The Last Post

One year ago I stood before a bank of microphones, cameras and journalists in the lane behind the police station at 312 Main Street to announce the launch of Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop.

In the months prior, a young woman named Ashley Machiskinic had fallen to her death from the window of a Downtown Eastside rooming house. Activists who insisted she must have been murdered had staged a sit-in at the Vancouver Police Department’s Main Street station. They engaged in a public campaign to suggest that police were doing little to investigate Ashley’s death, or to protect vulnerable women in the Downtown Eastside.

Other pressure groups had long complained that police in the Downtown Eastside did little more than pick on the poor, write petty tickets and arbitrarily arrest people for minor offences.

As a member of VPD’s Beat Enforcement Team, I knew this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I had seen police officers literally pick up and dust off Listerine drunks who were passed out in snow banks, and help them out of the cold when nobody else gave a damn.

I witnessed one police officer practically save the life of a man who had been stabbed in the neck during a knife fight, covering the gash with his bare hands to stop the man from bleeding to death.

I had personally lent my shoulder to people who had no-one left in the world to cry on.

Moreover, I’d seen the personal toll all this takes on the men and women who don the police uniform in the Downtown Eastside.

I wanted to help people understand what we actually do, the pressures we face and the frustrations we endure while policing one of Canada’s toughest beats. I wanted to give people a taste of what it’s like to be a police officer in the Downtown Eastside, and to help put a human face of the people who live and work here.

During the past 12 months this blog has introduced readers to a number of characters in the Downtown Eastside. There was Whistling Bernie Smith, the old-time beat cop who walked these streets in the 1970s, long before anyone had to worry about political correctness or the Charter of Rights.

We’ve met the man with three degrees and seven languages who wanders the streets of the Downtown Eastside, having lost his family, his job and his aspirations to a heroin addiction.

Then there was my favourite, the Ice Cream Man. As far as I know, he’s still fighting the good fight. And though I’ll probably never know for sure, I’d like to think I had something to do with his decision to get clean.

There are 18,000 people in the Downtown Eastside, and each one of them has their own story of heartbreak, tragedy and success. And while I’d love to stick around long enough to tell them all, it appears my time in the Downtown Eastside is coming to an end.

The Vancouver Police Department has decided to send me to a new sand box. They say it’s time to broaden my horizons. In two weeks I will be reluctantly re-assigned to a patrol squad in District 2 — the north-east quadrant of the city.

Some of my colleagues have encouraged me to continue my dispatches from my new post. I’d love to continue writing about my experiences in the Downtown Eastside, but I simply don’t believe I can do so with the quality and frequency you deserve.

While District 2 does technically include the Downtown Eastside, I will no longer be one of the foot soldiers on the Beat Enforcement Team. Instead,  I’ll be responding to calls from behind the wheel of a police car, and responsible for a larger, and more diverse area.

This blog is branded as the diary of a beat cop, and it would be wrong to suggest I am still slogging it out in the trenches when I am not.

That’s why I’ve decided that now is the time to pull the plug. It’s time to restore a little work-life balance and to focus my energy on some new endeavours.

Authoring this blog has been one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had as a police officer. I’ve felt more fulfilled writing these stories than I did in nearly a decade working as a newspaper reporter (my previous career).

I am indebted to the Vancouver Police Department for allowing me the opportunity, and for taking such a hands-off approach. I was never told what to write or how to write it, and never once chided for wading in on sensitive or controversial topics.

I am even more indebted to everyone who took the time to read, to comment and to send me their personal stories during the past year. I’ve been touched and blown away by the passionate and heart-felt responses.

It has been a privilege.

– Steve

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71 Responses to The Last Post

  1. David V. says:

    Steve,

    Thank you for your time and effort in trying to make Vancouver a better place by helping people better understand what happens in the DTES. Your stories will be missed.

    Good luck in your next endeavours.

  2. Angela says:

    Your blog is the only blog I’ve ever read from start to finish. I’ll miss reading about your experiences in the DTES. You created an amazing link between the front-line and the mass public.

    Good luck in your new position.

