Fun Day to Connect with Community

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair


Emergency Task Force
Police Dog Services

Canine, Mounted and Emergency Task Force officers took time recently to engage with a group of people with physical and developmental disabilities, explaining and demonstrating some of the work they do to keep the city safe.

The group from New Visions Toronto, a non-profit organization that has 16 homes and provides 24-hour care to children and young adults across the city, was exposed to the work of the officers who employ dogs and horses in their police work, as well as tactical officers.

police officer and dog with a person
Explosives Detection Dog Archie meets a New Visions resident Photo: Brent Smyth

Detective Sergeant Brian Maslowski, who serves as president of the New Visions board of directors, says the organization tries to offer different opportunities to their residents.

“We wanted to expose them to some of the specialty units that TPS has,” said Maslowski, of the June 21 tour. “It was a fun day for the residents and their direct support staff and our officers did a fabulous job in ensuring that happened by tailoring their presentations to satisfy the needs of individuals with disabilities. By the smiles on the faces among our group, it was evident that the officers were getting their messages across in the right way.”

A police officer kneeling beside a woman
Detective Sergeant Brian Maslowski watches the Police Dog Services demonstration alongside a New Visions resident Photo: Brent Smyth

Maslowski says the staff and clients of New Visions share in the same mission of the Toronto Police Service.

“When I learned about New Visions I was taken aback by the great work they do and the incredible character of the people this organization supports,” he said. “When I did my research and looked into what they did and are about, I knew they stood for some of the things we at Toronto Police are striving for, including inclusion,” Maslowski said.

Two people looking at a horse
New Visions residents and staff had the opportunity to interact with Mounted officers and their horses

“There are other opportunities for expanding our inclusion and that includes hands-on support to people with disabilities. By reaching out and really embedding ourselves with New Visions and other organizations doing similar work, we are going to raise Toronto Police’s profile among social service agencies and we learn more about ourselves to make us better able to serve everyone in the community.”

A group of people and police officers with a police vehicle
Emergency Task Force officers showed off their tools of the trade, including a vehicle, with New Visions residents Photo: Brent Smyth

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