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Active Shooter In NS. April 19 2020

Booter

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I’ve trained hundreds, if not thousands, of officers of all levels in firearms, if you include training them in scenarios making decisions I did around two thousand a year for a few years. Several agencies.

I’m aware of the limitations of training time, logistics, and operations.

You can tell me what’s not okay- i actually agree. But I’m telling you that the law and government has decided that for you already- your bone is with them. Canada has accepted “meh” as a standard. The saving grace is- most members want to do better than that. But if you want to meh and get paid- you can.

I’ll make pipe hitters out of anyone you want- but it takes time, money, bodies. I’m not in recruiting. I’m just some senior smuck. I advise and then I make it work.

Like you make it sound like it’s that easy. There are detachments that risk out their annual bare vanilla firearms quals because of the logistics. It’s less common than it was but bet your ass it’s still out there. I would love to be having this talk over a beer instead- I would blow your mind with what things actually roll out like once you get away from capital cities. And it’s a lot of people trying to make it work.

That too comfy relationship at the top is part of the problem in my uneducated opinion.

Mario- medical is still every three for regular guys. Tactical Specialties are annual and they also enforce their physical testing,
 

Booter

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I’m always worried I am being An apologist. I admit I agreed, outside this context, with all the things being said etc that can be done better. I’m just saying how they are currently- not that they “should” be done this way
 

Halifax Tar

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I’m always worried I am being An apologist. I admit I agreed, outside this context, with all the things being said etc that can be done better. I’m just saying how they are currently- not that they “should” be done this way

I have no issues with your replies. I know they come from experience and expertise. And while I may disagree with them I can respect them.

I think we both want well trained, well equipped, smart and dedicated Police officers.
 

Fishbone Jones

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No apologies required. I am ignorant of real status, requirements and fixes. That's why I'm asking. Tanks for your replies and candor. I still don't like the current situation. It would appear that all those Superintendents all the way up to Commisioner Lucki are not intent in improving the Force. Where are their voices demanding the government fix it? I know, rhetorical. They sound like their carreers and politics are the uppermost things in their minds and not their subordinates
 

lenaitch

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I have a few questions. Brihard mentioned a 'small town police force'
You mentioned 'systems and equipment meant for 1989 rather than 2022, without support after eating a box of pizza pops and checking their emails.'

Are these all RCMP? The RCMP are our national police force. Do they not all get the same training? Do they not all have themselves physical requirements? Are we to assume that these officers were incapable of performance due to lack of training? They got surprised and reacted to such. Do we then assume the RCMP in other small towns across Canada are likely to react the same way? Your own statements don't exactly instill confidence in ordinary citizens. Comms is always a problem. Our office actually had to order the OPP in our county to upgrade their systems and the pushback I got from senior personnel was incredible. I don't know what other equipment meets the standard of antiquated but you are armed with modern C8 assault carbines, I have no idea what sighting system it uses, but we used to shoot 500 meters with iron sights. What kind of force doesn't teach shooters how to lead a moving target? Perhaps some time on the skeet range instead of shredding paper indoors.Vehicles are just a means to get A to B. I could suggest hard armour in the trunk, if they get into a shootout. What other modernization are you missing? Now, by my reading, either the RCMP in Ottawa are the same standard as these 'small town police force' or the STPF are undertrained, out of shape and incompetent. Which is it?

I understood the term "small town police force" in the context that any deployed police service is a collection of work locations (detachments, posts, stations, whatever) that are staffed to meet the needs of their assigned area. Some are large and urban - many if not most are not. They report upward through a common command chain and get to draw on specialized resources as required. At the patrol level, a 10 member police service and a 10 member detachment are going to be very similar.

Many police officers in Canada face little violence, certainly life threating violence, throughout their careers. Many if not most will never fire their weapon in anger. As a society, we see that as a good thing, but it can have a cost. I have no doubt that a copper in a major US city, or 52 Division Toronto (or some of the Greater Vancouver area RCMP detachments by the sounds of it) would have been tactically faster on their mental feet than I ever was on a typical day on the road.

Police services provide mandatory training to the level that legislation or policy requires. In Ontario, that is mandated by the province, so it is the same for the 5500 member OPP as it is for 9-member Deep River PS (which probably contracts its training). If the public wants that standard to be raised, and what it sounds like people are expecting is very close to tactical-level, fair enough, but they're going to have to be willing to pay for it, both in increased staffing to cover training absences as well as enhanced facilities.
 

Booter

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building off Lenaitchs post, which I agree with. I think it’s important that we consider the gear shifts for mentality of officers are making- day to day- interviewing kids. Coach sports.Talking at schools, being involved in the community. Walk around. Be friendly. Assist ems, find missing people Then also train to have that switch flip and be tactically proficient hunters of men.

It’s what we pay for - for sure. But it’s a Herculean expectation of the everyday person on the road.

