Odd Squad Productions News


Posted by Steve One of the lead news stories in Vancouver today was a study which found that illicit drugs are rampant on the streets of Vancouver. The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS reported that drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth and marijuana can be bought on Vancouver’s streets in as little as 10 minutes. Go figure. And in other news, a plane landed safely today at YVR. I’m not sure what’s more frustrating — that this problem continues to fester after years of enforcement, education and even harm reduction, or that some people are just waking up to the fact that it’s about as easy to buy crack in Downtown Vancouver as it is to find a Starbucks. By the way, there’s a Starbucks on just about every corner. What appears of particular concern to the study’s authors is that street drugs are just as accessible to young people as they are to adults, if not more. “Among the 330 youth aged 14-26 involved in the study, nearly 63% reported accessing crystal methamphetamine in as little as 10 minutes, compared to 39% of adult users. Young drug users also reported significantly easier access to marijuana, with 88% saying they could obtain the […]

Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – News ...


Season 2 Premieres Sunday July 29 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT Back for a much anticipated second season, THE BEAT, produced by Montreal based Galafilm Production, delivers the same gritty, high-octane action as it did the first time around.  Over 10 riveting episodes, the show follows the Vancouver Police Department’s Beat Enforcement Team, as they patrol the city’s Downtown Eastside— a hotbed of drug abuse, prostitution, mental illness and violent crime.  Maintaining order in a place like this is no small task.  It takes tireless work, and a ready supply of courage and compassion.  Luckily, the men and women of the BET are up to the challenge. The Beat delivers in-your-face confrontations as the B.E.T. patrols, serves, and protects the city’s downtown eastside community – a hotbed of drug abuse, prostitution, mental illness, and violent crime.  Maintaining order will not be easy, and to do so takes tireless work with a ready supply of courage and compassion.  Is the B.E.T up to the challenge? Led by 20-year veteran Sgt. Toby Hinton and adrenaline junkie Sgt. Mark Steinkampf, The Beat follows the intersecting stories of six police officers who live for the street.  The squad includes Const. Hobbs, a third generation police officer […]

THE BEAT Season 2 Premiere this Sunday!



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. […]

Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – ‘She ...


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

THE BEAT Season 2 Premieres Sunday July 29 at 9pm ...



Toby Hinton a 23-year veteran of VPD VANCOUVER COURIER Sgt. Toby Hinton, a beat cop on the Downtown Eastside and 23-year veteran of the Vancouver Police Department, has seen firsthand the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol. He works in an overwhelmingly negative environment. But with unprecedented access to tragic life stories, Hinton was determined to do something positive to educate at-risk groups of the dangers of substance abuse and other criminal behaviour. He, along with six other officers founded Odd Squad Productions, a volunteer band of police officers who produce movies to keep kids clean and off the street. The non-profit group, which recently marked its 15th anniversary, has produced more than 15 documentaries telling real stories of the pitfalls of drug abuse, gangs and other high-risk behaviour. Through a Blue Lens-perhaps their most notable documentary that was produced in partnership with the National Film Board-has been viewed by millions in 22 countries. Scathed & Stolen Lives and Tears for April have both received accolades at the New York Film Festival. The squad also makes presentations to schools, community centres and boardrooms. The group has also enlisted high school students to spread the word. Its On Track program takes […]

Odd Squad out to make a difference