Monthly Archives: December 2011


Testimonial #7

Dear Toby and team, I wanted to send a note expressing my thanks for the Tears for April production. As you may know, I was formerly at the VPD in Planning and Research for several years, but in 2010 moved down to Seattle to teach at Seattle University for the year. One of my teaching assignments was Criminal Law, in which we explored the laws surrounding ‘victimless’ crimes, with a specific focus on drug possession and addiction. As I’m sure you know, the US laws concerning drug possession have resulted in a significant increase in the number of individuals sentenced to prison, putting strain on the criminal justice system in numerous ways. My intention with showing this film was to bring the discussion back from examining the laws in place, to considering the human side of addiction and the need for more problem-oriented responses. My undergraduate students in the Criminal Law class were asked to put together a ‘reflection statement’ following their viewing of the film. I thought it would be appropriate to share just a few of their comments with you. I should note as well that I also showed this video in my graduate class on Law and […]


Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – A (very) thin blue line

I could hear my heart thumping in my inner ear, like it was about to explode. My palms were slick with sweat. Perspiration had dripped from my forehead into my eyes, making me partially blind. It was almost as bad as that time I accidentally pepper-sprayed myelf. I struggled to focus, adjusting my grip and locking my fingers under foot to control the left leg, which was contorted and kicking toward the back of my head. I looked around for some guidance, but found none. It was clear nobody was coming Code Three to bail me out of this one. I could see Constable Tyler Urquhart, my good friend and former partner, out of my blurry left eye. He was in rough shape. To my left was Sergeant Mark Steinkampf, doubled over and panting, with both hands on his knees. In front of me, the Great Toby Hinton —  judo master — looked like he was about to lose his lunch. Here were two of the toughest street cops I know, reduced to trembling legs and pools of sweat. In one last effort, I adjusted my grip and regained my balance.  I leaned forward and kicked my right leg back while stretching my left […]


STA students learn about the grim reality of drug addiction

North Vancouver RCMP Const. Christy Mohr escorted senior students from Saint Thomas Aquinas high school on a tour of the Downtown Eastside last month.   By Maria Spitale-Leisk – North Shore Outlook Published: December 07, 2011 1:00 PM Updated: December 07, 2011 4:54 PM When parents and educators preach to teens about the perils of drug abuse it often fosters curiosity. Armed with this information, seven Vancouver Police Department​ officers developed a program 14 years ago that exposes teens to the raw side of drug addiction by immersing them on the streets of the Downtown Eastside for an afternoon. The intent is that students will then report their experience to classmates and peers. VPD Const. David Steverding is a member of the volunteer-run Odd Squad Productions Society that runs the program. His niece attends Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in North Vancouver. This fall, Steverding approached the school’s administration to gauge their interest in participating in a pilot project for North Shore schools. They bit. STA law teacher Greg McCaffery helped handpick a dozen Grade 11 and 12 students for the program. On a Saturday morning in early November the students ditched a hallmark of their Catholic school education. There […]