In the Media


Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – ‘She made her decision, and it was the wrong one’

Posted by Steve Five days past her 18th birthday, she was hooting on a crack pipe near the corner of Hastings and Columbia. She tossed the glass pipe to the pavement as we approached and tried to blend in with the crowd. “Please don’t arrest me,” the pretty redhead pleaded as I grabbed her arm to prevent her from running away. “Don’t worry,” I said. “I just want to talk to you.” My god, she looked young. Dressed in jean shorts and a button-up shirt that was tied in a knot just above the belly button, she looked like she should have been riding a tire swing at the family cottage, not getting high on Hastings Street. Though her hair was unwashed and her face was breaking out in sores, I could tell she was still early in her suffering. The addiction hadn’t fully taken control of her. I wanted to help her. We talked as I ran the girl’s name through the police database. Her story reminded me that addiction does not discriminate between race, gender or class. The product of a tony West Vancouver neighbourhood, she began experimenting with hallucinogens — magic mushrooms and LSD — at age 15. […]


THE BEAT Season 2 Premieres Sunday July 29 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT

Airing: Season 2 Premieres Sunday July 29 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT Never before have television cameras had unlimited access to the police that patrol Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of the most controversial neighborhoods in North America. The Beat is a ten-part docu-soap series that presents a gritty, behindthe-scenes look at the challenges faced by The Beat Enforcement Team’s Squad Three, as they tirelessly work to maintain order in a community crippled by poverty, drug addiction and mental illness. Drawn from hundreds of hours of footage, shot night and day over six full months, The Beat captures every corner and crevasse of the Downtown Eastside’s 12 square blocks. See rooming house raids, undercover sting operations, stakeouts, petty thieves and major drug gangs being brought to justice in a neighborhood that’s home to an estimated 5,000 hardcore drug users and a population with the highest HIV infection rate in the developed world. The Beat also offers a glimpse at the officers away from their daily patrols, where the rigors of work are balanced with the pleasures of family life. Click here to visit the OLN Website


Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – ‘No easy answers’

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Steve A young hipster in skinny jeans and a plaid shirt stopped me on West Hastings Street the other day. “So, when are you gonna start arresting some of the drug dealers out here?” he asked. It was a bit of a sarcastic comment, so I dished a little of the same back his way. “Sure,” I said. “You point ‘em out to me and I’ll go arrest them.” We were standing outside the Burns Block, a century-old building and former low-income hotel that was recently converted into 30 “micro-lofts.” It’s part of the so-called gentrification of the Downtown Eastside. This hipster had apparently just moved into the area, likely wanting to live in Vancouver’s edgiest neighbourhood, but perhaps not quite realizing his front door was just steps away from ground zero in the city’s open-air drug market. ‘They’re everywhere,” he said. “I walk down the street and all I get is people trying to sell me drugs.” Despite the cheekiness of our initial exchange, I could tell he was genuine. I empathized with his frustration. He felt like the police were not doing enough to deal with the drug problem in the area. Looking around at […]


Odd Squad Productions celebrates 15th anniversary in style

By Kelly Marion Photos by Kelly J Marion –> @kellyjean247 Odd Squad Productions (OSP) held their 15th Annual Fundraiser Gala this month and sold out at over 1000 guests. The Vancouver Convention Centre was overflowing with black ties and evening gowns, with everyone looking chic as they perused the silent auction and sipped on a glass of wine. The large support was shown through people of all ages, social statuses and races including many from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). What began as a community of volunteer police offers determined to beat work on the East side of Vancouver in 1997, is now an organization at the forefront as a highly regarded resource directed at prevention education and awareness for youth. They began using the scare tactic with the debut of their award-winning “Through a Blue Lens” production. Take a moment to watch the film and you’ll understand the effect it can have. Since then, they have grown to incorporate many educational videos and peer-to-peer programs in an effort to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble. After a walk down the red carpet with the VPD lining each side, the night unfolded in to an evening of entertainment, education and eating. There was a special marine […]