Helping Kids Cycle into Summer Fun

By Brent Smyth

Brent Smyth


Community Partnerships and Engagement Unit

On June 29, the Community Partnership and Engagement Unit worked with multiple divisions of Neighbourhood Community Officers (NCOs) to provide over 60 bikes to kids, to help them enjoy the summer.

Working with New Kindness, a volunteer organization designed not to work events directly, but connect those looking to help with the means to, CPEU was able to work with Canadian Tire to secure 64 pre-built bikes for the event.

Stan Brown, a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of New Kindness, explained this event was three years in the making, after COVID delayed the original date in 2020.

“About 3 years ago I saw an article where police and community members got together to build bikes for kids, and immediately made calls to do that as well. It’s important to do some sharing, and we knew the police would have the right way to know the kids that need it most,” Brown said.

New Kindness organized the giving out of bikes, helmets and locks from Canadian Tire, with the police providing lights and bells.

NCOs from 31, 32, 41, 42 and 43 Divisions participated in the rodeo, with instructors from 14, 55 and 12 Divisions on site to aid in riding lessons.

A police officer with a child on a bike
A police officer teaches a bike rodeo participant how to ride a bike Photo: Brent Smyth

Along with the bikes and lessons, the children also had the opportunity to interact with police horses, and some police vehicles.

Sandra Usagie, whose five-year-old daughter Desire took part in the rodeo, shared her appreciation for the event.

“She loves the police van, being able to go inside for her was awesome,” she began. 

“It’s good for her to see the police like this. Where they are teaching her.”

Inspector Paul Rinkoff of CPEU attended the event, commending the five divisions of NCO’s for their work.

“None of this could've been done without all the partners that have come together to put on this event from the bike instructors to the neighbourhood officers, the City of Toronto, the University of Toronto to our private partners in the community including Canadian Tire coming together for one cause. To support our communities, to make our communities safer and to make sure our children are having fun this summer.”

Less than a week before the rodeo took place, another TPS unit worked hard to provide summer bikes for deserving children.

A child high-fives adults
Joy was felt all-around when the bikes were given out Photo: Brent Smyth

The Wellness Unit had a learning and development activity, where teams had the chance to earn bike parts throughout the day, culminating in the construction of 6 bikes for kids from 22 Division. 

Natasha Matthews, whose three kids were among those chosen to receive bikes, was beaming with pride as they were leaving the Toronto Police College.

“It’s nice that the community can help people that can't afford things like this for the children, so it helps them in the summertime, they can get out and learn how to ride a bike.”

That feeling is exactly what Emily Simpson, a Project Manager for the Wellness Unit, says the event was all about.

“The people in the Wellness Unit are all people who spend their days giving to others, specifically other members. And a lot of the time we overlook how much effort it takes to do that, so planning an event where that's all taken care of, and the team gets to collaborate on just team bonding initiatives and then reap the reward of giving a gift to a child.”

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