  3. Darcy says:

    Steve-

    It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you and to start to understand a bit more about what is being done and what needs to be done to continue to work on the problem at hand.
    Your supervisors are right and you do need new experiences in order to continue to grow as a good officer… as well, they’re probably right in moving you before you head down the dark road of burn out… which I’m sure happens to a lot of people who work in the area.
    Good luck on your new endeavors and I wish you all the best!
    Darcy

  4. Lelainia Lloyd says:

    I am sad you will no longer be writing this blog. I found your posts moving, poignant and thought provoking. I learned alot reading about your experiences. Thank you for the work you do. Stay safe.

  5. Mel V. says:

    Thanks for writing this blog. It’s done away with some of my misconceptions about poverty and drug use. (I’m sure I still have more.) And huge kudos to your administration for letting you write it without interference!

    Thanks for serving as an officer. Humanity needs more people like you. Good luck in your future endeavors, and if you want to write about them some time I’ll be happy to read it.

  6. Ben K says:

    Steve,

    Your work here has just been brilliant, illuminating, thoughtful and articulate. I wish you the best in your new assignments, and I truly hope that I get to read your writing somewhere again in the future.

    Thanks for the work you do, and for having shared all of this with us.

  7. Vicki says:

    Count me in as someone who has read every post & will be sorry to see the end of this blog. I really appreciate the time you took to put a more human face on the DTES community and the officers who work there.

  8. Jason says:

    Really sad to hear you’re giving it up, Steve.
    You’ve written a great collections of observations, and I hope your efforts have served to help some anti-police people see that most officers are caring and effective members of the force.
    And I equally hope this blog has helped put a true face to the suffering endured by many people living in the DTES.
    Thank you.

  9. PR Stocker says:

    Steve,

    I’ve stumbled across your blog fashionably late. In fact, I only started reading it today and have spent most of the morning reading your posts and watching some of the recent episodes from season 2 of The Beat. The message that you and your colleagues are trying to advertise through the Odd Squad Production Society and through the VPD’s other public campaigns is something that has generated some new thought processes about policing and life in the DTES. These thoughts will influence my own actions in future endeavors, which have been spurred by your unvarnished opinions coupled with photos and videos are appreciated. I believe that your transfer will return some of that work-life balance that we all need but your literary talents will be missed by your audience out here on the web and, indirectly, by your “audience” on the beat. Thank you for your insights and the work you’ve done to shed light on the issues of the DTES.

    Good luck in your new post,

    -Peter

  10. gillybean604 says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your life and the DTES with us. I loved your blog. Good luck with everything!

  11. Tamara says:

    Every day on my break at work I check for a new post from you. Like many others have said this is the only blog I have read from start to finish and your stories will be missed. My commute takes me through the DTES everyday and I have seen you walking your Beat many times. This blog has been very enlightening for someone who drives through the area each day.

    I want to thank you for your service and for going above and beyond for some of the people that truly need it. Wishing you all the best in your new position.
    Tamara

  12. BJ says:

    This is sad; I enjoyed reading it. Convince someone else to take it up!

  13. Daniel Boulet says:

    It has been an interesting time reading your blog. Thanks muchly.

    -Danny

  14. Jay says:

    When I turned on my computer and hit the the link to take me to your blog this was not the news I was expecting. It certainly is a sad day for your readers and also a sad day for the Downtown residents as you have proven time and time again that you are a man and an officer who cares. Thanks Steve. Thanks first for the work you do and a big thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us.
    I am sure the district you are going to will soon realise they are gaining a quality officer so I guess our loss is their gain. Your blog may be going silent but I am sure there will be many people out there thinking of you and wishing you the best. I will take the opportunity to join them and wish every sucess in the future. Take care and stay safe my friend and again a big thanks.

