Several police investigation was hampered by problems with body armor that have disabled the tactical team SPVM past five weeks
The situation was so problematic that many sensitive searches, but not deemed urgent, were deferred.
For four days last month, it is even the tactical team from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) which completely took over from that of the police department of the City of Montreal (SPVM), paralyzed.
Joined yesterday, the SPVM confirmed that a test conducted at the end of November had raised doubts about the degree of protection offered by a panel of bulletproof vests members of its SWAT team.
“We realized that there was a defect. When we saw that, we removed the equipment. ”
Ian Lafrenière, spokesman for the SPVM
During the four days that followed, is the SQ which ensured urgent search for the SPVM. Reportedly, a raid linked to Accalmie operation, targeting street gangs, in particular, have been taken over by the provincial police force.
Thereafter – until yesterday – a number of jackets from a different lot could be used. “It allowed us to have a minimum force,” recounted Mr. Lafrenière. “We were not at 100%. ”
Reportedly, this limitation has led to the postponement of many operations requiring the presence of the tactical team, but who were not considered urgent. Investigators assigned to organized crime and street gangs have particularly suffered from the situation.
The Emergency Response Team (ERT) – SWAT police force corresponding to the English-speaking countries – is particularly called upon to intervene in sensitive operations where suspects might be armed.
“We will not comment on the record,” said Martin Desrochers, spokesperson of the Police Brotherhood.
PROCEEDINGS OF POSSIBLE
According to our information, the supplier of body armor to the center of the back is Point Blank Enterprise, established in Florida. Joined yesterday by La Presse, Michael Foreman, head of international sales of the firm, declined to make any comments.
The debate on the level of protection vests in the center of the case will certainly be discussed between the police, the distributor with which it does business and the manufacturer of the vests. Reportedly, some executives SPVM believe that the situation could raise doubts in other police forces in North America.
On its website, Point Blank Enterprise claims to be the “world leader in the development, manufacture and distribution” of protective equipment for law enforcement. The company also argues that “the majority” of US troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq have borne pieces of equipment.
Mr. Lafrenière was content to note the speed with which they had been sent replacement vests. These they managed yesterday. “It was very, very fast. We received them by air, “he has said, adding that for the delivery of this equipment, it usually allow several weeks.
He also emphasized that the test that detected the defect was performed at the initiative of the SPVM, “not because our equipment is old or anything like that.”
This is not the first time that the Emergency Response Team (ERT) of the Montreal police are sidelined by bulletproof vests problems. The same situation occurred in 2011, while the SQ and the RCMP had to be called in. Tests were also detected defects in the equipment, which were nevertheless “have a life of 10 years,” lamented at the time spokesman Ian Lafrenière, in an interview with LCN. “We tried to find a plan B, without success. ”
– With Daniel Renaud
THE TACTICAL INTERVENTION GROUP IN FIGURES SPVM
400 to 600 operations each year
5 officers and 22 agents
The GTI conducts sensitive searches, but also interventions underwater, defusing explosives operations and actions related to chemical or bacteriological products