just for the sake of writing tickets and protecting people, but he really does have a soft spot for the community and has often times stopped and helped motorists that are stranded with flat tires and things like that. He does that on and off duty. I have not seen anyone else in a traffic enforcement role in this city that is as dedicated as Kirk. He eats, sleeps and breathes traffic.”
Like Shaw, Papadopoulos has spent the majority of his two decades in policing in traffic enforcement.
As part of the city’s Vision Zero plan to reduce the number of preventable serious and fatal collisions, Papadopouolos designed an operational plan.
“It targeted high-collision locations in our Division and setting up a plan with the platoons,” he said.
The two-week ‘Vision Zero Operation Slowdown’ project was conducted from November 2-16.
“The success rate was very good,” said Papadopoulos. “Our collisions in those two weeks dropped considerably. Prior to the project, there were about 41 collisions. We had just 21 during the two-week operation.”
Born and raised in Scarborough, policing was always on his radar.
“I am very familiar with this area and I am so happy that I have a job where I can serve the residents here,” said the Bendale Business & Technical Institute graduate.
Papadopouolos and his wife, Jennifer Stone, married five months after he became a Toronto cop in 2001. They have two children, including Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos who won a bronze medal in wrestling at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.