157 Youth are serving Toronto this summer as YIPIs
KJ Mullins-Toronto: Every summer the Toronto Police Service hires on a crew that hasn’t completed university or even high school for that matter. The Youth In Policing Initiative gives teens in the city a chance to have a summer job that really gives back to the community.
This year 157 teens from the age of 14 to 17 will be part of the YIPI program. The participants live in some of the most high-risk areas of the city including Scarborough Village, South Parkdale, Lawrence Heights and Regent Park. In some of these areas being associated with the police can be a dangerous thing but for the youth involved with the program the experience is well worth the potential dangers.
“It gives us the opportunity to get to know the youth of our city, their perspectives, their aspirations and how they want their city to be,” Chief William Blair said. “We all have a lot of work to do together to make this the safe city we want.”
The teens will be assigned to one of 65 areas in the Service, including each of the 17 Division. With areas like forensics, emergency management and social media to explore the YIPI program offers more than the normal summer job that teens generally have a chance at.
Deputy Chief Peter Sloly said on Facebook today, “Today we will welcome over 150 youth into our organization. These are high potential young people from priority neighborhoods. They went through a rigorous job application/hiring process.”
This is the seventh summer that the initiative has been in place in Toronto. In 2006 the Service hired 100 teens said Chief Blair today at police headquarters for the launch of this year’s program. Today he said that the diversity of Toronto is on display with this class of YIPIs.
“They will have the opportunity to learn community service,” Blair said as he thanked the parents of the students in the program. He assured the parents that their children will be treated with respect this summer.
The hiring process began in January with over 900 applications. The 157 who were hired are the creme of the crop of Toronto youth who made it through the interviewing process.