Meet Constable Tewogbade Ojo, The Man Who Will Train Nigerian Police For Free!!!
Being concerned at the level of degradation in the Nigerian security forces especially the police, it appeared that the only way out was to get international training for our security operators. At least to put them at par with global security standards. In order to achieve this, our bureaucrats went to Canada to ask the Toronto Chief of Police to send help to train Nigerians and the Nigerian Police in community policing.
However, on getting to Canada, the found out that the grandfather of Community Policing and the star officer of Toronto Police was no other than Constable Tewogbade Ojo. A retired Nigerian who worked in the Canadian Police force for 35 years. Yes a Nigerian. You can imagine how shocked they were when his outstanding credentials were read out for them.
Elder Ojo after the first preliminary meeting in Toronto, also met with the IGP Idris, and other police big wigs last Friday August 10 2018, in Abuja, where he promised to train the Nigerian Police for free! Yes. For free. Is that not amazing!
THE MAN TEWOGBADE OJO
Tewogbade Ojo, from Ilesa in Osun State, has been in Canada for almost 50 years, having arrived Toronto in 1969. He retired from the Canadian Police in 2014, and is described as one of the most honest cops in the world, because he never ever took a bribe. Ojo was inspired to become a policeman due to the kindness shown to him by two policemen in 1972, when he lost his way while going for a stroll in Toronto then, they even bought him a winter coat with their own money. Starting as a parking control officer, he became a constable a decade later and was assigned to 13 Division during his entire career where he made a huge impact in that community.
Constable Ojo Tewogbade, on his send forth party wore a traditional African dress along with his final unit commander Superintendent Scott Baptist, who also wore the African dress with him. Deputy Chiefs Peter Sloly and Mark Saunders, Staff Superintendent Richard Stubbings and Superintendent Scott Baptist, all attended the retirement ceremony and thanked Tewogbade for his outstanding service to the organization.
“The definition of a pioneer, for me, is someone who walks the journey on his own and starts it for many others to follow,” said Saunders. “Long before any sociologist or criminologist put to paper what community policing is all about, you were ahead of the game. Through the leadership, commitment and example that you set, you have put our Service on the map as one of the world leaders when it comes to community policing, and understanding its importance. You have such a great impact on communities, people and, most importantly the Toronto Police Service.”
In his response Tewogbade Ojo said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this community and I am not going to walk away from it even though I have retired from the Service,” he said. “I relished my time on the job, the people I worked with and the community I served and I will continue to give back in a volunteer capacity. Coming from where I came from, I appreciate everything I have accomplished in Canada.”
Tewogbade has been actively engaged in the annual Christmas Dinner For The Needy, the Camp Jumoke Walk-A-Thon for Sickle Cell Research, and the Meals On Wheels Program for the elderly. He also engages new immigrants on domestic violence issues, and spearheads initiatives that have paved the way for computer access to young people in the city. In 2000, he launched the 13 Division Youth Outreach Program, which provides an outlet for young people to play sport and learn life skills. Several of the participants and program mentors are now members of the Service. The following year, he started a Black History Month Celebration with the support of 13 Division, the St. James British Methodist Episcopal Church and Community Members.
Tewogbade, who hold a Theology Degree and is an ordained minister, promises that he will remain engaged in the event that recognizes professional and community service achievements. He has also applied to be a Toronto Police junior chaplain.
The sixth of nine children raised in poverty, Tewogbade left his parents’ home at age 11 and lived out of cardboard boxes on the street for the next four years. Rescued by a British family who provided him with shelter and odd jobs, he tied the nuptial knot 45 years ago and migrated to Canada with his new wife.
“When I told the British family that I would like to travel and experience a better life, they suggested Canada,” he said. “I took their advice and am so happy I did.”
The married father of three grown children, one of whom was a Toronto cop for five years, Tewogbade has been the recipient of several awards for outstanding community service and policing. In 2006, he made history by becoming the first constable to be recognized with a Police Leadership Forum Award, presented annually since 1999 to a Canadian police officer who fosters awareness and an understanding of the changing leadership roles, and recognizes ethical and exemplary performance in policing. He’s also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the ProAction Jack Sinclair, Canadian Urban Institute Local Heroes, June Callwood Outstanding Achievement, Bud Knight and Planet Africa Awards.