Bad guys beware – the Regina Police Service will soon have a burly new tool in its hands.
This fall, the police service expects to have its new tactical vehicle on the road and operational in Regina.
Officers reviewed several different models before settling on the Terradyne Gurkha, according to Sgt. Casey Ward, team leader for Regina SWAT.
Right now, the team borrows the RCMP tactical vehicle when needed, but it isn’t always the ideal solution.
“Last October, where a suspect was shooting at us, if we had our vehicle we would have been able to use that vehicle to go rescue the patrol officer that had been pinned down,” Ward said, adding the borrowed vehicle also has its physical limitations.
“Even trying to drive the RCMP’s vehicle within the city, you know going down a street where there are cars on each side, there are times where it’s pretty close to bumping into things.”
In January, Regina city council approved an extra $750,000 for the police service, most of which is covering the cost of the custom armoured vehicle being built in Ontario.
Ward said the vehicle won’t have any weapons attached, but will have a great communications system.
“We’re able to put (the vehicle) on a front lawn of a residence and be able to, as quick as possible, put on the lights and sirens, let them know the police are there and get communication going right away,” Ward explained.
“Whether that’s a negotiator in the front of the rescue vehicle loud speaking to it, or us given the ability to give a phone number out quickly so that they can phone and be talking to crisis negotiators.”
Ward said such vehicles have been shown to speed up response times with suspects.
He added about 90 per cent of incidents are solved through negotiations, so the sooner communication begins, the sooner it can be resolved.