Peel Regional Police establishes its own ProAction Cops & Kids Chapter

13th August 2021 – ProAction Cops & Kids is a unique charitable organization that was started in 1991 in Toronto by business tycoon John Bitove Sr. that allows police officers to make a positive and meaningful connection with youth. In a variety of skill-building and mentorship programs, police officers volunteer to create trust and respect with youth. After its inception in Toronto, the organization expanded to other areas such as Durham, Hamilton and Halton.

Recently, the Peel Chapter of the organization was established. After HTC came to know of it, we reached out to Peel Regional Police for details about this program and chapter. Officer Paul Cincinnato answered our queries regarding the program.

HTC: What would be the key features of this program?

PRP: The great thing about this program is that it gives our Police Officers and Civilian employees the ability to create various programs to engage with priority youth in marginalized communities that normally wouldn’t get these types of opportunities.  Programs can be geared towards almost anything from sports, culinary, career development mentorship as a few examples. The options are limitless and really come down to the creativeness of the officers and civilians involved in building their programs. The ultimate goal is to connect youth with positive life time experiences with police officers that they normally would not be exposed to.

HTC: How would Peel Police plans to engage the community in this program?

PRP: We plan on using existing networks and contacts that have been made through our newly formed Divisional Mobilization Units (DMU). DMU has networked with a number of various outside agencies, stakeholders and social groups. These contacts will be some of our first point of contact to help get the message out to various neighborhoods within the areas that we Police here at Peel Regional Police. Officers will also be allowed to collaborate and connect with their own networks and contacts. In some cases, ProAction will adopt and fund existing programs where officers incurred out of pocket expenses prior to the ProAction partnership.

HTC: Would there be any registration required to be the beneficiary of the program? If yes, how can one register?

PRP: The registration process will be up to the officers designing their programs. Keeping in mind the genuine intention is to connect in communities that wouldn’t normally have opportunities for unique experiences. Although, we plan on connecting with our networks to bring youth in to various programs, we are also open to creating new community partnerships to grow the Peel Police and ProAction partnership.

HTC: In what ways can the student community contribute (fundraising, volunteering, etc.) to the success of this program in Peel?

PRP: ProAction accepts community donations via their website. With regards to volunteers that will also depend on what the program needs are. The goal of ProAction is to bring Police and youth together. In most cases, the police officers are the people who are actually volunteering their time to this program.

HTC: Any other relevant information you think our readers should know?

PRP: ProAction has been around for approximately 30 years. Since launching their chapter here with Peel Regional Police I’ve seen a spike in community engagement interest. So far, 6 programs have been applied for, lacrosse, boxing, culinary, basketball, cricket and an equestrian program. All of these are in the application process and waiting for COVID restrictions to lift so the programs can launch in to reality. On a daily basis, I have been fielding emails and calls from members of Peel Regional Police with some very creative and great ideas that I can see coming to light in the next year or so. This seems to have gotten the attention of the public as well as I have received emails externally making inquiries about the program as well. There seems to be a genuine interest from the officers, civilians and the public to collaborate and bring people together for positive change. 

HTC wishes Peel Police the very best in this endeavor.

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