Citizenship Medal for Volunteer
Gerald Mak has spent half his life volunteering with Toronto Police Service.
While in high school, he attended 42 Division Community Policing Liaison Committee (CPLC) summer picnic and Officer of the Year Award event and was introduced to retired Superintendent Diane Miller who was the Unit Commander.
“When I expressed to her that I have a passion for volunteering and I would love to work with the police, she embraced what I had to say,” Mak recounted. “She was the one that really encouraged me to give back to the community by volunteering. As time went by, I volunteered with multiple Divisions across the city.”
He was recently honoured with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship that is the province’s second highest award for civilians and is given to those who made a lasting impact in their communities and the province.
“What he has accomplished at such a young age will take your breath away,” said Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell. “For over 18 years, he has been dedicated to improving the lives of Ontario’s children and teens through many volunteer initiatives and charities.”
As a 16-year-old in 2006, Mak supervised and mentored young people in the ProAction Cops & Kids Photography program in 32 Division. In 2008, he collaborated with Toronto Crime Stoppers to organize a Family Skate Day at Nathan Phillips Square.
Nearly 150 young people from some of the city’s designated priority neighbourhoods skated for the first time. Partnering with some community agencies, he also arranged for skates to be donated to the Toronto Breakfast Club.
Mak was the only volunteer on the Service’s 40-member planning team for the G8/G20 Summit. Between October 2009 and July 2010, he went to several TPS units on his own time to determine their IT needs. He developed an intranet server and website for the planning team using Microsoft SharePoint and committed over 200 hours after school and on weekends working on the project from his local police station or his office with the planning team in Scarborough. During the Summit, he was onsite providing IT support.
He also assisted with developing the Toronto Emergency Management Symposium webpage and conference logistics.
For the past six years, Mak has spearheaded the 32 Division Toronto Police Student Leadership Awards, providing scholarships to youths from challenged communities across the city who are interested in pursuing post-secondary studies.
Mak said he has learned a lot through the opportunities Toronto Police has given him.
“I admire the work police officers do and think they are never given the full credit for the work they do to make communities safe,” he said. “From a very early age, I knew I wanted to bridge the gap between police and the communities they serve.”
Mak is the Co-Chair of the Race-Based Data Collection Community Advisory Panel that meets monthly and provides recommendations to the Service and the Toronto Police Services Board on matters pertaining to race and identity-based collection, analysis and reporting.
Since graduating from the Ted Rogers School of Management in 2013, he has supported many student group events, connecting students with the industry and serving as a mentor. He regularly provides guidance on capstone projects, speaks at student-organized panels, judges case competitions and has assisted in providing internships and hiring Toronto Metropolitan University co-op students in the financial industry.
He currently works as a Strategy Manager within the Ontario Public Service.