THE 24 newest members of the Vancouver Police Department were sworn in on Friday by Chief Constable Adam Palmer at a ceremony in front of their friends and families in Vancouver.
They included two South Asians:
Mohit was born in India and raised in Burnaby, graduating from Burnaby Central Secondary with honours. He attended Douglas College and obtained an associate degree in forensic studies and bachelor of technology in crime and intelligence analysis from BCIT. Mohit has worked in the law enforcement field as a security officer and surveillance supervisor at a casino, and as a security manager at the Vancouver International Airport. Mohit is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi.
Gurjeevan was born in Abbotsford and raised in Surrey. After graduating from Prince Margaret Secondary, he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University. Gurjeevan has worked in the loss prevention field as a regional assistant supervisor. In 2017, he was named an MVP for being the first loss prevention officer in the region’s history to have 200 arrests. He has volunteered as a reserve constable with the Delta Police Department and at the Delta Community Policing Office. Gurjeevan is fluent in Punjabi.
“We are currently hiring and are looking for strong candidates who reflect our community. These new recruits are great additions to the VPD and come with strong backgrounds that include volunteering with youth, people with disabilities, with parolees, and at police agencies and community policing centres,” said Constable Tania Visintin.
The diverse group of recruits come from a wide variety of backgrounds. They have lived in the Lower Mainland and other parts of Canada, Nigeria, Singapore, China, Tasmania, India, Korea, the Philippines, Germany, and El Salvador. The recruits speak many different languages, including Portuguese, Hindi, Punjabi, Korean, Mandarin, French, and Spanish.
Their studies have included criminology, business, psychology, international and criminal law, political science, electronics technology, sport and fitness leadership, crime and intelligence analysis, forensics, carpentry, plumbing, and electronics technology.
Many have excelled at sports, such as hockey, soccer, rugby, baseball, martial arts, basketball, volleyball, swimming, lacrosse, and lacrosse – including professional football.
The recruits have previously worked in construction, and as security guards and loss prevention officers, lifeguards, support workers, and reservists with the Canadian Forces and the Royal Westminster Regiment. They have fought forest fires and taught music and physical education. Some recruits were Special Municipal Constables with the VPD, or worked with partner agencies like Corrections, Canada Border Services, and B.C. Sheriffs.
“Today is a special day for these officers as they officially commit to serving our city and its residents,” said Visintin.
The VPD is currently hiring police officers and special municipal officers. For information, visit JoinVPD.ca.
OTHER NEW RECRUITS:
Matthew was born in New Westminster and raised in the Metro Vancouver area. He attended Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School in Port Coquitlam and graduated in 2014. Post-graduation, Matthew attended Douglas College, then went to BCIT where he obtained his Associate Certificate in Trades Discovery. In 2018, he earned his law enforcement studies diploma from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Matthew comes from a first responder family; his father is Battalion Chief and his brother is a firefighter with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, and his aunt, uncle, and cousin are all in law enforcement.
Andrew was born in Vancouver and brought up in Coquitlam, where he was active in hockey, soccer, and rugby. After completing his BA in criminology at Simon Fraser University, he gained employment with BC Corrections where he worked as a corrections officer at North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre. In 2018, Andrew became a VPD Special Municipal Constable, eventually moving into a full-time position as a Community Safety Officer. He has been an active volunteer at Collingwood Community Policing Centre since 2015. Andrew speaks fluent Portuguese.
John was born and raised in White Rock. Growing up, he was involved in a variety of competitive sports but particularly excelled at baseball, representing Team BC for four years in a row. Upon graduation from high school, John studied in Germany for a year before ultimately earning his associate of art degree in Christian studies from Briercrest University. In early 2019, John was hired by BC Corrections, and has since been working at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver, B.C., as a security officer.
Aaron was born in New Westminster. He was raised in Nigeria and Singapore before attending international school in Beijing. Aaron was extremely active in sports, particularly ice hockey and baseball. He also had a natural gift for music. After graduating high school, Aaron travelled to Tasmania, where he gained a volunteer position at a grammar school teaching physical education and music. Aaron obtained his bachelor’s degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University, and has worked for the John Howard Society supporting federal parolees since 2017.
