Friday, March 15, 2013

Youth vie for summer with police

Const. SaintPage Ferguson interviews a YIPI candidate
Nearly 300 high schoolers are interviewing for summer jobs with the Toronto Police Service.

Ranging in age from 14 to 17, the young people from the city’s designated priority neighbourhoods are vying for 150 spots in this summer’s Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) program that started eight years ago.

“At the end of this process, we will send the files for a background check and when we get them back, we will sit down to determine who will be hired this summer,” said YIPI coordinator Danielle Dowdy.

“We want to get a good representation from across the designated priority neighbourhoods and the students’ interest will also be a factor in their hiring.”

Nearly 15 Service members, including 52 Division unit commander Supt. Dave McCormack and Supt. Tom Russell of Area Field Command, conducted the interviews. Members from the Divisional Policing Support and Employment Units, the Divisions, Parking Enforcement and Court Services also interviewed students.

“They all volunteered for this and we are delighted they are part of this process,” said Dowdy.
S/Supt. Tom Russell interviews a YIPI candidate

She said that, during the seven-week program, participants gain valuable work experience, their attitude to police and policing improves, they feel positive and confident about their experiences, which they take back to their communities. In addition, the young people recognize, develop and pursue some of the career aspirations that attracted them to the program initially.

Earning $10.90 an hour, the students will be exposed to the Service’s 17 Divisions and 48 support units.

The first year, close to 1,100 youth applied for 100 available spots and, last year, there were 941 applicants. About 900 students have passed through the program.

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