Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Degree: Police Foundations
Year of graduation: 2002
A passion for service and safety
Boris Milinkovich was nearing the end of his first year in the police foundations course when he received news that changed the course of his entire career: his eyesight wasn’t good enough to meet the standard to be a police officer. He was devastated.
“I was kind of crushed,” he recalls. “My dreams just – poof – (they) went out.”
Luckily, his professors encouraged him to pursue another path – Customs Inspector. That career has opened doors to new passions in his professional life that support safety at the airport, in the military and through his hobbies. While still at Sheridan, he was hired as a summer student to work in customs at Pearson International Airport, and he landed a full-time job there before he graduated. He spent five years in the role, before joining Transport Canada as part of a marine security inspection unit travelling along the western end of Lake Ontario and the Welland Canal to inspect lake freighters. He would board the ships to ensure safety protocols were being followed, and sensitive areas couldn’t be tampered with, and to ensure the ports where they dock are secure.
Today, he’s back at the airport keeping people safe as a Transportation Security Inspector at Pearson. He’s part of the team that enforces the federal aeronautics and transportation laws and works with other staff including the airlines, airport authority, CATSA, Customs, Police & RCMP and CSIS officials that respond to security threats, including incidents like breaches, bomb threats or hijackings. He also trains partners like local police, RCMP officers, customs agents and airport staff about his role, because they play a key role in allowing him access to areas such as where airline catering is assembled and baggage areas to make sure nothing unsafe is loaded onto a plane. Milinkovich says everything he learned in police foundations helps him in his work today.
“Everything I learned at Sheridan – ethics, investigations, and foundations of policing – transitioned to customs and my work at Transport Canada Security” he says. “At the end of the day, customs is border police … I wouldn’t be where I am today without that foundation.”
Milinkovich also puts his training to work in his volunteer roles. He’s been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves since he was a teenager. Through his military experience he met Nick Lebouthillier. They noticed there was no casual, patriotic lifestyle apparel military, first responders or patriotic Canadians could wear in their off hours; most clothing of that ilk had an American twist. So they started bought their own T-shirt press and started Tactical Beaver, an online business that sells Canadian-military themed shirts, hats and crests, with a portion of their proceeds going to the True Patriot Love foundation in support of veterans.
“We didn’t want to start anything based on the military without having some way of giving back to veterans,” he explains.
Milinkovich also wants to give back to security professionals who want to improve on the job, and private individuals who just want to keep themselves safe at home. In 2017 he started a blog called True North Tradecraft that offers Canadians advice on topics ranging from goods you can carry that can help you out in any unforeseen jam (public transit tokens, specialized tools, and small flashlight), to the importance of physical fitness to flee a threatening situation. In early 2017, he began offering workshops on select topics. The idea he says, is to disseminate that information so everyone can feel safe and more confident wherever they go. “This is something I truly feel passionate about, and I have a wealth of knowledge to help people protect themselves and their families. I like helping people become more responsible for their own personal safety. More proactive. Knowledge weighs nothing, they can take it anywhere they want to go.