Brendan was born in Vancouver and raised in the Lower Mainland. He was actively involved in several sports through his childhood, such as soccer and baseball. Brendan graduated from Windermere Secondary School, then began his post-secondary at Langara College. He transferred to Simon Fraser University, where he earned a Certificate in Police Studies and his bachelor of arts degree in criminology, making the Dean’s honour roll. Brendan worked as a residential support worker and volunteered with the New Westminster Parole Office and Community Reintegration at the Surrey Pre-trial Services Centre.
Michael was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and moved to Vancouver with his mother and stepfather when he was nine. He played sports throughout high school and received multiple awards for both athletics and academics. Michael earned two scholarships that accompanied his acceptance to the University of Fraser Valley Business Administration Program. Michael was a Special Municipal Constable with the Vancouver Police Department and is a reservist with the Canadian Forces Combat Engineers.
Jiny was born in Seoul, Republic of Korea, until she was 13, when her family relocated to the Philippines. Jiny obtained her high school diploma from the International School of Manila and moved to Vancouver independently to attend UBC, where she earned her bachelor of commerce degree. She has been employed as a Special Municipal Constable since 2018, and has volunteer experience with VPD Judo, Citizens’ Crime Watch, and the Kitsilano Community Policing Centre. Jiny’s passion for martial arts includes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, where she earned a blue belt. She is fluent in Korean and speaks conversational Tagalog and Mandarin.
Cody was born and raised in New Westminster. He played football at New Westminster Secondary and was selected as a Provincial All-Star. He graduated from high school with honours and went on to play at the University of British Columbia. After UBC, Cody played professionally for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the BC Lions. In 2017, he was nominated for the CFL Top Offensive Lineman Award. Cody has been active in community outreach programs for children and youth with the BC Lions. He has a moderate understanding of Punjabi.
Roman was born in Surrey. He attended Alpha Secondary while playing competitive basketball. In 2018, he graduated from Camosun College, making the Dean’s List with a bachelor of sport and fitness leadership, specializing in exercise and wellness. He is a current serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces as an artilleryman, and holds the rank of bombardier. Roman has worked as a personal trainer and volunteered his time working with the people who have physical disabilities. He has been deployed to assist with the forest fires in B.C., tasked to firefight and provide RCMP law enforcement with assistance. Roman was hired with the VPD in September, 2018, as a Special Municipal Officer working in the Jail, and more recently as the team leader in the VPD Cadet Program.
Ben was born and raised in Langley. He attended Langley Christian School, where he was extremely active in sports, particularly volleyball, basketball, and as captain of his local hockey team. Ben obtained his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Redemeer University in Ontario, during which time he completed an internship with a Member of Parliament in Ottawa. Ben was recently employed with the City of Surrey, and spends his free time working on the family farm, volunteering with children, and playing team sports.
Scott was born and raised in Vancouver. From a young age, he excelled in hockey, playing over 200 games in the Western Hockey League and going on to earn a scholarship to play hockey for the UBC Thunderbirds. He was the recipient of several awards, including the Father David Bauer Award for his accomplishments in university through ice hockey. In 2019, Scott graduated from UBC with his Law degree, where he studied international and criminal law. Scott is of Metis ancestry.
Conor was born in Vancouver and brought up in Port Coquitlam. Growing up, he was involved in a multitude of sports but excelled in swimming, where he won several regional and provincial medals. He later became a swimming coach with the Coquitlam Sharks Aquatic Club, responsible for supervising over 300 members. Conor joined the New Westminster Police Soccer Club as a coach, and it became a motivating factor in his decision to pursue a career in law enforcement. Conor was a New Westminster Police Reserve Constable and also worked as a detention guard at their Jail.
Martha was born in White Rock and raised in Langley. She competed in a variety of sports before her enthusiasm for swimming took hold and she dedicated herself to the sport. At 16 years of age, Martha qualified for the Canadian Senior National Swim Team, and upon high school graduation, she was awarded a swimming scholarship. Martha subsequently competed at an NCAA level at Simon Fraser University while she earned a bachelor of arts degree with a major in criminology, a minor in curriculum and instruction, and certificates in both Legal Studies and Police Studies. Martha is fluent in French.
