Investigative Solutions Network and its CEO, David Perry, have been recognized by the City of Pickering and its municipal council, receiving a Local Business Award for outstanding achievements.

The 2018 Civic Awards Ceremony was held on Monday, May 13, in the council chambers of the Pickering Civic Complex. Mayor, Dave Ryan, extended his personal recognition for Perry’s and ISN’s “contributions to the community.”

The awards are presented to individuals and businesses who make a significant contribution to the community, and Perry was quick to point out that he accepted the award on behalf of the entire ISN team.

“I was certainly honoured and humbled, and it was a nice feeling to bring the award back to the team to show them that not only are we giving back to our community, we are also getting recognized for that effort. It meant a great deal to have the mayor present the award.”

The Local Business Award recognizes a business that contributes to the overall wellbeing of the community, and ISN has long been involved in a number of charitable works, raising money and sponsoring events such as its 3rd annual golf tournamentin support of the Durham Region chapter of ProAction Cops & Kids.

Perry has been a member of the board since the chapter opened 12 years ago. In addition to the Durham chapter, ProAction Cops & Kids operates in Toronto, Niagara, Hamilton and Halton. It began as a charitable organization in Toronto back in 1991, started by business leader John Bitove Sr., and strives to unite police and kids in developing skills, and mentoring participants to create trust, respect and safer communities.

As a member of the board, Perry is involved in helping to raise funds from a range of events, with the golf tournament being just one of them, so “we can fund programs between police officers and disadvantaged youth.”

Following a 28-year careeras an investigator with the Toronto Police Service, and now as CEO of North America’s premier private investigations firm, Perry retains an affinity for police officers and the work they do. ProAction Cops & Kids allows him to maintain that relationship, while doing something extremely worthwhile: helping disadvantaged youth.

“It allows me to stay connected to the community and give back to the community, and more importantly, to work directly with police officers who are motivated to help disadvantaged youth. It’s really just a labour of love to do something that is benefitting what I think is our most important asset, our kids.”

Essentially, says Perry, ProAction Cops & Kids will fund programs police officers want to develop that will help kids. And those programs are not limited to what might immediately come to mind.

“A lot of people think about the traditional canoeing, fishing, and camping trips, and yes we will fund those kinds of programs. But there are also police officers involved in arts, music, computer, cooking and nutrition programs … any interaction that involves police officers and disadvantaged youth, generally speaking, we will fund it.”

As well as helping disadvantaged youth, the program has also built bridges between the police and communities, helping to change the time when youth avoided police, to one where they seek them out, says Perry.

“I know stories, for example, where someone who goes into one of our programs would do exactly that … they would approach a police officer and have a great conversation and somebody else would be standing in the background, reluctant to approach. And that person would later ask what that was all about, and be told ‘that’s the officer I work with on an art program.’ The other young person would then ask if there was a way to be introduced to the officer and program.”

The bonds that develop are long-lasting, he adds, with program participants often returning to help mentor others.

“There is no better way to spend your time and money than to help kids. You are getting a double bang for your buck by involving police officers who are so giving of their time and there for all the right reasons.”