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ProAction Cops & Kids was founded in 1991 when Toronto businessman John L. Bitove Sr. realized that the City of Toronto would benefit from its youth and police officers having a better relationship with each other. Benefits include:a mutual understanding and respect between police officers and young people, the perception of police improving in the larger community and opening lines of communication between youth and police begin to break down the culture of silence.
Since 1991, ProAction has funded Toronto police programs for youth and has expanded to include chapters in Durham Region (2007), Hamilton (2008), and Niagara Region (2014). ProAction works with these police services that make community building a priority and is proud to provide financial assistance to help make police-youth programs a reality.
Police officers are at the heart of every program funded by ProAction Cops & Kids. Each program is initiated and organized by police officers. ProAction encourages officers to share their passions with youth, providing programs with a wide range of activities: sports and camping, arts, leadership, life skills and safety. Many programs include one-on-one mentoring between cops and kids. Participating youth are identified by police officers with the help of local schools, youth workers, churches and community centres.
At ProAction Cops & Kids, we believe that establishing a positive relationship between cops and kids at risk will strengthen our community today and for the future. By funding programs that bring cops and kids together, we help create an environment of mutual understanding and respect.