Parking Officers Ready for Patrol
A new class of 42 Parking Enforcement Officers took their first steps into their new role at their graduation at the Toronto Police College July 20.
Deputy Chief Robert Johnson said the recruits they are vital to keeping the city moving and public safety.
“Some may think you only issue parking tickets, but those people underestimate the importance of your role,” he said. “Parking Enforcement Officers help to recover stolen vehicles, provide language interpretation, emergency support, crime management and assist with corporate and local community policing initiatives. Not only this, but you are also a highly visible, uniformed presence in our communities, ensuring public safety by fostering crime prevention.”
Deputy Johnson noted the job can be demanding.
“The Service you provide protects the people of Toronto by enforcing parking restrictions during rush hour, no parking in bicycle lanes or the proper use of accessibility permits,” he added. “You will help cyclists, pedestrians and people with disabilities go about their days safely. The support you provide to our Service is invaluable. As you do this important work every day, you will become intimately familiar with the streets of Toronto and the city’s 158 neighbourhoods and you will help our Service in building and maintaining trust within these neighbourhoods.”
Toronto Police Services Board Chair Ann Morgan told the graduates they play an important role in supporting Torontonians as they love, work and play daily, ensuring that parking spaces are used appropriately and for proper purposes.
“As you do your jobs, interacting with members of the public each and every day, you also act as important ambassadors for our Service,” she noted. “Be proud of the organization you represent as you demonstrate your professionalism, integrity and work ethic in all that you do.”
Of the 42 graduates, eight speak another language, seven speak two other languages, four speak three other languages and one speaks four languages other than English.
“Through you, we can engage with our different communities and neighbourhoods, speak to community members in their home languages, create and fortify relationships and thus enhance our ever-important partnership with the public” said Morgan. “We are lucky to have each one of you for your wonderful talents, your valuable skills and your unique insights. You truly bring the community into the Service.”
After two years as a Correctional Officer Akoussa Kuffour decided to make a change in her career but stick to public service.
“I still wanted to be in a law enforcement and engage with community. That is why I applied to Toronto Police,” said Kuffour, who is a Ontario Tech University Criminology & Justice program graduate.
The class trained for seven weeks.
The recruits training covered many subjects, including writing handwritten and electronic hand-held tickets, towing, private property, fire routes, accessible parking, considerations and by-laws.
They also received training in crisis communications, defensive tactics, tactical communication, powers of arrest, occupational health & safety and ethics training at the police college.
There are now over 300 Parking Enforcement Officers patrolling the city.
Supervised by Joanna Catania, the other training officers were Lori Young, Pamela Carswell, Glen Germaine, Karen Kivington and Kim Nearing.
Assigned to a platoon at one of the three Parking Enforcement Units, each recruit is partnered with a Coach Officer to mentor them and allow them to hone their skills so they can confidently perform their duties.
“The comprehensive training, they receive ensures that our recruits are well equipped to perform their duties,” said Catania.
Gary Da Luz won the High Academic Achievement Award with a mark of 99.3 per cent while Timothy Bauer was the Class Valedictorian.
On behalf of the class, he praised the coach officers for their role in preparing the recruits for their new responsibilities.
“We will know so much more,” he said. “We will be well versed as to our duties and responsibilities as we go to our new locations and platoons. Every day will get better, we will become more knowledgeable and comfortable with our roles.”
Bauer said he worked for large companies that have mission statements with many words on a page.
“But the four core values of the Toronto Police Service really carry a lot of weight and are relevant in what we do every day,” he added. “We have to continually apply these in everything we do which are service to the core, do the right thing, connect with compassion and reflect and grow.”
Visit the Parking Enforcement Officer webpage on our Careers website to learn more.