European Officers Visit TSV
Toronto was the third stop last week for a group of mostly Italian police officers who are on a humanitarian motorcycle tour through Central and North America.
Since 2000, MotoForPeace have travelled to different parts of the world to undertake various projects to uplift challenged communities.
Starting with 24 members in Panama City on March 19, the group rode through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico before heading to the United States where their first stop was San Antonio.
They also visited Salt Lake City, Miami, Charlotte, Washington and Detroit before coming to Toronto.
The group finance medical care projects and assist in constructing health structures while building relationships with police officers across the globe.
This was the first time that veteran German police officer Norbert Raimer – he is the only representative from his country -- has ridden with the group.
“After my family, the other thing I love the most is riding motorcycles,” he said.
“It’s my passion. I also wanted to help people and visit Central America and Canada. This was the ideal opportunity to do all of these things with MotoForPeace.”
The group’s largest stretch of riding was between Washington and Detroit where they covered nearly 850 kilometres.
“It was tough, but the overall experience has been great,” added Raimer who has been a police officer for 27 years.
“Riding in the rain, especially at night, was not pleasant as we had to contend with light reflections from oncoming vehicles. Though very strenuous, this has been a most enjoyable and rewarding experience.”
Deputy Chief Mike Federico welcomed the officers to the city at a simple ceremony at Traffic Services on April 28.
“We are proud to host this event and celebrate your achievements,” he told the group.
“It’s a tribute, I think, to policing worldwide that organizations like yours have the welfare of our communities at heart and that’s very familiar to Toronto Police officers. We spend a lot of time trying to help our community gain a level of health and well-being in addition to providing security. So we recognize the efforts of your organization to do something.
“Perhaps your organization has found a world, but I would like to think that your experience can resonate with us because of the impact you have had on people who need our help, particular our children. I think that resonates with every one of our police officers. Each one of them is involved in some type of personal or, in some cases, organizational support, so we really do appreciate and understand the reasons behind your efforts and the success you have been able to achieve.”
The visiting officers attended the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation ceremony at Queen’s Park on May 1.
The group will also visit Ottawa and New York City where their motorcycles will be shipped back to Europe.
The 58-day tour concludes on May 10.