Contact 604-560-2285
Toll Free 1-855-677-3720

Subscribe to our mailing list

12th Annual Gangs & Guns Pre-Training Symposium Day

 Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown 1128 West Hastings St. Vancouver BC V6E 4R5

February. 12, 2020 Gangs & Guns Pre-Training Symposium

*Purchase 5 from the same agency and receive the 6th ticket complimentary

*The pre-Conference ticket is only eligible for purchase after you have bought a ticket to the 2-day Gangs & Guns Training Symposium Feb 13/14

*No student rate for this ticket.

Session Selections:

Session Selections, you will choose one for the morning and one for the afternoon.

AM Session Option #1 Dr. Keiron McConnell & Rob Rai – GRIP
AM Session Option #2 Michelle Horchuk “Street Gang Trends” (Edmonton)

PM Session Option #3 Joe Calendino & Brandon Steele – “Yo Bro, Yo Girl Youth Initiative”
PM Session Option #4 Det. Andrew Hammond & Det. Peglar Artinian “Street Gangs & their Influence through Social Media” (Toronto)

Cancellation Details:

All cancellations must be submitted by email by Jan. 13, 2020 and will be subject to a $50.00 administration fee.

No refunds will be given for cancellations made after Jan. 13, 2020 however you are invited to send a replacement at no extra cost provided you notify Safer Schools Together of the name substitution by Jan. 30, 2020.  After Jan. 30, 2020 name substitutions will be subject to a $25.00 administration fee.

It is the sole responsibility of the delegate to cancel any room reservations made with the hotel.

Refunds will not be provided for registrants who fail to attend the conference or a portion of the conference.


Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown

Address1128 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6E 4R5

Marriott’s Reservations toll free number 1 800 207 4150

Parking Details:

Impark parking available at hotel site.

Park on P3 or P4

Early Bird Rate: $16.00 for entrance between 5:00am and 9:30am, and ends at 6:00pm

Evening Rate: $7.50 for 6:00pm to 1:00am . Overnight rate: $36.50


Presenters and bios:

Dr. Keiron McConnell & Rob Rai

‘GRIP’ Gang Reduction through Informed Practices

A joint sponsored initiative through the Ministry of Public Safety and the Ministry of Education has been successful in providing school based Education on gangs.  This session will discuss the framework of the GRIP program and provide insight into how GRIP is building capacity for front-line police, educators, counsellors, school administrators, probation officers and non-governmental organizations on understanding the unique gang Landscape in British Columbia.


Bio: Dr. Keiron McConnell has worked within the criminal justice system for the last 30 years in a frontline capacity.  Specifically, in this work, he has worked exclusively in gang prevention, intervention and suppression for the last 15 years with a variety of police gang units.  This practitioner experience combined with the pursuit of lifelong academic learning situates him for teaching and facilitating learning sessions on a variety of criminal justice-related topics and specifically gang and organized crime.

Dr. McConnell has held sessional/contract instructor status at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Douglas College, Royal Roads University, Wilfred Laurier University,  the Native Education Centre and Simon Fraser University Criminology.   Moreover, Dr. McConnell is a faculty member at  Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the Faculty of Arts-Criminology.  In addition, he is one of the Safer Schools Together GRIP (Gang Reduction through Informed Practices) facilitators

Dr. McConnell has a master’s degree from the University of Leicester and a doctorate degree from London Metropolitan University at the John Grieve Center for Excellence in Policing.   His thesis is titled,  Gangs in British Columbia: Mafioso, Gangster or Thug? which included qualitative research with almost 250 hours of field observations in Chicago, Toronto, Hobbema, Los Angeles and London, England. He has continued his research with gangs in New Orleans, Edmonton, Calgary, and Detroit.

Dr. McConnell was awarded the Frederick Thrasher Award for Excellence in Gang Scholarship, Leadership and Enforcement in 2014 at the National Gang Centre in Chicago, Illinois.  He served as a citizen participant on the Surrey Mayors Task Force on Gangs, is a member of both the Canadian and the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing and is on the Board of the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago, Illinois.  He has published in both the Journal of Gang Research and the Journal of Police Practices.

Dr. Dianne Symonds and Dr. McConnell recently completed their book, Stop Gangs Now: Your Part, a community health perspective on reducing gangs in the community.


Bio: Rob currently holds the position of Director of School & Community Connections for the Surrey School District (British Columbia’s largest School District), and has been working in the field of school-based youth violence prevention for the last 15 years in both this and his previous position as Manager of Safe Schools for the Surrey School District.

His work in this field has taken him throughout North America where he has collaborated with experts on the subject in both Canada and the USA. Known for his innovative approaches to working with students and at-risk youth Rob has been recognized in the United States and by all three levels of government in Canada.

Rob has been interviewed or featured in more than 200 print, video, or on-line articles and has won numerous local community awards for his dedication to vulnerable and at-risk youth. Rob continues to volunteer in Surrey each year, engaging with youth at every opportunity.

Sgt Michelle Horchuk, Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement

‘Street Gang Trends’ (Edmonton)

This session will provide an overview of the Edmonton gangs and related violence and provide insight into the connection between Edmonton and the rest of the country. There will be an inside look at the Hospitality Policing Unit (HPU) which was formed to reduce violence in and around the licensed venues. HPU relies on various Municipal and Provincial legislation to manage the risk of violence while gathering and sharing significant and real-time intelligence to internal and external partners. Best practises, lessons learned and new objectives will also be discussed.

Bio: Sgt Michelle Horchuk is a 17-year member of the Edmonton Police Service and she has worked as a Detective in the Institutions Investigations Unit and as a Patrol Sergeant in Downtown Edmonton. Prior to her supervisory experience, Sgt Horchuk worked in Downtown Division Beats, Hate Crimes, Spousal Violence, patrol and was on loan to REACH Edmonton where she was a member of the Sexual Exploitation Working Group focused on Human Trafficking. Sgt Horchuk coordinated a program for high-risk youth many of them associated to street gangs. Sgt Horchuk is currently working in the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement Section as the Supervisor of the Hospitality Policing Unit.


Joe Calendino & Brandon Steele

‘Yo Bro, Yo Girl’ Youth Initiative

Yo Bro | Yo Girl Youth Initiative: Cultivating resiliency in at-risk youth and empowing them with tools to avoid the perils of drugs, gangs, crime and violence.


Det. Andrew Hammond & Det. Peglar Artinian

‘Street Gangs & their Influence through Social Media’

How gangs are using social media to flaunt their illegal activities and incite rival gangs and their members for violence .

Bio: Det. Andrew Hammond  has experience in the identification of urban Street Gangs and its membership through various methods. He has developed his knowledge base by speaking to over 400 gang members within the city of Toronto, attended countless conferences public consolations as well as the various partnerships with external agencies. Andrew is a board member on the Ontario Gang Investigators Association and is a member of 4 other gang associations across North America. He lectures extensively on current gang trends, gang migration, gang indicia, and how social media is being used to fuel the gang violence.

Bio: Det. Peglar Artinian has been an officer for 18 years and has worked in the Toronto Police Gang Unit for the past 3 years. He is a Court qualified Gang Expert and has experience  in the identification of urban Street Gangs and its membership through various methods. He has developed his knowledge base by speaking to over 700 gang members within the city of Toronto, attended countless conferences , public consolations as well as developed various partnerships with external agencies. He lectures extensively on current gang trends in Toronto, gang migration, gang indicia, gangs and human trafficking and how social media is fuelling the gang violence.

$147.00 includes 5% GST on Canadian Events OnlyAdd to cart