  15. Sue says:

    Noooo we need you!!! A young friend is in Vancouver and I told him when he gets to the DTES which he will to look you up.
    I’ll act like an adult and stop my temper tantrum and wish you all the best. You are an exceptional human being and we need more people like you. You personalized the marginalized and hopefully in the process you’ve changed attitudes.
    Be well and don’t ever lose your sense of humour or your caring personality

  16. Candace says:

    Sad to see you shut it down, but hey all good things come to an end. Good luck in your new district! I will probably bump into you there (in a positive way) . Of course thanks for all the time and efforts you put into showing us regular folk a glimpse of what you see each work day. Good luck and stay safe!

  17. Michael O says:

    Reading this from my place in Toronto takes me back to my old home in Vancouver. Thank you for taking the time and investing yourself in this. I will miss it!

  18. Jennifer says:

    I will really miss your blog. Your insight into a neighborhood many of us know very little about has been thought provoking. You have done an amazing job of humanizing a section of our population that too often gets ignored and helped us to see the people behind the problems. I am sure you will be missed by the people whose lives you touched, whether it was a kind word that you extended to them, or just the chance to talk to someone who treated them decently. Your new beat is lucky to have you. Keep safe.

  19. Eric James Soltys says:

    Thanks for the blog and best of luck at your new post.

  20. Ivy says:

    I’ve been reading your blog from the start and am so sad to see it end. Thank you for pouring your heart into keeping our city’s streets safe. Best of luck at your new posting!

  21. Karen says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write and maintain this blog. My home is BC but I currently live in Ontario and your blog has been an opportunity for me to visit home every once in a while. More importantly, you’ve provided a window into a world that many of us don’t understand and from a perspective that we understand even less. Thank you for your work and I wish you continued safety and blessing.

  22. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing your world with us. You did a good job, both here and out there.

    Best of luck with your new post. Stay safe.

  23. Bruno says:

    One of the best “reads” I have come across. Always the first thing I read in the morning and looked forward to new stories. Good luck as you move on in your career.

  24. troy says:

    Sorry to see you go, Your writings were both humorous and despair soaked,often at the same time. Good luck at your new posting.

  25. Sara E says:

    Steve,
    Thank you so much for your insights. I found your words thought provoking and touching. You’ve shown a side to police officers I thought disappeared a long time ago.

    Good luck in you future endevours. Keep on being you!

  26. Claudia says:

    Best of luck to you, Steve. I, too have read your entire blog – the only one I ever followed. I will miss your humor, caring personality and the people in your stories. Thanks for bringing not only DTES but also the police force out there a little closer to us. It made me appreciate you guys even more.

  27. Matthew says:

    I can only echo the previous comments, thank you for taking the time and effort to open this window into an area of Vancouver and a profession that are often judged but rarely experienced first-hand. Best of luck with your new posting.

  28. Dianne says:

    Thank you so much for the education and the rough and tumble. It has been an eye opener and I hope the powers to be have read your blog and maybe have gotten just a glimmer of life on the DTES. Have you thought about writing a book? Would be a good idea.
    Good luck in your new posting and as always be safe!

  29. tracy says:

    I too have read your blog in it’s entirety and have really appreciated the effort you made to allow us a view into your world. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself that really pulls a reader in.
    Best wishes to you in your new position. I will miss your observations and I have no doubt your presence will be missed by more people than you’ll know in your old stomping ground. Good luck!

  30. km says:

    Thank you. I have learned much from your blog and the comments of your readers. I am sad to see it come to an end. Hope the new adventure provides you with much satisfaction. Good luck!

  31. diverdarren says:

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the blog “ride-along”

  32. Karen says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog since you started and looked forward to stories that never get told in traditional media in this city. Sad to see this blog end, but all the best in your new post!

  33. Chris says:

    Thanks Steve for the wonderful stories. I really enjoyed reading this blog.

  34. Mia says:

    Steve,

    I just wanted to take the time and thank you for writing this blog. I really enjoyed reading all of your blog enteries.

    I actually found this blog site half a year ago, when I was googling “downtown east side” because I was so curious to what goes on down there.
    Your blogs have really been an eye opener, and I’ve learned so much.

    I truly have enjoyed reading it, and I’ve become one of your biggest fans.

    Althought I am saddened you are no longer gonna be writing blog enteries, I would like to wish you good luck with everything you do!

