New faces on the beat in East York: Eight recruits to 55 Division add to police force's diversity.

Eight new officers join 55 Division

More police diversity for an ethnically diverse area

Eight new police officers for 55 Division are expected to help diversify the force in Toronto’s east end.

The eight new officers speak a range of languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Kutchi, French Cantonese, Serbian and Croatian.

“The division has to reflect the community that it serves,” Superintendent Peter Yuen said, referring to the diverse cultures within the boundaries of 55 Division.  Some of these diverse locations including Greektown on the Danforth, Leslieville, Riverdale, China Town East, the Beaches and Little India.

“I’ve got to look at the old division, what I have and don’t have,” said Yuen.

The superintendent also mentioned that he is glad to see more female police officers on the team.

With the new recruits, there are now around 250 personnel at 55 Division, which covers most of East York north of Danforth Avenue, west of Victoria Park Avenue and east of the Don Valley.

The new constables are to be coached, guided and mentored for 10 weeks, translating their knowledge to the real world, Yuen said. This is part of their one-year probation period.

The number of recruits is decided by the human resources department to balance the ratio of police officers to the number of new developments in the East York region. These developments including new homes and increasing populations.

The process of becoming a Toronto Police officer is a complex one, involving extensive screening procedures including background checks, interviews, communication, vision and hearing tests, as well as psychological and medical examinations.