Making Great First Impression on Youth

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 3:41 p.m. April 30, 2021

Two Toronto Police officers were among four community members honoured with Rotary Club of Toronto West Community Heroes Awards in a virtual ceremony in late April.

Two women in TPS uniform by a school bus
Constables Leanna Gill and Julie Rowe

Consts. Julie Rowe and Leanna Gill, of 43 Division, were recognized for their significant contributions to the Community School Liaison Officers (CSLO) program that ended last November.

“Over the years of being with the CSLO, Julie and Leanna were usually the first contact and experience a young person would have with the police, not only positively representing the Toronto Police Service but inspiring them through the work they do on a daily basis, caring and assisting individuals and communities,” said S/Sgt. Nicholas Nei, who nominated them for the award.

“From a young age, many children and youth have gotten to know and have been able to form a bond with Julie and Leanna regardless of the uniform they wear.”  

Rowe and Gill worked together for five years up until last year.

“We enjoyed making presentations in different classrooms and the relationships we built with not only the principals but also the students,” Rowe said.

They were assigned to 62 schools in their Division.

Joining the Service 20 years ago, Rowe was at 33 Division for before going to 43 Division in 2008.

“Policing was something I always wanted to do because I like to help people,” she added.

The other honourees were Rotarian and social entrepreneur David Lockett and Toronto SickKids Director of Neuro-Oncology Dr. Eric Bouffet.

Part of the donations from this year’s virtual event went to ProAction Cops & Kids – the largest private funder of Toronto Police programs for young people.

ProAction has reached over 420,000 young people through over 2,200 programs delivered in partnership with over 19,800 police officers across our four chapters.

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