    Take care,
    Mia

  35. Raingurl says:

    Thanks Steve. Your blog helped me stay on a good path. I read your stories as a reminder of what can happen when you stray. I actually walk that beat now with a very different attitude and I then I walk right on through.

  36. Helen W says:

    I hope you will at least keep the blog online. And, let us know how the Ironman goes :)

    I also hope that others on The Beat Enforcement may be cajoled into contributing from time to time.

    Thanks, and hope for great things in your future.

  37. JustSayin says:

    Like others, this is the only blog I’ve read from beginning to end. I’ve always appreciated your ability to tell it like it is, your unique observations, your compassion, honesty and integrity, and your commitment to preserve and protect ALL citizens. Oh! And your sense of humour deserves an honourable mention, as your yoga story will always be one of my favs ;)

    I also want to thank you for providing me and others with a forum to comment and share our opinions and experiences on issues that included but were not limited to the DTES.

    The internet is about to become just a little less interesting without your writing, but I am happy that you are expanding your policing experience and learning about other neighbourhood cultures. My only regret is that we will not benefit from the insight you could offer about Joe and Marth Average and the types of things that happen in their lives that require police intervention…

    I wish you much happiness and success in your future endeavours.

  38. Helen says:

    Thank you, Steve for writing this blog. I have followed along since the beginning and am sad it is all over, but very grateful that you took the time to share your stories with us. I have shared your blog with quite a few people and I’m pretty sure all of them were hooked after their first read! Good luck with your new assignment.

    Oh, and I just wanted to say that I watched The Beat last Saturday and really enjoyed it. I will be tuning in again tonight.

  39. Steve says:

    Hey Steve,

    As an aspiring police officer, I’ve been following your blog for some time now. I have to say, I’m going to miss it dearly. Thanks for doing it, and good luck at your new post!

  40. Mark says:

    As this is the final post in this blog, I’d like to share a story on addiction, prostitution & the struggle some folks have in life.

    I have a poor relationship with my father (if any at all). Growing up we lived in a neighborhood that was marginalized. My ‘hood was place where drug dealing & gangs were the norm. The area consisted of a handful of thugs at war with each other & a whole bunch of other innocent scared people who simply couldn’t afford to move. Seeing my world around me, I had 2 goals in life. Get out of a house filled with anger & get out of this neighborhood. I have no idea how, but I managed to pay my way through University.

    Later in life I decided what I was doing wasn’t for me. Each day was arduous so I decided go back to school full time. I sold off everything I owned including my car to pay for it. I went to school in the daytime & worked in in the evening. Let’s just say it sucked. Bad. I was forced to live in this rundown area. My schedule with work & school made it very difficult to live elsewhere because I relied on the transit system.

    Just as Steve describes, my neighborhood had it’s share of characters. Knowing that it was in the best interest of my own personal safety, I treated them all with respect. One in particular was a woman in my building. She always looked angry & of course my male ego would rear it’s head and I’d attempt to talk to her. Slowly over time she acknowledged my existence & occasionally cracked a smile. Just before Christmas I met her in the lobby. Christmas for me was an excuse to buy a case of good beer instead of the usual swill & then make a painful call to my Mom knowing I had to talk to my Dad. When I asked her about Christmas, she spit fire at me and said she didn’t care about Christmas, she hated it.

    Long story short, I figured why not have 2 people who disliked Christmas spend it together. Misery loves company. The angry woman opened up that night & it was life changing for both of us.

    This woman’s life started on the fail setting 1 second after birth. A drunk Mom. A non existent Dad. Physical and sexual abuse. She was moved from group home to group home. By 15 she was shacked up with the wrong type of men who used her for financial & emotional support. Her past was checkered: drug addict, drug dealer, stripper, prostitute. Given we were both broke we figured let’s shack up together to save money. It helped me pay the bills & it gave her a break she needed out of the sex trade (addiction was over).

