Odd Squad Productions Society is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization, created in 1997 by seven Vancouver City Police Officers. Our goal is to empower youth to make positive life choices about drug use and criminal behaviour through educational material as well as documentaries. Today’s youth face difficult choices, enormous peer pressure, and more readily available and potent mind-altering drugs than at any other time in history. Furthermore, we aim to educate the public about the devastating effects that high-risk behaviour has on members of our community. We are located in Vancouver, and thus, have a close connection to the streets of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and know what it’s really like for some people in the area. We use these often horrific stories at the forefront of our productions that are used to educate youth and stem change. Due to our success, have reach throughout Canada and even internationally. Odd Squad Productions Society has delivered our messages through award-winning and thought-provoking documentaries, educational presentations and peer to peer workshops which includes our highly effective Junior Hockey Mentorship Program. Odd Squad Productions Society is also working on creating awareness for social media addiction. We feel that this is a pressing issue and will only increase as technology is becoming an even greater part of our lives. Furthermore, we use a reality based approach to educate people in order to tackle some of the worst social issues threatening our communities today. Odd Squad Productions Society firmly believes in the value of prevention and education in order to keep our youth safe.
- EDUCATES youth on avoiding risky behavior
- EMPOWERS them to make positive choices
- IMPACTS by encouraging long, healthy lives
Odd Squad Productions Society knows that drugs have no boundaries. Our mission is to empower youth to create lifelong changes regarding drug use and criminal behavior for themselves, their peers, and their communities. Young people must know the real effects they face and the risks attached should they decide to use drugs.
Clearly, education and prevention is a good thing, and Odd Squad Productions Society wants to prevent children and youth becoming involved in gangs or using drugs. Once a young person or young adult truly understands the consequences to using drugs, as it relates to their life and those around them, they usually make better decisions around risky behaviour. It is on this basis that our program was developed almost 20 years ago and has continued to see success with youth throughout Canada.
The key to our success is both in the content and delivery of the program. Our interactive presentations and practical sessions contain simple, true information about the physical and mental effects of drugs, as well as other social issues related to drug use. The delivery of the program includes a walkabout in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and interaction with individuals battling drug addiction on the street.
Our educators provide a realistic picture of drug use. Odd Squad Productions Society doesn’t just tell kids to “say no”; we educate them to come to that conclusion on their own, and more importantly, show them how to say no and what exactly they are are saying no to.
|Board of Directors||OSP Members||Back on Track Committee|
Diana Zoppa, President
Kris Pope, Vice President
Richard Robins, Treasurer
Dr. Sheldon Howard
Tammy Morrey, Secretary
Chris Graham, General Manager
Toby Hinton, Executive Director
Plus Many Friends and Volunteers
Diana Zoppa, Chair
Dr. Sheldon Howard
Thank You to Our Current Sponsors and Partners
Brian Jessel BMW
Canreal Property Management
Face the World Foundation
Safer Schools Together
Dr Sheldon Howard
Vancouver Police Foundation
Vancouver Police Union
Learn more about our latest innovative drug and gang prevention strategies and learn more about drug trends and treatment issues.
8:00 am Registration
8:30 am Welcome
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Presentations Continued
3:45 pm OSPS Conclusion
4:00 pm Conference Program Ends
Presentations will be given by:
Dr. Kevin Sabet, Dr. Bill MacEwen, Doug Rogers, Carla Webb and more!
Cannot attend? Sponsor a student to attend!
Includes registration fee, lunch and coffee/tea.
Hotel room is NOT included in conference registration. Click here to get special rates from Pinnacle Hotel.
Substitutions may be made at any time, but please advise OSPS conference secretariat in writing (Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances) of a change of name. Should you find it necessary to cancel your registration completely, please notify the OSPS conference secretariat immediately (Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances). Provided written notice is received by Tuesday October 31st, 2017 a full refund will be given, less a 10% administration charge. If notice is received by Wednesday November 15th, 2017 a 50% refund will be given. It is regretted that registrations canceled after Wednesday November 15th, 2017, or for nonattendance at the conference will incur the full fee (100% cancellation charge).
