Gaining Experience and Giving Back
Smruti Patel has always had an interest in policing.
After learning about the 22 Division Toronto Police Service (TPS) Rover Crew program, she enrolled.
“This was like my golden ticket to get to where I want to,” said Patel, who graduated last from year from Humber College’s Police Foundations program. “I have had opportunities to meet police officers and learn about their jobs and also volunteer in the community.”
She was among 25 new Rovers invested at a ceremony at Toronto Police College (TPC) on March 27 who have already begun volunteering since Fall 2022. The 22 Division Rover Crew is a partnership between the Humber College Police Foundations program, Scouts Canada and 22 Division to offer Police Foundations students a chance to volunteer with police through a Scouts program in order to gain experience and give back to their community.
Rovers are the scouting designation for young men and women between the ages of 18 and 26.
Patel has been volunteering with the Integrated Gang Prevention Task Force.
“I have gained so much valuable experience in this role,” Patel said.
Daniel Litherland is in his last semester in the Humber program.
“I enjoyed the drills we did here on Monday nights, some game evenings we have had and just a platform to interact with Toronto Police and volunteer in the community,” he said. “My career goal is to be a police officer and Toronto Police is my first choice.”
For Neha Singh who is also considering a policing career, the Rover program was a great opportunity.
“In addition to volunteering, it helps you understand more about policing,” she said.
22 Division Inspector Anthony Paoletta said the Rover role is an important one to the Service.
“I know that getting here is not an easy task,” he told the graduates. “You have worked very hard and your efforts are a testimony to your abilities, your resilience and your commitment to scouting. Your roles support our Service in building and maintaining trust with the communities we serve. I know that you will be guided by integrity, self-responsibility and that you will treat people with respect, equity and dignity.”
June Macdonald-Jenkins, Senior Dean in the Faculty of Community & Social Services at Humber College and Principal of the Lakeshore Campus, acknowledged TPS 22 Division and Scouts Canada for their support and mentorship in the last two decades.
She said the Rover program is a unique and important pathway for Humber’s Police Foundations and Justice students to gain experience and connections in policing.
“Volunteering your time and energy in this project has had a great impact on our community and I know the connections and skills you have learned through the process will be an asset to your future career in policing, community or justice services,” Macdonald-Jenkins said. “Research shows us that volunteering for a cause, project or passion not only builds skills but boost our well-being, our sense of belonging and the capacity to connect with others.
“As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have found a new-found understanding and appreciation for the importance of connection and community. I also know that as students from Humber’s Faculty of Social & Community Services, you are passionate about building connections and leaving the world a better place than you found it.”