Steve was born in Richmond and raised in Ladner. He attended Steveston Secondary, where he was active in various team sports. He continues to play competitive soccer today. Steve earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia. He has travelled extensively to Australia, Southeast Asia, and Columbia. His inquisitive nature and love of reading led him to work at the Richmond Public Library. Steve’s father recently retired from Vancouver Fire Rescue Services.
Mike was born in Alberta and raised in Surrey. As a youth, he was very active, excelling at baseball and soccer. Mike graduated from high school with honours and went on to Simon Fraser University, where he studied political science and criminology. With law enforcement in mind, Mike was hired by the CBSA as a summer student. He also enlisted as a reservist with the Royal Westminster Regiment, proudly serving his country. Upon graduation, Mike was offered a full-time position with Customs, and has since completed 12 years of exemplary service.
Gustavo was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, and immigrated to Vancouver when he was a child. He was raised in Vancouver and attended Windermere Secondary School, where he was active in many team sports. Inspired by his school liaison officer and his leadership group, Gustavo developed a passion for policing in high school. He attended Langara College and worked numerous jobs before he was hired by B.C. Sheriffs in 2011. Upon graduation from the Sheriff’s Academy at the JIBC, Gustavo has worked in all of the Vancouver courts, primarily 222 Main Street. He is fluent in Spanish.
Chris was born and raised in Maple Ridge, where he attended Thomas Haney Secondary School. After graduating, he enrolled at University of the Fraser Valley and completed a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice. Christopher joined the VPD as a Special Municipal Constable in 2016, earning a full-time position as a Jail Guard the following year. He has volunteered as an outreach worker with Access Youth Services.
JORDON MICHAEL SALAS
Jordon was born and raised in Ladner. As a youth, he was very involved in high-level hockey, where he played goalie for teams in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and Texas. Upon graduation from high school, Jordon enrolled in the Criminology Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and worked as a Paladin security officer at St. Paul’s Hospital. In 2018, Jordon was hired as a Special Municipal Constable with the VPD, and has been working as a Community Safety Officer full-time since May 2019.
Dallas was born in Langley and raised in Maple Ridge. After graduating from Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary, Dallas obtained a diploma in criminology from Douglas College after receiving the Sergeant Larry Young Memorial Scholarship for excellence in academics. He has volunteered as a role player, worked as a Special Municipal Constable with the VPD, and is currently a full-time VPD Jail Guard.
Jordan was born in Richmond and grew up in Ladner. Soon after leaving school, Jordan moved to Port McNeill where he ran a local teen centre for at-risk youth. His passion for youth work continued when he moved to Maple Ridge and ran a successful youth program at the Greg Moore Youth Centre. Jordan later changed careers and achieved a Red Seal certification in carpentry, and now owns his own successful construction business. Jordan has held various volunteer positions throughout his life and more recently he led and managed a team in building homes for underprivileged families in Mexico. Jordan is an active quarry for the VPD Canine Unit.
Liam was born and raised in Surrey, B.C. From a young age, he enjoyed playing soccer, lacrosse, and other outdoor activities, including camping and riding motorcycles. He graduated from Pacific Academy with honours and went on to study at BCIT and Douglas College. Liam took Police Studies and further obtained his Red Seal Certification for plumbing in 2019. Since the age of 17, Liam has worked with the North Surrey Recreation Centre as a lifeguard, instructor, and building services worker. He has worked as a plumber and apprentice, and he volunteers through an organization called “Young Life” and the Citizens Church in Surrey.
Alex was born and raised in Harbin, China. After completing high school, he immigrated to Canada, settling in Steinbach, Manitoba. Alex moved to Vancouver and attended BCIT, where he graduated with his technical studies certificate, with a major in electronics technology. He volunteered with the Richmond RCMP, and was a corrections officer at Surrey Pretrial Services Centre since July 2018. Alex is fluent in Mandarin.