Daily Archives: November 16, 2012


Eastside Stories Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – “Whistling” Bernie Smith

Old-time beat cop meets new Posted on November 13, 2011 by Steve He walked the Hastings Street beat long before anyone had ever dreamed of AIDS, HIV or taxpayer-funded buildings where you could plunge heroin into your veins. The Charter of Rights was still ten years in the future, and it would be two decades before so-called hockey fans would riot in the streets of Vancouver — for the first time — following the Canucks’ Game 7 loss in 1994. There was no Twitter or Facebook to whip people into a frenzy. They had to use old-fashioned ways to organize rallies and marches — by knocking on doors and dialing rotary phones. There were no iPhones to record his every move, and no police complaints commissioner breathing down his neck every time he said something that might hurt someone’s feelings. For Bernie “Whistling” Smith, Hastings Street in the 1970s was a hard place. But he had easy answers. His methods were unconventional, abrasive and a little controversial. But they worked. Bernie “Whistling” Smith “What are we going to do to keep the young people away from drugs? I think one of the things is to make it difficult on the streets […]