Kevin A. Sabet, PHD
Author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years. He is currently the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and the President of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). His book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort (Midpoint) in 2013. In 2011, he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration.
Sam is the Director of Services for Safer Schools Together and delivers safe school related trainings throughout the organization. He manages the fast-paced Safer Schools Together Social Media Team and is the lead developer and trainer of the “Digital Threat Assessment” Training day that has been delivered across North America. Sam comes from a background in the study of criminal behaviour and has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. Sam spent over five years working on the front line of the Surrey School District in their Safe Schools Department responding to emergent safety and security issues around the entire district. Sam maintains to this a day a Reliability RCMP security clearance.
Dr. Bill MacEwan
Dr. MacEwan is Head of Psychiatry at St. Paul’s Hospital and is the clinical lead in the Hotel Study, a cohort study of the health, addiction and mental health of 500 residents of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Dr. MacEwan has worked in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for the last 14 years and is currently focusing on the needs of individuals served by Downtown Community Court. This approach is coordinated with the Primary Outreach Service (POS) of Vancouver Coastal Health and with St. Paul’s Hospital Urban Psychiatry program.
Doug Rogers, M.Ed, MPE, CCAC, CCADC, ICADC
Doug Rogers is the Substance Abuse Prevention Counsellor for SD#22 (Vernon). He has taught for over 27 years in Vancouver, Burnaby, Vernon and Washington State and has given hundreds of workshops and presentations throughout British Columbia and the Western United States. Doug has undergraduate degrees from UBC (BPE, B.Ed) and postgraduate degrees from both UBC (MPE) and UVIC (M.Ed). He is also a Canadian (CCADC, CCAC) and internationally certified alcohol and drug counselor (ICADC). The main focus of his work and research in SD#22 is to support students and families so that they can live healthy and drug free lives.
Carla Webb is a former 13-year member of the Vancouver Police Department and life-long horsewoman. After working the Downtown Eastside beat and witnessing the devastating effects of drug addiction, Carla was determined to find a solution that not only focused on prevention and education but empowered youth to make healthier lifestyle choices in the recovery from trauma. With this goal in mind she co-founded Empowered By Horses. As her vision grew, Carla founded Unbridled Potential, an academy dedicated to forging safe, respectful and trusting bonds between horses and people. Most recently, Carla set in progress Standing Six, an equine support system for First Responders to restore and maintain health and wellness. All her programs celebrate individuality while promoting teamwork and community spirit.
Detective Sandy Avelar has over 20 years of policing experience with the Vancouver Police Department. She has worked throughout the city and is currently in the Organized Crime Section’s Gang Crime Unit. Detective Avelar has devoted the majority of her career to youth work and antigang policing. Sandy also serves as a Tactical Advisor in the Vancouver Police Department’s Public Safety Unit. Outside of work, Detective Avelar, who is well known to many Vancouver youth as “Constable Avie”, volunteers her time on the Board of Directors for the Boys Club Network, a group devoted to youth anti-violence initiatives. Through her years of experience, Detective Avelar found there to be a missing piece regarding education and outreach for young women who are involved in organized crime. Because of this, Detective Avelar joined together with Detective Anisha Parhar to create “Her Time”.
Detective/Constable Anisha Parhar is in her ninth year with the Vancouver Police Department. Constable Parhar is currently working within the Vancouver Police Gang Crime Unit and is actively involved in anti- gang initiatives. Prior to joining the Vancouver Police, Constable Parhar worked for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC within the intelligence section. It was clear to Anisha that there was a lack of support and education for the females involved in the world of organized crime, it was with that obvious void that Constable Parhar pursued the idea of ‘Her Time’, a female focused anti -gang initiative.
Chief Adam Palmer
Adam Palmer has been with the Vancouver Police Department since 1987. He has been the Chief Constable for the Vancouver Police Department since May 6th, 2015. Before he joined the Vancouver Police Department, he studied Business Administration at Simon Fraser University and worked as a Correctional Officer. Adam Palmer was involved in the Operational Review project which led to improved departmental business practices and more police officers and civilian staff positions. This research gained interest from across North America and abroad and resulted in Chief Palmer being invited to speak at other police agencies and international police conferences. Adam Palmer has been invested as a Member of the Order of Merit for the Police Forces by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada. Furthermore, in 2017, he was promoted to Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada due to his tremendous leadership and service.