    My education paid off & I left that area and I took her with me. My friendship had now become a relationship. She suffered from post traumatic stress disorder from the past. Initially, she stayed home to recover, but then made it clear she wanted her own job and to do that, she had to go to college. I remember her anxiety on that first day of school and how proud she was when she landed her first job. Fast forward to today and she’s a picture of success. A quiet & determined person who has overcome the ghosts of her past. Don’t get me wrong, some still linger, but she’s at least learned to master them. In return, she’s changed me. Whenever I feel like life has screwed me over, I’m reminded that, in the whole scheme of things, I’m very lucky. I have even been somewhat successful in rebuilding the relationship with my Dad. I still can’t call him Dad, but we can have a phone conversation that isn’t filled with anger.

    And to end this on a lighter note ;-). We have a circle of friends, many who are single. They scour the dating sites looking for that person they can spend forever with. I am sometimes surprised at their shallowness and what constitutes a deal breaker. When I gently ask if maybe they’re being too harsh, their reply is usually that I’m happily married and that dating in this day and age is tough and I have no clue.

    Thanks for this blog Steve. The catalyst for change is understanding. Thanks for giving us all insight into a world few of us could ever understand. In the underbelly of this world, sometimes the victim is the predator & the predator is sometimes the victim. Their are no easy answers

    And the problems of the ghetto aren’t police brutality; it’s drug dealer brutality. It’s those that sell rock (or whatever drug) on the block.

    And everybody know
    Another kilo
    From a corner from a brother to keep another – Below

    Public Enemy – Night of the Living Baseheads

  41. Jonathan L. says:

    Sometimes I’d like to pick up where you left off. I came to Vancouver for the first time last spring to run the marathon, and just fell in love with the city – the good, the bad, the ugly. Medic from Windsor, Ont with parents who are psychologists, I’ve always found the tragedy in what’s left for families to learn from their child’s, parents or other loved ones addictions. I’ve never seen anything like the height of the DTES. I was very tempted to make an impulse move and see it as a sign to actually do something that matters, rather than just saying to myself that maybe I’ll find my passion when I do. But after so much reading, watching YouTube videos documenting the DTES, this blog…I have wanted to ask what’s the burnout rate for those who are in the front lines (police, medical, social work) there? I just don’t know how anyone can work with that level of intensity, with the amount of people in crisis in the DTES…the other officers you’ve known who’ve been there 20-30 years, how do they do it? What advice have they offered when it comes to preventing burnout?
    I will miss reading current stories about what it’s really like there. At the same time I can’t wait to visit again!

    Jonathan

  42. Stacey says:

    Hi Steve,

    I always looked forward to your posts, especially the social worker in me. I am grateful that you have shared your experiences with us, and wish you the best kind of days at your new post!

  43. jtblue3recon says:

    Sorry to see you go,I’ve read all of what you had thought,mused,and wrote about life,loss,rebirth,sorrow and the unending pain of living with a monkey on one’s back which wasn’t helping. Of understanding and insight of a place you call “work”and trying to make a change in so many people’s lives. You do the good work there,you win and lose on many but you keep going by faith that something will prevail after all is said and done. I was a addict for a few years,chaseing away some past dreams in my own way. So long ago…. Now,ride well,keep wiggley and Watch Your Six and keep the Beat.

  44. Dave Duchene says:

    Thank-you so much for your writing. Your blog will be deeply missed.

  45. Karen says:

    Thank you for all the work blogging about your time on the DTES. You have a fine ability to make your experiences there very real, and somehow familiar. I hope this might be the fodder for a book — may I encourage you? I know you’re busy, what with working and a family and running marathons, but you have the talent and the skill and the heart for these folks, and you present a face of policing that’s missing in the press. Good luck on the new beat and thanks again.

  46. DDDon says:

    Thank you for the time you took from your life to share your stories from the DTES. I consider myself “street smart” but always found your blog interesting and enlightning. It always reminded me of ” dont judge anyone till you walk a mile in their shoes “. More people in this world need to live by that !!!

    Best of Luck, you will be missed.

  47. crimdefence says:

    Steve,

    Not only will I miss reading your blog, I will miss seeing you on the streets of the DTES. I work and volunteer in the DTES, and have had many occasions to see how you treat the locals with dignity and respect. You will be greatly missed down here.

