Police work isn’t as glamorous as TV, but it is rewarding
Alexandra Martineau for metro Toronto
Cosma David, a constable for 53 Division, says he became a police officer to escape the monotony of office work.
“A lot of times when I go to accidents or other bad incidents, people are very thankful for the way we are handling the situation.”
With degrees in kinesiology and biology, Cosma David was looking at many years stuck in an office with little possibilities of promotion.
But that all changed when he joined the now 50-year-old Toronto Police Service last May.
Since then, there isn’t a day where David, a police constable for 53 Division, finds himself doing redundant tasks.
“I’m not in a building all the time. I’m outside dealing with people, dealing with new things all the time. I don’t know what’s going to come across. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.
David finds it rewarding to know that he’s making a difference. “A lot of times when I go to accidents or other bad incidents, people are very thankful for the way we are handling the situation,” he said.
Knowing he is not stuck at the bottom of the ladder is another plus. “Later on, I’ll be able to advance to other squads,” he said.
But David says his job doesn’t come close to what is seen on television, in shows like CSI.
“On TV it’s all run, run, run, and do whatever you want. And it’s not at all like that,” he said.
Traffic Sergeant Matt Mungal of the same division agrees that there are misconceptions about police work circulating in the media. That officers commonly use excessive force is one of these.
“Media tend to play and write what sells…and it seems to be police brutality,” he said.
Mungal, who will have 17 years of experience at the end of this month, says that being a police officer is more work than what is shown on television.
“(On television) investigations are glamorized,” he said.
While in reality, investigations are very time-consuming and involve a lot of paper work, he said.
A lot has changed about police work since Mungal first started. “Technology has changed huge in the police service,” he said.
Officers can now type up reports in their cars with their mobile work stations, and they can locate the other police cars in Toronto thanks to an automatic vehicle locator (AVL), he said.
But it hasn’t necessarily made the job any easier, according to Mungal.
“There are still a lot of hurdles in policing that we have to overcome… Laws get changed every year,” he said.