OHBT Project

April 3, 2022


Our Hearts Beat Together: How Mary Anne Overcame Obstacles to Start a Program that Brings Police and Youth Closer Together

As a member of the 55 Division Toronto Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), Mary Anne McMullen is constantly striving to bridge the gap between the police and youth. The CPLC falls under the Toronto Police Service within this area, which has been working with other community members to create programs that will help develop relationships and understanding between young people in their communication nities and the police.

One such program is the basketball team that Mary Anne McMullen hopes to start in September 2022. The team will be open to boys and girls of school age and will practice in the school’s after-school program. 

The goal of the team is to provide a fun and positive environment in which the youth can interact with police officers in a way that builds mutual trust. This trust is essential to breaking down the barriers that have been created by misunderstandings and lack of communication.

Proceeding this, there will be a basketball competition event between the youth and the 55 division police officers at the end of the school year. This event will not only serve as a way to build relationships but also to show that the police are people too – they have families, they work hard, and they enjoy spending time with their friends and loved ones.

Ultimately, the hope is that through events such as these, the youth will feel more comfortable coming forward to speak with police officers when they need help or have questions. This, in turn, will help to create a safer community for all.

Mary Anne’s Past Experiences

It’s important to understand the background of Mary Anne McMullen before delving into her program. As she explains, some of her experiences are very personal to her, but she feels it’s necessary to share in order to illustrate why this program is so important to her. 

After her father struggled with his responsibility as a parent, her parents had many hurdles to overcome themselves. This lack of stability and support led Mary Anne and her brother to move around a lot when they were younger. They never had the opportunity to take part in community activities like other kids their age, which made it difficult for them to feel like a part of anything. 

Eventually, Mary Anne left London, Ontario, and came to Toronto. This was her escape – a place where she could grow on her own and figure out who she was. It was also a place where she could start to build the relationships that she never had the opportunity to form as a child. 

In Toronto, Mary Anne experienced homelessness and a lack of funds. However, through her own strength and resilience, she was able to not only get back on her feet but also help others in similar situations. 

Later, she started a project called ‘Our Hearts Beat Together.’ This project is born from her dream of bringing police and youth closer together. It was through this project that she was able to gain the experience and knowledge that she would later use to start the basketball team program.

The Importance of the Basketball Team Program

It’s evident that Mary Anne McMullen is passionate about her program and the impact it will have on the community. Her own experiences, as well as the experiences of others she’s talked to, have shown her that there is a real need for this type of program.

When youth don’t have positive relationships with the police, they can often feel scared or intimidated. This can lead to them not coming forward when they need help or have questions. It can also lead to them feeling like the police are the enemy. 

On the other hand, when youth do have positive relationships with the police, they are more likely to come forward when they need assistance. They also have a better understanding of the role of the police in society and are more likely to see them as people rather than just authority figures. 

The basketball team program will help to create positive relationships between youth and the police. By having fun events where they can interact with each other, the youth will start to see the police as people too. This, in turn, will help to break down the barriers that have been created by misunderstandings and lack of communication. 

It’s important to note that this program is not just for the youth – the police officers involved will also benefit from it. By interacting with the youth on a more personal level, they will be able to better understand the challenges that they face. They will also be able to develop relationships with the youth that can help to build trust. 

The basketball team program is something that is desperately needed in the community. It will help to create positive relationships between the police and the youth, which will ultimately lead to a safer community for everyone.

Mary Anne is a remarkable woman with a heart for giving back to her community. She has faced many challenges in her life, but she has persevered and used her experiences to make a difference in the lives of others.

One study by youth time magazine found that schools are crucial in laying the groundwork for a successful life. When our children are subjected to bad conditioning, involving 21% of high school students and 41% reporting drug abuse, it has significant ramifications on society. 

This is where organizations such as the basketball team program come in to fill the gap. The program provides opportunities for positive relationships with law enforcement, helping to change perspectives and creating a safer society. 

In conclusion, Mary Anne should be applauded for her resilience in the face of obstacles and her dedication to helping others. Her program is one that is much needed in the community and will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of those involved