Public safety isn’t an area of “good enough” to me. But some of my experience with various levels of government suggests that it’s possible that it is for others.

A few years ago a national program changed, a recommendation was made at an inquiry that a particular training had to happen- municipal governments were concerned about the cost. Because of the funding model the rcmp uses- so while things are standard across the board. Some things aren’t paid by Ottawa- and because of that there is some deviation across the country.

Even some towns side by side will have some minor deviations.

Some Municipal governments will be shown a model that allows them to have a coordinated set of resources tackle some priority issues, that they identified, but they will stay away from that process- in favour of one that has a car show up on Main Street three times a day.

The show is better than the result. I have worked with some progressive municipal governments- my point is it’s just harder than “it’s the same across the country.”
 

Booter

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Let me try something. I’m not sure it’ll work-

Why do we separate infantry with specializations- why is there a jump company, a recce platoon, sniper cell etc.

If they have use, and could be spontaneously necessary- why aren’t they all trained in these things?

Why do I have different levels of PWT etc? If everyone can be made a gunfighter why don’t we?

Well over half of an rcmp officers time is spent admin wise. And they are selected and trained to a general level. They are not special in any remarkable way besides the ones who have an honest desire to serve their communities. The average rcmp cadet physically isn’t special, after their hundred hours of defensive tactics they aren’t “fighters”, on the old course of fire they would score 250 and be perfect- but they could graduate with a 200. That’s not remarkable.

They are generalists.

It’s a bit loose- like I can see some objections to some of this.
 

brihard

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I have no issues with your replies. I know they come from experience and expertise. And while I may disagree with them I can respect them.

I think we both want well trained, well equipped, smart and dedicated Police officers.
Yup, I think everyone does. Unfortunately hardly anyone wants to pay for enough of them, or for that training. Every day on the range is a day not working detachment files and solving crimes. For smaller rural/remote detachments, there’s also the added costs of travel and meals for training.

The raw material - the intelligence, ethics, professionalism, and dedication of the members - is generally quite good. But nothing substitutes for training and for repping it out, and it’s extremely difficult to get a whole team who normally work the road together to all have training at the same time to work command and control. Outside of specialized teams, good luck getting training days built into the schedule.

As for standardized training- yes there are standards for performance and courses. The actual delivery of training falls to each ‘division’, which in most cases corresponds to a province. Every province where you call 911 and get RCMP is very nearly its own independent police force in a lot of ways. A lot of things you would expect to be the same or easily compatible, aren’t.

Bringing this back home to the subject at hand: Portapique was an unprecedented event in Canada that landed on a rural night shift. Command and control was overwhelmed. Dispatchers and call takers were overwhelmed. And while all this was happening, the normal calls to police you get any night or any morning were still coming in. Mobilizing more members via fanout took time, and police across disparate detachments don’t by default coalesce into an organic structure the way a section of infantry fragmented in battle would naturally look for a platoon commander, or a platoon commander would find a company commander who’s making sense to glom on to. Every dead body was a crime scene to secure and be prepared to literally defend themselves there if the shooter came back.

I struggle to conceive of a worse situation for any police service to handle. A complex terrorism attack in an urban setting would likely have been literally easier to handle and resource than this. A shooter dressed like a cop and driving a well done replica PC was just shitty icing on a shitty cake.
 
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KevinB

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Yup, I think everyone does. Unfortunately hardly anyone wants to pay for enough of them, or for that training. Every day on the range is a day not working detachment files and solving crimes. For smaller rural/remote detachments, there’s also the added costs of travel and meals for training.
Overworked and undermanned…

The raw material - the intelligence, ethics, professionalism, and dedication of the members - is generally quite good. But nothing substitutes for training and for repping it out, and it’s extremely difficult to get a whole team who normally work the road together to all have training at the same time to work command and control. Outside of specialized teams, good luck getting training days built into the schedule.

As for standardized training- yes there are standards for performance and courses. The actual delivery of training falls to each ‘division’, which in most cases corresponds to a province. Every province where you call 911 and get RCMP is very nearly its own independent police force in a lot of ways. A lot of things you would expect to be the same or easily compatible, aren’t.

Bringing this back home to the subject at hand: Portapique was an unprecedented event in Canada that landed on a rural night shift. Command and control was overwhelmed. Dispatchers and call takers were overwhelmed. And while all this was happening, the normal calls to police you get any night or any morning were still coming in. Mobilizing more members via fanout took time, and police across disparate detachments don’t by default coalesce into an organic structure the way a section of infantry fragmented in battle would naturally look for a platoon commander, or a platoon commander would find a company commander who’s making sense to glom on to. Every dead body was a crime scene to secure and be prepared to literally defend themselves there if the shooter came back.
110%


I struggle to conceive of a worse situation for any police service to handle. A complex terrorism attack in an urban setting would likely have been literally easier to handle and resource than this.
I’d say that depends on the area - we learned down here (DC area) with the Navy Yard shooting, and then a Multi Jurisdictional Ex at Quantico that the more pieces of separate LEA’s you add the more it becomes a train wreck.

