Leaving to Serve
By: Thomas Nosella
There is tremendous pressure when crafting a profile about someone who is themselves a writer — particularly when that writer was at one point a contributor to our very own Oakleaves Newspaper. However, doing justice to this proud Del alumnus' accomplishments is fitting given his own life story.
George Maxwell (DEL 93) spent five years at De La Salle College "Oaklands." He has many fond memories of the school and keeps in touch with several of his former classmates to this day. Our graduates take tremendous pride in being alumni of the College, and this sense of pride creates a lifelong connection that we are keen to foster.
Whenever George sees his former classmates, their shared experiences at Del always lead to nostalgic conversations that inevitably lead to trips down memory lane. Some of George's fondest memories include Religion class with Brother Domenic, English class with Mr. Bellisario, as well as the lifelong friendships he forged as a student. When he graduated in 1993, his path was not clear, but in his heart, he knew whatever he did next, his priority would be to serve his community.
George was accepted into several post-secondary programs in Ontario, ultimately choosing to go to York University, where he graduated with a Specialized Honours B.A. in Religious Studies. Upon completing his undergraduate degree in 1998, he applied to the Toronto Police Service, which he saw as an excellent opportunity to serve his community. Unfortunately, when he applied, there was a hiring freeze, so he had to change course to pursue further studies.
After countless hours of research, he discovered a Master's Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities offered at Laurentian University. Seemingly a great fit for him, he packed his bags and headed north to Sudbury, Ontario. The program focused on various disciplines, which helped George learn how to make objective evaluations on different perspectives. While at Laurentian, he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while also devoting his time to a co-op placement where he worked with families in crisis. He graduated in the fall of 1999, and the timing could not have been more perfect — the Toronto Police Service had responded. After passing all necessary tests, he was offered a job at 52 Division.
Working in the heart of Toronto, George's assignments ranged from protests to sporting events — there was a new challenge every day. He continued to develop his skill set, and after eight years on the force with 52 Division, he realized he was genuinely interested in the investigative aspect of policing.
In 2008, George spent a year working on the Homicide Squad. Fast forward to 2013, and he successfully applied to be an investigator at a new joint initiative called the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC). This initiative consolidates resources, including police, various Children's Aid Societies, SickKids Hospital, and other stakeholders dedicated to helping children who have suffered abuse. Through the hard work of all of the dedicated people at the CYAC, the initiative has been a tremendous success, helping many families and creating a safer Toronto. Today, he is once again assigned to the Homicide Squad, working with other law enforcement agencies to link violent crimes across Canada.
Over his career, George has been the recipient of numerous commendation letters from the Mayor's Office, fellow police agencies, and community members for his professionalism. As an investigator, he has been recognized with a Teamwork Commendation, a Chief of Police Excellence Award, and the William Bishop Award for Investigative Excellence. Most recently, he received a Police Exemplary Service Medal for having completed 20 years of service.
When reflecting on his time at De La Salle College, George said, "A Lasallian education instilled many values that you carry with you after you graduate. Attributes like discipline, teamwork, being ethical, compassionate, fair, responsible, appreciating reciprocity, as well as the importance of contributing to your community, are all woven into the profession of policing. In a city like Toronto, with millions of diverse people, the sheer pace of policing calls on all of these traits constantly. They have proven time and time again to be a valuable cornerstone for handling the responsibility that is placed upon you as an officer."
Often when people take the time to look back on their high school experiences, memories are vague, and the time seemingly passed in the blink of an eye. George made the most of his experience at Del and continues to benefit from his education to this very today.
George was unsure of exactly "he wanted to be when he grew up" upon graduating in 1993. However, through his educational experiences at Del, York, and Laurentian, it is clear that he has found his calling in law enforcement. It's been an amazing career so far, and we can't wait to see what George will accomplish next.
One of our goals in the College's Alumni Affairs Office is to create mentorship programs for our alumni and current students. George Maxwell was eager to share his story and is more than happy to provide guidance to anyone in the community who has questions or may be seeking a career in law enforcement. If you have questions or would like to speak with George yourself, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development.
- Spring 2021