John Daly, Masters of Ceremony for Conference and Gala
John Daly is a reporter and radio show host. He worked for Global BC from 1980 until he retired in 2016. He now does a weekly radio show “Daly – Back on the Beat” on Saturday’s for CKNW. He has taught interviewing techniques and investigative reporting at BCIT and UBC Continuing Education and is frequently an invited speaker for professional organizations and conferences on the demands of the news media and where it’s headed. Of all of his accolades, he is most proud of receiving the first Webster Award which was for the best reporting of the year throughout any medium. John Daly always believed in the importance of reporters and did whatever was necessary to bring stories to the public, he would always ask himself “if this story never gets told, what are the implications?”.
Sergeant Mark Steinkampf has been a police officer with the VPD for 26 years. Mark has served on the streets of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for 15 years. He is one of the founding members of Odd Squad Productions Society. With his work at Odd Squad, Mark has been involved in the production and filming of numerous national and international documentaries. His awards include the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada. Mark has given presentations to over 100,000 youth. He is also a founding member and instructor at SFU Police Judo.
David Steverding is a constable for the Vancouver Police Department. He has been a part of the Vancouver Police Department for 13 years and is currently working in District 2, which encompasses the Downtown Eastside, as a member of the Beat Enforcement Team. David has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from Carleton University. David has been a longstanding member of Odd Squad Productions Society and has helped out with production and filming of various national and international documentaries and educational films. David helps out with Police Judo and runs the Peer to Peer Program for Odd Squad Productions Society in the North Shore. David Steverding has given many presentations on drug education, prevention and addiction.
Sergeant Toby Hinton has been with the VPD for 28 years. He is currently a Force Options Sergeant and previously was on a beat for most of his 24 years working on the street. He is currently the Executive Director for Odd Squad Productions Society. He has helped direct and produce many educational documentaries for Odd Squad as well as short videos for the VPD. Toby Hinton is also one of the founders of Police Judo and is the head instructor of SFU Police Judo Club. He has given drug education presentations and Police Judo sport clinics throughout North America and Mexico. Toby’s professionalism has been recognized through receiving numerous awards including two Governor General Awards and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community Service.
Chris Graham, General Manager for Odd Squad Productions Society, retired from the VPD in 2011, after 26 years of service. His policing experience has included six years of patrol in the Downtown Eastside, three years as a School Liaison Officer and several years as a Detective in the Major Crime Section, drug and homicide squads. Chris is the Executive Producer of two benefit music CD’s; Odd Squad “On the Beat” volume 1 & 2”. Chris is also involved in video and soundtrack production on a variety of Odd Squad film initiatives. Chris is the founding director of the “Junior Hockey Drug Education and Awareness Program” and continues to work with players to deliver drug-education workshops to school-aged children across Western Canada.
Al Arsenault, B.Sc., B.Ed., M.S.M.
Al Arsenault is a Founding Member of Odd Squad Productions Society who has lectured extensively and abroad. He spent many years policing the Downtown Eastside where he gained much insight into the drug problems plaguing our society. Al retired from policing since 2006, but has remained extremely active within Odd Squad Productions Society. Al is regarded as an expert in the martial arts and non-firearm weaponry. He is a published author as well as a film-maker. Al Arsenault has given presentations to tens of thousands of students throughout the world. He has received many awards including the Chief Constable’s Award, Police Officer of the Year Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for meritorious service.
Doug joined the Vancouver Police Department as a police officer in March 1990, becoming a third generation VPD member. Doug is a court recognized expert on gangs in British Columbia. Doug co-created a presentation titled “The Truth about Gangs” which he has presented hundreds of times. He is a member of Odd Squad Productions Society. In 2008, Doug received the Police Officer of the Year Award. In 2009, Doug retired from the Vancouver Police Department, and became a member of the Transit Police Service where he continues to identify and monitor at-risk and gang-involved youth.