Kids Play Youth Foundation founder and VPD officer Kal Dosanjh is in the running for MLS Works Community MVP

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      A Vancouver police officer is in the midst of an unusual election.

      The deadline for voting online is 11 a.m. on July 31—and when the ballots are counted, Kal Dosanjh hopes to become the 2019 MLS Works Community MVP.

      That's because Wells Fargo plans to give the winner $25,000 to direct to their favourite charity.

      Dosanjh, a senior detective in the VPD's financial crime unit, says he would put the money into the Kids Play Youth Foundation, which he founded in 2015.

      It has provided services to more than 60,000 kids in after-school programs in Surrey, Abbotsford, and Langley, helping to steer them away from gangs, drugs, and violence

      The Kids Play Youth Foundation has also attracted more than 500 youth volunteers.

      In fact, Dosanjh himself is also a volunteer.

      Each team in Major League Soccer (MLS) has put forward a candidate and Dosanjh was nominated by the Vancouver Whitecaps.

      The public can vote online here.

      In 2012, Kal Dosanjh was a sergeant working the beat in the Downtown Eastside.
      Charlie Smith

      Dosanjh credits his parents for his work ethic 

      In 2012, the Straight went on a late-night walkabout with Dosanjh when he was a sergeant working in the Downtown Eastside.

      In those days, he was a part-time power lifter and he demonstrated a positive rapport with people in the neighbourhood.

      He initially planned to become a lawyer, and he studied psychology and criminology at SFU.

      But a summer spent as a student constable with the RCMP led him into law enforcement.

      During the walkabout, Dosanjh praised his parents—a mill worker and an airline employee—for giving him with a strong work ethic.

      He also acknowledged that he was inspired by the father of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, as well as by the 10th guru of the Sikh faith, Guru Gobind Singh.

      “He fought against injustice; he worked to help the poor and the impoverished,” Dosanjh said back in 2012. “I thought to myself, ‘That’s exactly the type of person I want to be—I want to take those principles and ingrain them.’ ”