Melody Carroll and Glenn Jones, two Toronto Police Neighbourhood Community Officers (NCOs), assisted in the opening of a Community Wellness Space at a public school in 31 Division a few months ago.
They provide services to the York University Heights neighborhood and have developed special ties with the faculty and students of James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School.
Carroll, who as an NCO forges relationships in the community with schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations on a daily basis, stated, “We hold small group activities in this room.” Typically, we ask students what they want and what can assist them in achieving their personal objectives and becoming better members of the community.
Carroll, a former academic advisor at Iowa State, is accustomed to working directly with students and has attempted to meet their requirements.
“They give us a lot of ideas, like helping with their resumes and finding them other jobs. Nevertheless, a few students specifically requested to meet with one of our detectives.
Carroll and Jones contacted Detective Sanjee Aroda of the Major Crime Unit of the Division.
He jumped at the chance and offered to speak with a group of fourteen students.
When Aroda spoke to students about his work as a police investigator as a potential career and for their own interest as engaged community members, he said, “They had some great questions, there was some joking around and the interaction was great.” They listened well to what I had to say.
Carroll expressed gratitude to Aroda for devoting time to meet the students in their classroom.
She went on to say, “The great thing about this interaction is that it supports the efforts Glenn and I have personally made to help build trust with the members of the school community.” Students can learn a lot about the humanity, approachability, and willingness to assist of police officers through intimate encounters like this one.