Her Time: Organized Crime and its Effect on Women
Her Time was created in response to the surge of young women involved in gangs and organized crime, "Her Time" was founded to address the lack of education and resources available to females in this position. This program is dedicated to empowering women who are caught up in gang life by providing them with valuable information on the dangers and consequences of such involvement.
Created by Detective Anisha Myette and Sergeant Sandy Avelar, "Her Time" is run by two frontline detectives who have personal experience in handling gang crimes. Women who have successfully left organized crime are also involved in this initiative, sharing their stories and experiences to help young girls and women who may be at risk.
"Her Time" offers an after-school program for girls, as well as presentations for various organizations including law enforcement agencies, colleges, high schools, public health agencies, and service industries. This is the only female-led and female-focused program of its kind in British Columbia, Canada.
'There’s a lot of information that we can bring to the public and try to educate them, but what’s more powerful than hearing the story from someone that’s lived it?'
Sergeant Sandy Avelar
Sergeant Sandy Avelar has dedicated 25 years of her career to the Vancouver Police Department, where she has worked in various sections such as Patrol, Vice, Youth Services, and the Organized Crime Section-Gang Crime Unit. Currently serving as a Sergeant in the Organized Crime Section-Gang Crime Unit, Sandy brings extensive operational experience and serves as a Tactical Advisor for her agency in the Public Order Group.
Sandy has specialized training from the National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago, including International and Transnational Gang Problems, Female Gangs, Gang Prevention Skills, and Management Skills for Gang Outreach. In addition to her work with law enforcement, Sandy co-founded "Her Time," an anti-gang initiative for females. She has presented "Her Time" to audiences including student groups, community groups, and law enforcement agencies throughout Canada and the United States. Sandy also co-designed and currently oversees three Brick and Mortar programs for Her Time Girls Groups and helped to design curriculum for these programs.
Her outstanding work in the field of community service has earned Sandy recognition, including the 2019 International Association of Women Police award for Community Service and two nominations for the RBC Woman of the Year in Social Change. Sandy is currently completing graduate school, specializing in gang wives and organized crime.
Detective Anisha Myette
Detective Anisha Myette has an impressive 15-year career with the Vancouver Police Department. Her journey led her to the Major Crime Section - Homicide Unit, where she currently serves after years in the Organized Crime Section- Gang Crime Unit. Anisha started her policing career with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia, working in the Covert Intelligence Section for five years. In this role, she was exposed to multi-million-dollar organized crime cases that reached national, cross-border and international levels. Since then, she has focused on organized crime and intelligence and is skilled in handling confidential informants, earning her the distinction of being the top female informant handler in the Vancouver Police Department for 2019/2020.
Anisha is also a co-founder of “Her Time”, an anti-gang initiative for females. She has presented this initiative in several venues, including the National Gang Crime Research Center’s annual conference in Chicago, IL, where she received specialized training in areas such as Female Gangs and Management Skills for Gang Outreach. Anisha has also presented at the Gang Conference in San Diego and for the East Coast Gang Association in Atlantic City.
Anisha has served as the liaison officer for VPD for the End Gang Life Program, an anti-gang program created by CFSEU. She co-designed and currently oversees three brick and mortar programs for Her Time Girls Groups, helping to design the curriculum for these programs. Anisha's contributions to her community have been recognized, earning her the 2019 International Association of Women Police award for Community Service and two-time nomination for the RBC Woman of the Year in Social Change.