Calgary, AB,

Calgary Police Service replaces Armoured Rescue Vehicle

The Calgary Police Service is replacing its Armoured Rescue Vehicle (ARV) as it comes to the end of its life cycle. The ARV will be replaced with an updated model that offers the same functionality.

The ARV is a vital piece of equipment, which is used by the CPS Tactical Unit to safely resolve calls for service that have the potential to cause significant harm to the public or police officers. By utilizing the ARV, officers can ensure their own safety while they resolve a potential threat from a close proximity.

In 2018, the ARV was deployed to approximately 500 calls in the Calgary area, including several high-profile calls such as the Abbeydale shooting in March 2018 where a CPS member was shot. CPS also relied on the ARV during the response to the floods in June 2013 to assist in rescuing citizens.

The ARV is routinely deployed in high-risk situations, including responding to stolen vehicles, persons barricaded with weapons, and to execute high-risk warrants where there is a known potential for danger.

“In today’s reality, we need to be prepared for every scenario. 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,” says Inspector Nancy Farmer of the Calgary Police Service Support Section. “We have seen countless incidents in our city, and in other jurisdictions, where the use of an Armoured Rescue Vehicle has saved lives.”

The Service first used an armoured vehicle in 1974 during an incident, dubbed Black Friday, which involved a lengthy shootout that injured several officers and killed one, Det. Boyd Davidson. During that incident, the Service borrowed an armoured vehicle from a Canadian Armed Forces base in Calgary. The events of Black Friday demonstrated the need for a police unit with specialized tools and training and led to the creation of the Service’s first Tactical Unit.

Across Canada, there have been several fatality inquiries where the use of an ARV to respond to life-threatening situations has been recommended as a best practice to preserve the lives of police officers and citizens.

In 2007, the Service purchased it’s own ARV, which has been heavily used over it’s almost 12-year lifespan. The Tactical Unit will continue to use the old ARV over the next few months as members are trained and become familiar with the new ARV, at which time the old one will be decommissioned due to increasing maintenance costs and the discontinuation of replacement parts.