43 Division’s 4th Annual Open House and Community Picnic

Local police are reaching out to the community with their fourth annual open house and community picnic.

The Community Police Liaison Committee will host the event on May 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 43 Division, located at 4331 Lawrence Ave., east of Morningside Avenue.

“This event is designed to bring together youth and police officers from our community in a fun filled activity,” committee co-chair Marilyn Hodge said. It is about fostering an environment of trust.”

About 1,500 people attended the free event last year.

Families will have the opportunity to take a tour of the station as well as Emergency Medical Services. Exhibits include a police cruiser, a fire engine and an ambulance.

“There will be many things to do from face painting, to a silent auction and even a mobile skate park provided by the East Toronto Boys & Girls Club,” Hodge said. “Plus of course their will be plenty of food for everyone.”

Members of Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program are scheduled to cap their build-blitz with a special presentation.

The event is possible due to generous donations and support from various businesses in the community, as well as ProAction Cops & Kids, a charitable organization that provides funding for Toronto Police Programs for youth at risk such as this one.

“Sometimes trust does not come easy between a community and the police especially when it comes to the youth,” Ryan D’Sena said. “It is one of the reasons why I want to become a police officer, to help build that trust.”

D’Sena, who has applied to the police academy, said he has wanted to be a police officer since he was 16. Growing up in Scarborough as part of a visible minority, D’Sena can relate to the importance of showing youth that they can go to police if they need someone to turn to.