Calgary

Calgary police unveil new armoured vehicle

Calgary police have purchased a new armoured rescue vehicle to replace their old one, which they say is reaching the end of its useful life cycle.

New vehicle cost 'just over' $500K and replaces 'heavily used' 12-year-old one

The Calgary Police Service's new armoured rescue vehicle. (Calgary Police Service)

Calgary police have purchased a new armoured rescue vehicle to replace their old one, which they say is reaching the end of its useful life cycle.

The old armoured vehicle was purchased in 2007 and has been "heavily used" for the 12 years since, police said in a release.

Last year alone, it was deployed roughly 500 times.

Police said the armoured vehicle is needed in situations "that have the potential to cause significant harm to the public or police officers."

It has been used in numerous high-profile incidents, including the March 2018 case in Abbeydale where an officer was shot and a suspect was killed.

The wisdom of making such a big purchase at a time of tight city budgets came under fire on social media, with many people posting replies to the CBC Calgary Facebook page that it's not necessary and sends the wrong message.

(Facebook)
(Facebook)

But some other posts on social media defended the purchase. 

(Facebook)

The Calgary Police Service says the vehicle is not a luxury.

"In today's reality, we need to be prepared for every scenario," Insp. Nancy Farmer said in the release.

"We are seeing more and more incidents where there is a significant threat to public safety and we need to ensure that our officers are safe while they are responding to these calls."

The 12-year-old armoured vehicle will remain in use for a few more months as police train on the new one.

"And then you're going to start seeing this vehicle out on the roads," Farmer said.

Insp. Nancy Farmer talks to reporters about the new armoured vehicle. (Mike Symington/CBC)

In addition to serving as a secure and mobile base of operations, Farmer said, the 12,700-kilogram vehicle can also be used to push other vehicles out the way or block them in.

She said the new vehicle cost "just over" $500,000 and came from Quebec-based manufacturer Cambli.

The Calgary Police Service first used an armoured vehicle in 1974, during a shootout in which Det. Boyd Davidson was killed and several other officers were injured.

At that time, police had to borrow the armoured vehicle from the military.

The incident led to more specialized training for Calgary police and the creation of the service's first tactical unit.

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