Jesseca Regisford was seeking to do something new and different in a career.
Encouraged by twin brother Joshua Regisford and a cousin – Zachary Mitchell – who both graduated as Special Constables last year, she made the leap.
“They said good things about the program and motivated me to apply,” said the new Booking Officer, who processes those arrested by police by taking fingerprints and photos as well as manages prisoners in custory. “It’s one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Regisford was among 34 Special Constables who graduated on December 11.
The District Special Constables (DSC) and Booking Officers are assigned to various Divisions. Both roles were created in recent years to support frontline officers.
Regisford, who will work in 55 Division, said the training was intense.
“I was pushed physically and mentally,” she said. “I was brought out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t mind. It was a refreshing experience that brought a new perspective to my life.”
For over a decade, Daniel Webster has been pursuing a career in policing.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity,” said the former Bylaw officer who is now a Booking Officer.
Webster said he was prepared to take on the training from a physical standpoint but learned a lot from the experience.
“I had an idea it was going to be this way, so I did a lot of physical preparation that paid off because I got into the program,” he said. “The dynamic scenario training stood out for me and I learned a lot and was able to correct mistakes.”
Though she was a journalist in Russia before migrating to Canada six years ago, Victoria Vedmedenko aspired to be in law enforcement.
“I observed how the work that police officers do can bring change to their communities,” she said. “Doing something knowing it can make a difference is really what attracted me to this role.”
Vedmedenko spent two-and-a-half years with Brink’s Canada as a security officer before applying to be a DSC.
The DSC position was created to supplement and help create capacity for frontline officers. The role, based out a police station, includes prisoner management, basic report taking, document service, crime scene security, canvassing, evidence & missing person searches, evidence collecting & processing as well as parking infractions among other tasks.
They also assist community members with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). In addition, they have been extended Mental Health Act Section 17 powers that enable them to take custody of a person apprehended by a police officer.
Graduating from the International University of Nature, Society and Man in Moscow with an Information in the Economy diploma, she completed the Police Foundations program in 2017 at triOS College in Scarborough.
Vedmedenko, who couldn’t speak English when she came to Canada, hopes to become a Toronto Police Service police officer.
“I am going to do the very best in the DSC role and gain experience along the way,” said the new recruit who is assigned to 32 Division. “I want to make a difference in the community and policing allows you to do that.”
Graduating from Chaminade College School, Adamo Arcilesi studied Multi-Media, 3D Animation and Visual Arts program at Humber College before working as a Security Manager.
“I couldn’t make a living as an artist, so I decided I would go into public service and that was the reason for me joining Toronto Police as a Parking Enforcement Officer nearly eight years ago,” the married father of two children said.
Newly assigned to 14 Division, he’s happy to have a new challenge and hopes to one day become a police officer.
Deputy Chiefs Peter Yuen and Shawna Coxon attended the graduation at the Toronto Police College.
“You have achieved some of your goals as District Special Constables and I am sure some of you would like to proceed to be police officers,” said Yuen. “I applaud you for that and ask you to continue to work hard and fulfil your dreams. This is a rewarding career.”
Yuen reminded the graduates that they are taking up their new roles at a time when the Service is undergoing major changes as part of its modernization process.
“The public is asking police to change for the better and to realign with their vision of how we should provide services collaboratively with the community,” he said. “Your work will be extremely critical to us by helping and enhancing our frontline public safety. I ask you to take that extra time to communicate with people and form that relationship. Be compassionate and at all times be professional.”
During the training program, the Special Constables took part in several physical training classes. Some recruits demonstrated an outstanding level of fitness while others improved dramatically.
Daniel Dejak was the recipient of the Most Improved Award while the High Performance Award was presented to Matthew Pogue for demonstrating an exceptionally high and well-balanced fitness level.
Adam Connelly received the TPS Military Veterans Association Award presented to the Special Constable who best exemplifies the qualities and virtues of drill, dress and deportment.
The graduating class organized a food drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
This was the last graduation ceremony for Sgt. Oliver Febbo, an instructor in the Community Policing Section, has helped prepare and mentor hundreds of Police Constables and Special Constables over his past three years at the College.
The 32-year veteran, who led the Special Constables as parade commander at their graduation to a standing ovation, retires on December 31.
“I am sad to leave, but this job has given me everything I have asked for and more,” said Febbo.