Living with a police officer opens my eyes to things, people and problems that I don’t see first hand while working in a Downtown Hospital. The police are first responders and my partner Cheryl is one of them. This blog, while maybe we all do not want to see or hear what life on the streets is really like…opens up your mind to hear, see and think about those who have serious drug addictions, mental health and over all down and out life styles.
I commend Constable Addison for Blogging about our Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (DTES). The hospital I work for now but not for much longer caters to this population and in the Intensive Care Unit where I am we see the results of serious drug abuse every day. Every day as healthcare workers we struggle with our own ethics and beliefs about this population, how we sometimes feel they are deliberately abusing their bodies when we in healthcare always offer to help. Why don’t they want our help? Why is almost dying not enough for them to want to clean up their act? I see people all ages die every week from drugs and alcohol…but I also see most of my patients get better and head right back to the streets faster than you can say discharged.
Have a look around at this blog, it’s interesting to hear a cops side of things….comment on Constable Addison’s BLOG, comment here…this is not about motorcycles but a post about life….I hope Cheryl and I hear what some of you think.
About this Blog
Hello. I’m Constable Steve Addison.
As the name suggests, Eastside Stories was created to give you a glimpse into the life of a police officer on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. There is perhaps no other place in the country that is as infamous, as political and as misunderstood as this.
While I have the support and endorsement of the Vancouver Police Department, the content you will find in this blog is my own. It will not be dictated or vetted by anyone. Here, you will read about my experiences and my insights. My goal is to enlighten, inform and maybe even stir up the odd debate.
I joined the Vancouver Police Department in 2006, after a career in B.C.’s community newspaper industry. I became a reporter because I wanted to tell stories that provoked thought and stirred discussion. I quickly found that my favourite moments were those when I was chasing police cars and ambulances, or sitting at home and eaves dropping on the police scanner. So when it came time to look for a new path in life, policing seemed the logical fit.
I thought I knew all there was to know about the Downtown Eastside. It must be one of the most written about, talked about, studied and debated neighbourhoods in the country, if not North America. After being posted here in 2007, I quickly realized how little I really knew.
The poverty, the misery and the dangers that exist on these streets are often something you simply have to see to believe.
I don’t have all the answers and I won’t pretend to. This blog will not be a soap box nor will it be a rant. It will be a place to share my experiences and tell the stories of the men and women who police this dangerous area as well as those who live here. I hope to do so in a respectful, yet honest way.
I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions about this blog, and the issues we discuss. Please post your comments and send your questions, but please do so in a way that not only encourages debate, but also honesty and respect.