    Good luck in your new role, and be sure not to get too soft from sitting behind the wheel all shift!

  48. Ariane says:

    Thank you so much steve and good luck with your new detachement.
    You truly inspired me to pursue my long time dream of joining the police forces and make a difference within my community. You made me see both sides of the medals and the reality of job.

    Good luck
    A

  49. Mike says:

    Steve,

    Will miss the blog. There were some entertaining and yet some sad and thought provoking stories, which I’m sure opened a lot of people’s eyes even more to the state, condition and humanity of the DTES. I’m sure you have helped more people than who are willing to admit it. Good luck with the new assignment!

  50. George says:

    Thank you Steve. Great work. Stay safe.

  51. Sean says:

    I had a feeling something was up as the “I’m bald” post was up for a long time. I agree that all good things come to an end and do wish you safety, happiness and health in the next chapter of your career. There must be one DTES officer that would like a forum for his or her thoughts??

  52. Lori Lee says:

    Steve

    All first responders are special folks it is a calling. You have helped those of us outside the DTES understand and changed our way of thinking. Thank you. If you can find the time keep writing you are very good at it. No matter where you go you have all of behind you supporting you. God bless and be careful out there.

    Thank you

  53. Steve (not the cop) says:

    Honestly, my first thought upon reading that you’re effectively leaving the DTES was ‘if it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?’. You say that you’d like to stay. You seem to be liked and respected by the locals (or as liked and respected as a cop can be down there, I suppose). You care about the people there, and have forged very meaningful and helpful relationships with several people who are both vulnerable and in much need of a genuine friend… So I’m thinking ‘Why take this away from these people?’ It’s not like there’s a long line of decent, caring people just waiting to help the people of the DTES… No, the area needs all the genuinely caring people it can get. So why remove them once they’re there?
    There’s likely more to the story than I know (at least I surely hope there is – I hope that it’s not a case of it being simply the calendar time for ‘new assignments’)…

    In any case, I just wanted to add my thanks to you, Steve… for sharing what you shared… for helping to reveal the real, breathing, feeling, hurting human beings behind the statistics, behind the political manipulations, and behind the sensationalistic media reports… and also for allowing us to contribute.

    May you make your way back to the DTES – and to this blog – soon, as these are two places you belong.

  54. Corinna says:

    Thank you so much for writing your blog. I have really enjoyed reading it. It allowed me to see the softer side of the police and their work with the most vulnerable people in our cities. We need more people like you in the police force. All the best to you!

  55. Terra says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your amazing insight. A job well done in introducing people to more than the issues and ideas they had already heard. I’m sure you’ll find new inspiration and hopefully be back online.

  56. Teresa says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since I first discovered it a year ago. Your perspective, filled with humour, kindness, and even frustration, has increased my desire to be part of the solution. As mentioned in one of the comments above, your stories serve as a good reminder to keep the right attitude going. They also wonderfully highlight the human side to being a police officer. I’m really quite sad to hear that you are not going to continue, and I’m hoping you find something in your new position that inspires you to restart or continue your writing! Thanks for all the postings!

  57. Michelle says:

    I found your blog when I was in school for Psychiatric Nursing (which I now have graduated from – and as an RPN am working in mental health and addictions). The blog that you take time to update was full of honesty, love for your job,and compassion. I appreciated that you look through the addiction into the soul of the person…and while they may not be as memorable as the “Ice Cream Man” or the “Man with three degrees”…each of them are a sister, a brother, a mother and/or a friend to someone. I will miss your antidotes, and the perspective that you have on the DTES. Thank you for blogging your way through my later in life return to school….as a new nurse in her 40′s, I appreciate your words of inspiration.

  58. Stacey says:

    Hello Steve,

    I have just recently been introduced to your blog. I have never lived in Vancouver but have heard a lot about the infamous Downtown Eastside. Your blog has some of the most honest and moving posts I have seen out there. Thank you for putting a face on this misunderstood part of Vancouver and the people struggling there.

