South Asian cops patrol the Downtown Eastside beat (video)

Published: October 10, 2012

Most people aren’t open to getting to know the drug addicted and homeless in Vancouver’s downtown east side.
But Vancouver PD Sgt. Kal Dosanjh, with the downtown east side beat enforcement team, thinks of some of them as family.
“(When) you see them using or dealing it’s heartbreaking,” he told “We’re not only dealing with them with priority one calls, we’re not only dealing with them in street level interactions – we’re dealing with them on all levels.”
“We’ve been able to establish a very strong rapport (and) build strong bridges of communication.”
As he patrols the busy streets and alleyways by foot, he shakes hands with those he’s gotten to know over the years, speaks with them on a first name basis and checks in on their progress.
“You have to have compassion for these individuals, you can’t come in with this sense that you’re going to impose the law on everybody,” said Dosanjh. “They’re drug addicted they require help … we want to give them help.”
Dosanjh’s work goes beyond helping the struggling community off the streets and into detox centres, though – he also sees himself as a much-needed role model for the young South Asian community.
“Gang violence in the Indo-Canadian community is something that has transcended generations,” he said.
To him, it’s never a surprise to read about Indo-Canadian gang members killed or charged with drug trafficking.
“The new generation of kids … they’d see articles like this, but they’d also see the glorified version of the gangster lifestyle with lots of cash, money, cars,” he said. “And they’d … gravitate towards that lifestyle.”
“As a member of the Indo-Canadian community, it’s bothersome,” he added. “The majority of the South Asian community are hard working, have accomplished a lot.”
So Dosanjh wants to stand out against the “bad apples” and be a positive role model for young South Asian kids.
“(They can) see that we’re the good guys, we’re here for them,” he said. “We want to see them succeed and become successful in life and obviously save them from a life of gang and crime.”
Dosanjh’s enforcement team is also featured on the reality series, The Beat, which is a “very graphic portrayal of the challenges that we face as police officers in the downtown east side.”
“The TV show is almost a preventative measure that we can utilize as a proactive means to build a bridge with these kids and show them that … someday they can aspire to be like us,” he said.
And while becoming a mentor for the young generation is rewarding for Dosanjh – his line of work can still be incredibly frustrating.
Almost like “shoveling water,” he said – “You’re not getting anywhere.”
“It’s very important not to become disillusioned … to the point where you want to leave the beat because you don’t feel that you’re being effective.”
The drug addicted aren’t always open to his help and often push him away.
“But you go back to them the next day, the day after, the day after — until they’re finally ready to make a change,” he said. “You have to keep trying because the minute you stop is the minute you’ve given up.”
“I’ve always had a sense that I never want to give up – I can make a change now.”

Jeff says:

Why is there no comment on this site of the Amanda Todd suicide?? Is it because she is white that it is not relevant in the South Asian community?

Such discrimination!



Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »

Parliament hill

Dosanjh: We must criminalize glorification, encouragement of terrorism

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Canada is no stranger to terrorism. Nonetheless what has happened in the heart of our capital on the heels…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears expecting their first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) are expecting their first child, the spiritual leader…
Continue Reading »



Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »


Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »


Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS  When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

student dead

Two dead, including gunman, in school shooting north of Seattle

DOUG ESSER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

labour laws violation

U.S. company penalized for mistreatment of Indian employees working 122 hours in a week

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labour regulators…
Continue Reading »


Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »


Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Latest

Stan Lee-Bollywood

Stan Lee plans Bollywood film on his first Indian superhero

VANCOUVER DESI Stan Lee, the legendary ‘Spiderman’ creator, is reportedly planning his Bollywood entry with a film on his Indian superhero character ‘Chakra: the Invincible’….
Continue Reading »


Even my parents think I am weird, says Bollywood ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut

HINDUSTAN TIMES Kangana Ranaut has always made unconventional choices, be it her movies or the way she dresses. And the actor says she’s happy the…
Continue Reading »

Happy New Year-Bollywood

Happy New Year: Mandatory ‘formula’ and all those old Bollywood references

HINDUSTAN TIMES Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff Director: Farah Khan…
Continue Reading »