Recognizing Life of Community Champion

55 Division

The 55 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) will honour the memory of late member Valerie Mah with a scholarship bearing her name.

The longtime member and police supporter died on her 83rd birthday on February 7.

“Valerie was one of the hearts and souls of the CPLC for over 20 years,” said Supt. Reuben Stroble, the Division’s Unit Commander. “As an educator, she brought that lens of highlighting the need for young people to be educated to our CPLC and was instrumental in the starting of a bursary program we have here.”

Mah was also a member of the Toronto Police Chinese Community Consultative Committee.

Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said Mah was a community champion and supporter of police initiatives.

“She was not a police cheerleader,” he pointed out. “She challenged us and often urged us to do better. This was a lady with a bundle of energy who sat on many committees and gave of her time selflessly. Education, mental health, homelessness, addiction were some of the issues she was very concerned about. She wanted to make Toronto better.”

Five years ago, Mah coordinated the installation of murals in East Chinatown.

The police/community mural project discourages vandalism and beautifies buildings as well as drawing people to the Gerard St. and Broadview Ave. business district.

With the assistance of the Toronto Police Service, the City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, Riverdale Collegiate Institute students and local graffiti artists, seven large-scale murals of world monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, now adorn the sides of buildings in the community.

Mah was the first Chinese woman to become a Toronto District School Board Principal.

A man in TPS uniform with three women
Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CCC) East Toronto President Judy Ouk, Constable Kent Vuong, Councillor Paula Fletcher and CCC Vice Chair Valerie Mah Photo: 55 Division

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