Toronto Police’s online ambassador
Inspector Chris Boddy has made his share of arrests during a 25-year career as a Toronto Police officer. His unique resume also includes 60,000 tweets, 29,000 followers and 4,328 photos and videos.
Since joining the world of social media under the handle @TPSChrisBoddy, this Seneca Law Enforcement alumnus has become one of Toronto’s most recognized police officers.
“I tweet about 20 times a day,” says Chris. “And I put at least one or two photos on Facebook.”
Chris was introduced to the world of social media four years ago, when the Toronto Police Service offered a three-day course to officers, training them on the “dos and don’ts” of online engagement as well as how to effectively use various social media platforms. With what he learned, Chris went to work building relationships with Toronto’s residents online, just like he did at the beginning of his career as a 22-year-old beat cop.
“All I do on social media is related to police safety,” says Chris. “Even the fun messages still have underlying safety messages.”
Chris says more civilians are turning to social media to ask police for assistance. He has discovered that a lot of people do not know who to call when they are having an issue. Having a strong presence online helps police remove that barrier.
“I would hate to live in a community where I felt like I couldn’t reach out to the police,” he says. “We’re lucky in Toronto we have a good relationship with the community.”
Chris says his strong communication skills and dedication to public service were inherited from his family. He grew up in a family of firefighters and felt destined for a career in public service.
As a child, he heard countless stories of all the people his father and grandfather helped. For a while, Chris thought he would join the family business and become a firefighter. But after high school, he decided policing was the path for him and began his studies at King Campus. Shortly upon graduation, Chris was hired by the Toronto Police went right to work helping to keep neighbourhoods safe.
Today, he is the Second-in-Command at 11 Division near High Park. He also assists with the Service’s Mental Health Strategy focusing on police interaction with persons in crisis as well as the health and wellbeing of Service members.
“I always say that you treat people how you expect your mother to be treated,” says Chris. “That is the golden rule in my book.”