In the Media


VANCOUVER DAZE VOL. 73: 15TH ANNIVERSARY ODD SQUAD GALA

Volume 73 of Vancouver Is Awesome: POSTED BY RICK CHUNG 15th anniversary Odd Squad Gala at Vancouver Convention Centre West on June 7, 2012. Hashtag: #OddSquadGala. More photos available on Flickr. The Odd Squad celebrated fifteen years with their annual gala. For the unaware, TOS is a local organization started to keep troubled youth off the street and away from drugs, gangs, and violence. I had no idea of the strong Vancouver PD association. The night’s gala affair included special guests like Winnipeg Jets player Evander Kane, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chief Constable Jim Chu, board memberJim Byrnes, and other local celebrities. TOS includes a strong documentary program, producing an Oscar-nominated short on policeman Whistling Smith as well as peer-to-peer component, and talks from reformed gang members. I was curious about the whole “odd” theme and moniker, considering the VPD association. Evidently, it started from a saying and even including a musical set from The Odds. The night included some special entertainment from dragon dancers, a boat show, vintage car display, and host of other entertainment. The celebration brought together a few of the higher aspects of local charity, reminding us to do our part, support good causes, and never forget to improve our surroundings and contribute to our society.


Drug presentation & DTES walk-about

Leave a comment ‘Behind the Blue Line’ » By: sandra@behindtheblueline.ca Two Friday’s ago, the Odd Squad gave their drug presentation to my daughter’s sports team to provide the girls a basic understanding about the hazards of drug use. The presentation was the same provided to high schools but was tailored to the small group, which was ideal as the girls were in their peer environment. In addition to the officers giving the talk, hubby and I were also there – me in uniform, and hubby as a chaperone – but we left the room when it came time for Q&A so the girls would feel comfortable asking whatever questions they needed to ask.   Apparently, they asked some excellent questions. The officers giving the talk weren’t sworn to secrecy; they were respecting the girls and allowing them the freedom of unfettered curiosity so I’m not sure of the exact questions, but what was clear was this – even though they have heard about cocaine and heroin, the girls showed their naivety and innocence by not knowing what the drugs actually were, and their questions focused more around drinking and cigarettes. In the end, we, as parents and educators, cannot make decisions for our children, […]


ODD SQUAD Experience by Brittany Schussler

by Brittany Schussler | Skating | Long Track Click here for the original ‘SportCafe’ post This week I was fortunate to have the eye-opening experience of taking a trip to downtown Vancouver with the ODD Squad. The Odd Squad is a group of police officers who are using their experiences in the East area of Vancouver, one of the most drug and crime ridden areas in North America, to educate youth about the dangers of drug addiction. The Odd Squad has been operating for 15 years and has made a handful of documentaries about their experiences. They also take people such as myself with them to walk around the area and get the full experience in order to be able to share it with people in their community. My night with the Odd Squad began with a 90 minute presentation about why the program exists and what we should be prepared to see. The presentation made me nervous, to say the least. The most experience I have with drugs is seeing other kids smoking joints at high school parties. So, to go out on the street and talk to someone smoking from a crack pipe is beyond shocking. The video presentation […]


Olympians on east side Athletes promote healthy living, learn about issues

          BY TERRY BELL, THE PROVINCE Christine Nesbitt came to Vancouver 28 months ago and left town with a 2010 Olympic speedskating gold medal hanging around her neck. On Wednesday Nesbitt is returning to Vancouver with some of her Calgary-based teammates for a close-up look at the city’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. The visit is part of a program run by the Odd Squad Production Society, a non-profit group established in 1997 by a group of retired and current Vancouver police officers. Its goal is to “design programs that honour and motivate youth, encourage them to set positive goals, lay their own path and stay On Track by keeping drug-free for a long and healthy life.” For several years Odd Squad has been offering the program to a number of junior hockey teams but this will be the first involvement by Olympic athletes. Chris Graham, a founding member and Director of Peer-to-Peer programs, is ecstatic. “One of the things that’s been on our mind for a long time is that there’s a lot of girls involved in gang activity and drug trafficking and poor relationships,” Graham, a retired Vancouver policeman, said Tuesday. “We’re not able to deal […]


Quest for fame move gang wars from back alleys into the open

Stephanie Levitz  OTTAWA – Toronto police called the shooter who opened fire in a downtown mall Saturday “one idiot with a gun.” But some gang experts argue public shootings like the one at the Eaton Centre that left one man dead and several other people wounded are part of an effort by gang leaders to make themselves look like anything but idiots. Gangs are increasingly taking their fights public to gain fame and notoriety, said Const. Doug Spencer, a Vancouver transit police officer who works with the city’s Odd Squad Productions Society on crime prevention. Public shootings are designed to send a message, Spencer said. “They say if they’ll do it there, they’ll do it anywhere, you don’t want to mess with those guys, they’re crazy, and that’s the reputation they want.” Spencer said Vancouver-area police began noticing a change in gang activity about three or four years ago when fights that used to be waged in back alleys suddenly burst onto public streets. In 2007, six people were killed at a Surrey, B.C., apartment. Four had criminal connections, but two were innocents in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since then, B.C. police have been called to shootings […]