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  Celebrating and Educating Seniors in Durham

Jun 07, 2012 15:08 ET

Two recent events in Oshawa and Ajax gave the Durham Regional Police an excellent opportunity to interact with local seniors in a fun and relaxed environment.

On Jun. 6, the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres hosted their 15th Annual Swing into Summer Party in celebration of seniors’ month. Over 45 community partners were on hand to celebrate with everyone and answer any questions they may have. DRP had a booth set up at the event, full of informative flyers to help seniors better protect themselves against abuse and fraud and to provide them with community resources that can help them if they ever require assistance.

Mayor John Henry presented Oshawa resident George McCormick with the “Senior of the Year” award, chosen for his amazing 25 years of volunteering with various groups in his city.

Residents in Ajax were invited to a free barbecue, hosted by the Town of Ajax, at Rotary Park on Jun. 7, where officers from West Division used their new training to help educate the community about important issues.

A seniors initiative was developed by Det. Pat Waters and D/Cst. Tom Kollaard of the West Division - Criminal Investigation Branch to better educate officers about senior issues. Two officers from each platoon, along with Det. Waters and D/Cst. Kollaard, reached out to local experts in Durham to teach them about how to better communicate with seniors and what issues were the biggest concern facing our elder population.

“This initiative was put forth on a volunteer bases so all of the members of the team are extremely dedicated to helping out our seniors,” said Det. Waters. “When starting up this program we reached out to local senior centres, community living residents and agencies so we would have the important contacts we needed to make this a success.”

Many members of the team attend speaking engagements and events on their own time.

“We’ve spoken to groups from as small as 10 people to as big as 300,” said D/Cst. Kollaard, “and every time we’re out there the people we come in contact with are genuinely engaged and appreciative of our efforts and it leaves no question that we’re making a difference.”

The initiative also allows for better resources to all officers in the Division. If any one officer is dealing with an investigation involving a senior, they have their partners to rely on as a resource.

To request an officer to come to a community event or to speak to a group in the Ajax/Pickering area, please contact Det. Waters or D/Cst. Kollaard at or

Below are attached files.
senior thumb (JPG file, 41.6K bytes)
Cst. Wind speaks to Romeo and George about elder abuse (JPG file, 520.1K bytes)
Senior of the Year George McCormick and John Henry (JPG file, 438.6K bytes)
Cst. Snow provides an Ajax resident with important information (JPG file, 521.7K bytes)
Members from the West Division seniors' initiative spent the day educating the public (JPG file, 562.2K bytes)
Some members of the initiative - Det. Waters, Cst. Flis, Cst. Snow, D/Cst. Kollaard and Cst. Riley (JPG file, 470.4K bytes)