Committee of Youth Officers of Ontario

COYO Conference - Feb 20-22, 2019
Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls, ON

Conference Information


COYO 2019 - Rage, Regulation, Radicalization, and Resilience

February 20 - 22, 2019 Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario 

Registration Now Closed

Registration Fee: $425 (HST included)    

Student Fee: $200 (HST included - must show valid student ID and be 19+ as alcohol is served) ***Students must contact Sarah Woods at prior to completing registration

Included in registration fee: 

Wednesday, February 20th - Welcome Reception

Thursday, February 21st - Morning refreshments and snacks, lunch, networking wine and cheese

Friday, February 22nd - Buffet breakfast


Online via PayPal (link below)

(Paypal account NOT required, credit card option available)


Cheque/Money Order 

Payable to "Committee of Youth Officers" (a $45 fee will be charged for all NSF cheques)

Mail to: Kelly-Anne Dugas, Durham Regional Police, 605 Rossland Road East, Box 911, Whitby, Ontario L1N 0B8

No Refunds Available

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Woods at

Registration Payment

C$ 425.00

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card


Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls, ON

City-view room: $115/night + applicable taxes

Fallsview room: $140/night + applicable taxes

Hotel Reservations: 1-888-229-9961 or online

Quote "COYO conference" when booking

Early bird rate ends February 1, 20190


Patrick O’Sullivan – Breaking Away: A Harrowing Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph


 Patrick O’Sullivan speaks to ten years of ever escalating physical abuse and emotional cruelty at the hands of his father. Few had an idea of the dysfunction and violence at the O’Sullivans' home. Patrick's story is about abuse, but it is also a story about triumph, as he revisits the ghosts of his past. There is great learning for all of us in his story and about asking the deeper questions and addressing the often unspoken needs of the youth we work with.

Dr. Susan Hopkins – Self-Regulation and Explosive Behaviour: Why and Why Now?


Parents, educators, police and other service providers are seeing increasing episodes of explosive behaviour in children: challenging behaviours that at times may compromise the safety of others. Several approaches have been developed to help teachers, professionals and parents deal with such behaviour, however, these methods pay insufficient attention to the stressors which are the primary cause of the behaviour. Self-regulation teaches us that we must first begin the detective work to identify the roots of the behaviour problem.

Jamil Jivani – Why Young Men Rage: Race and the Crisis of Identity


Jamil’s change leadership is informed by his personal journey of empowerment from being a failing high school student and working as a dishwasher, to attending the most exclusive law school in the world. Coming from a single parent household, as a youth he nearly fell into many of the traps that send young men on a detour away from success. It is this experience that propelled him into activism, focusing on issues such as bridging the gap between police and communities, overcoming the radicalization of youth, and encouraging young people to achieve success. Jamil Jivani offers a counterintuitive, often provocative argument for a change in the way we look at young men, and for how they see themselves.

Detective Feras Ismail – Countering Violent Extremism Initiative


Violent extremism is a low frequency, high impact issue that is often misunderstood by the majority and tends to have a negative lasting residual effect on local, national and international communities. Peel Regional Police’s Countering Violent Extremism Initiative (CVEI) presentations aim to demystify terrorism and provide a more holistic perspective to this commonly misunderstood phenomenon. They key messages and concepts discussed provide a balanced narrative that both; bring awareness to the various behaviours associated with the onset of ideological indoctrination, while emphasizing the importance of cultural awareness, empathy, understanding, and early identification, engagement and prevention – as being key factors in combating the spread of violent extremism here in Canada.


BLANKET EXERCISE - KAIROS CANADA - Cpl. Carol Clark & P/C Brooke McRoberts

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise program is a unique, participatory history lesson developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.


Corporal Carol Clark has been an officer with the RCMP for 32 years. She has been deployed to the OPP Indigenous Awareness Training Unit since 2009. She is an integral member of the unit in facilitating Indigenous Awareness training to OPP employees and Police recruits through the Ontario Police College. She has been a team lead in the development and progress in the Niigan Mosewak program, and is a valued teacher and knowledge keeper to the Indigenous youth and mentors in attendance every year. Corporal Carol Clark is a member of the Muskoday First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada.  

 Brooke is a proud Anishnawbe Kwe  from the fish clan in Rama First Nation, she has been a police officer for 14 years- working primarily in indigenous communities. In her current role as an Indigenous Awareness Trainer, she utilizes her years of experience to teach officers about indigenous culture, history and best practices on the frontline. Brooke has been involved with youth programming throughout her career both professionally and personally. Most recently planning and delivering life promotion programming in northern indigenous communities. She is a trained KAIROS Blanket Exercise Facilitator and has developed the exercise as a portion of Recruit training for all OPP recruits.


 How do we recognize, respond to, and support youth who may have a developmental delay or disability? What makes intellectual or developmental disability distinct from mental illness? This workshop will explore markers that may appear and could warrant further exploration of a possible disability; identification of a disability; and challenges in interacting with the justice system. Some solutions relating to different supports will also be addressed. 

EMOTIONAL REGULATION - Dr. Leena Augimeri and Sarah Woods

There is an emerging body of literature linking disruptive behaviour problems and the lack of self-regulation, emotion regulation and self-control. Youth who have difficulty regulating their emotions are much more likely to have higher levels of aggression, rule-breaking and externalizing behaviours (including co-morbidity such as depression and anxiety). These individuals may also present with a broad range of risk factors and problematic behaviours beginning at an early age. The most effective intervention programs for high-risk youth, including those involved in the youth justice system, utilize a therapeutic multimodal approach that builds on their strengths while addressing the variety of risk factors linked to violent offending that include: developing social emotional skills, improving familial relationships, cognitive restructuring, advocacy, and case management.