  59. Dave says:

    Steve,

    I began reading your blog shortly after you mentioned it on “The Beat”. Since then I have been hooked, reading at least a story a day and sometimes re-reading those stories.
    For many, I know your stories raised eyebrows and awareness to the issues of the DTES. I know that the number of great officers exponentially outnumber the bad apples, but those stories don’t sell. If it wasn’t for your blog, @BehindBlueLine’s twitter/blog, and other officers social media accounts those stories would never be heard.
    For someone who is aspiring to become a police officer your blog has done a lot to help me understand some of the issues police officers face and how you and your fellow officers deal with those issues.
    I’m sure this is not the last we will hear of you.
    Best of luck broadening your horizons!

  60. Darren says:

    Good-bye and thank you.

  61. Kerri says:

    I’m truly sad that you won’t be posting anymore – you have a genuine gift of writing and make the public see the “human” element of policing, something that sadly, many people don’t consider.

    Although a much different job posting for you, I think that you can find policing in District 2 rewarding. You can hopefully prevent people whom are beginning their addictions and legal woes from spiraling further downhill and landing on the DTES. These youth and adults actually stand a chance at life if gotten to early enough.

    I wish you luck with your new assignment and hope that you will reconsider continuing your blog. You could possibly change the name of the blog so that it’s not specific to the DTES? Seriously, I know for a fact that cops are looked down upon by many youth, but I also know that some of these same youth actually read your stuff, enjoy your stories, and have realized you to be a human, rather than a “f***ing pig”, etc. Your blog has a positive effect on the policing community and opening the eyes of otherwise close minded people.

  62. Jenny says:

    Steve,

    Thank you for sharing your stories. This is the only blog I read, and will miss it very much. It is important for people to be given insight into what addiction and crime really can do to an individual. Not just from TV. It also humanized police, and that is important. Stay safe in your new post!!

    Thanks!
    Jenn

  63. Andrew Z. Chan says:

    Hi Steve,

    Just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog, whether you know it or not. Its been great to know of your experiences and what it is that keeps you going. I am just in a bit of shock when I read that you will not be writing this blog any longer. Maybe start a new blog and or rebrand this one?…must be something you can write about in D2?

    Great inspiring and touching stories.
    All the best Steve!

  64. janice says:

    I will be sorry to see you go, as I loved reading all of your stories. However, I wish you well in your new endeavors. Good luck to you Steve, on your journey. Keep safe and God bless you.

  65. Ralph Tieleman says:

    Thanks, Steve

  66. Kclear says:

    Steve: Many thanks for your contribution to the lives of the folks in the DTES. It was a pleasure to read such beautifully written accounts of the everyday tragedies and joys that are part of life “in the skids”.

    Trust that you have made a difference, and that you will again.

  67. Ko Shinjo says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have been reading your blog for 5 months now. I just wanted to say that you inspired me to become a cop. I just turned 20 years old and I graduated 2 years ago. And for the longest time I was indecisive as to what career that I should take. That was until I thought about being a cop. At first I was hesitant about the idea of becoming one until I stumbled upon your blog. You showed me that not all cops are jerks. In addition, I never knew a cop can show such compassion to the people in the east side of Vancouver. I hope I can have the same impact in my community of Vancouver, and one day, I hope I can help people the same way you do Steve. As of now I am applying at JIBC for the law enforcement studies.
    Hopefully one day I can be as good a cop as you Steve.

    Thank you and good luck.

  68. Tod says:

    What a shame that they are moving you. You had one of the best blogs I have ever read, and I work in that sector for a living. And am also in recovery. God speed and keep the faith.

  69. cwhit says:

    steve,
    reading your blog has opened my mind and changed my heart. thank you for that.

  70. Meghan says:

    I really enjoyed this blog. You have truly opened my eyes to many of the issues I’m interested in exploring more. I felt like I was on the beat with you sometimes because your writing was real and engaging. Thanks for sharing Steve. I will miss reading and wish you would continue, but I do wish you all the best and try to never lose the values, experiences and skills of a “beat cop.” You’ve changed people’s lives.

    Meghan

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