This presentation will highlight the newest SNAP developments and findings:

(1) SNAP® (Stop Now And Plan) model and how it can impact the developing brain by increasing emotion regulation, self-control and problem solving skills; and 

(2) SNAP Youth Justice model for youth involved in custody, probation and community – by discussing the co-creation/development process, gender and culture responsiveness, interactive technology, and preliminary evaluation feedback. 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING - East Metro Youth Services

East Metro Youth Service is an accredited Child and Adolescent Mental Health Agency. The Gender Based Violence program provides services to youth who are survivors of domestic human trafficking. Our GBV program includes: Trauma Therapy, Peer Mentorship, Community Outreach and Groups for survivors. Our program works with survivors to re-build healthy relationships, reduce shame and blame and to provide psychoeducation on sexual exploitation. Our presentation will focus on the myths and misconceptions around human trafficking, warning signs, stages of exploitation and effective intervention through a stages of change model.


Based in Toronto, Alyssa Tanz is a social worker and the Clinical Manager of the Gender-Based Violence Program at East Metro Youth Services. Alyssa has worked with young people who are survivors of trauma including: childhood trauma, sexual abuse and assault, and domestic human trafficking. She has experience working in the field of child and adolescent community based mental health services delivering individual and family therapy, managing a mental health walk in clinic and collaborating on youth wellness initiatives across Ontario. Alyssa holds a Masters in Social work from Yeshiva University and has experience working within the Trauma Informed Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solutions Focused Brief Therapy and Harm Reduction frameworks. 

 Mesha Maloney is a Peer Mentor for the Gender Based Violence program at East Metro Youth Services. As a former sex worker she uses her lived experience as well as her approachable personality to help people who also share experiences within the sex trade. Mesha facilitates training programs and workshops for service providers, youth, law enforcement on domestic human trafficking. As a former student at one of Ontario’s leading universities’ for art and design she uses her background in Indigenous Visual Culture and Social Sciences to support and advocate for youth. 


Janis Todd has been employed with the OPP for 12 years, previously as a Special Constable and currently as a Trainer with the Indigenous Awareness Training Unit. Janis is an integral member of the unit in facilitating Indigenous Awareness training to OPP employees and police recruits through the Ontario Police College. Janis is a vital member of the team in leading the Niigan Mosewak program successfully every year. Janis has been a strong ally and educator in Indigenous awareness. She has two children, Tristin and Kody who are members of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory in Ontario, Canada.  

SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS - Cst. Tony Santeramo

 Tony Santeramo is a Police Constable with the Toronto Police Service.  In his 18 years of service he has worked in the Public Response Unit, Criminal Investigation Bureau, Traffic Unit and the Community Response Unit. Currently, he is working in the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit as the Lockdown & Threat Assessment Coordinator. 


 Cst. Cannon has been an officer with the Peel Regional Police for 23 years and is a proud mother of two daughters.  She has worked in areas such as uniform patrol, Youth Education ,Neighbourhood Policing Unit, Street Crime Unit, and what used to be called our ‘Child Pornography” unit.  For several years she coordinated and continued to develop a program called the Youth In Policing Initiative, which gave Peel Police the chance to work with 15 high school students over the summer months.   She is currently assigned to Crime Prevention Services where she develops and implements community safety initiatives and provides current and relevant safety information to members of the public.  


 Constable Laurie McCann has been a police officer with Toronto Police since 1998. She’s currently assigned to the Toronto Police College as an instructor teaching Social Media as well as Mental Health/Suicide Awareness for officers. She has been actively involved with Social Media for 7 years now. She has spoken Nationally and Internationally on Social Media, Cyberbullying and Law Enforcement. Laurie previously spent 4 years speaking to high school students, parents and other police agencies regarding Social Media and the effects of Cyberbullying, Sexting, and safe Internet use. 


Barrington C. Hector is currently the Project Manager for Springboard’s national Weed Out the Risk program. Prior to this, he served as project manager for Reading, Willing & Able, the Canadian Association of Community Living’s inclusive employment initiative, and as program coordinator for Student Links, the provincial association’s Ontario-wide youth mentorship initiative. He completed his Bachelor of Social Work at York University and holds a diploma in Community Development from George Brown College, both in Toronto. His commitment to community goes beyond his paid roles – and has seen him involved with various organizations in volunteer capacities including Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer Toronto and the student unions of post-secondary institutes he has attended.  

Alexis Veigh has worked on the Weed Out the Risk program since 2014, previously having worked with at risk and justice involved youth over the past twenty years. She is passionate about working with young people and has spent the bulk of her career facilitating a wide range of programming in various settings as well as providing peer and staff training. Alexis’ educational background in Criminology/Sociology (University of Toronto) and Addictions Counselling (McMaster University) has guided her delivery of the Weed Out the Risk messaging to over 17, 000 youth to date. Alexis is known for having a knack for connecting with youth and presenting from a harm reduction, non-judgemental approach, leading to exceptional feedback from both professionals and youth about her ability to discuss emerging cannabis issues with young people.