I’ve worked on three different Federal LE Task Forces - all have been SWAT/ERT/TAC related (which theoretically has a high standard of weapons and tactical training) and I can tell you that it can be a total cluster - I’ve had several near blue on blues, due to complacency and incompetence - and it isn’t getting better…

A shooter dressed like a cop and driving a well done replica PC was just shitty icing on a shitty cake.
Nightmare scenario, as you can be pretty sure he’s going to be able to get the drop on you, which will make anyone that much more on edge.
 

brihard

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I’d say that depends on the area - we learned down here (DC area) with the Navy Yard shooting, and then a Multi Jurisdictional Ex at Quantico that the more pieces of separate LEA’s you add the more it becomes a train wreck.

I’ve worked on three different Federal LE Task Forces - all have been SWAT/ERT/TAC related (which theoretically has a high standard of weapons and tactical training) and I can tell you that it can be a total cluster - I’ve had several near blue on blues, due to complacency and incompetence - and it isn’t getting better…
America is more of a cluster with the much greater number of police services or entities with policing responsibilities in certain geographies. It’s pretty clear who ‘the police’ are for incident command in any location, and even in a complex jurisdiction like Ottawa, a lot of the structure and joint command plans are already in place. But I was referring more to having enough bodies under a coherent command structure in a smaller geography. Portapique was chaotic not just for how many deaths over how long a time, but also have physically far it spread. While it was a single police dispatch centre running it, they themselves were limited in the number of call takers and dispatchers, and police out there are not at all accustomed to rolling into a larger incident command the way they would be in an urban centre. That’s all I was going for with that.
 

RedFive

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Yup, I think everyone does. Unfortunately hardly anyone wants to pay for enough of them, or for that training. Every day on the range is a day not working detachment files and solving crimes. For smaller rural/remote detachments, there’s also the added costs of travel and meals for training.

The raw material - the intelligence, ethics, professionalism, and dedication of the members - is generally quite good. But nothing substitutes for training and for repping it out, and it’s extremely difficult to get a whole team who normally work the road together to all have training at the same time to work command and control. Outside of specialized teams, good luck getting training days built into the schedule.

As for standardized training- yes there are standards for performance and courses. The actual delivery of training falls to each ‘division’, which in most cases corresponds to a province. Every province where you call 911 and get RCMP is very nearly its own independent police force in a lot of ways. A lot of things you would expect to be the same or easily compatible, aren’t.

Bringing this back home to the subject at hand: Portapique was an unprecedented event in Canada that landed on a rural night shift. Command and control was overwhelmed. Dispatchers and call takers were overwhelmed. And while all this was happening, the normal calls to police you get any night or any morning were still coming in. Mobilizing more members via fanout took time, and police across disparate detachments don’t by default coalesce into an organic structure the way a section of infantry fragmented in battle would naturally look for a platoon commander, or a platoon commander would find a company commander who’s making sense to glom on to. Every dead body was a crime scene to secure and be prepared to literally defend themselves there if the shooter came back.

I struggle to conceive of a worse situation for any police service to handle. A complex terrorism attack in an urban setting would likely have been literally easier to handle and resource than this. A shooter dressed like a cop and driving a well done replica PC was just shitty icing on a shitty cake.
NS could have had a much better response from the RCMP, but the politicians who demanded discount Policing and the Senior Management of the RCMP who allowed it to be so are at fault.

The RCMP needs to stop being the Walmart of Policing, and tell the people holding the purse strings what it's going to cost if they want the RCMP to police their jurisdiction.

Personal opinion only.
 

Booter

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NS could have had a much better response from the RCMP, but the politicians who demanded discount Policing and the Senior Management of the RCMP who allowed it to be so are at fault.

The RCMP needs to stop being the Walmart of Policing, and tell the people holding the purse strings what it's going to cost if they want the RCMP to police their jurisdiction.

Personal opinion only.
There’s a complex complacent relationship between us and the provincial governments where they tell us what they’re willing to spend and we say “what are the odds! That’s exactly what we need!”

Ultimately we recommend officers and equipment and the province says yes or no- and if they say no we are very quiet about our requests so as to not embarrass anyone
 

Jarnhamar

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Ultimately we recommend officers and equipment and the province says yes or no- and if they say no we are very quiet about our requests so as to not embarrass anyone

Maybe what's required is police and their new police union to be more vocal about this. Put the province on the spot and embarrass people.

Of course that's a double edge sword with no handle.
 

mariomike

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Maybe what's required is police and their new police union to be more vocal about this. Put the province on the spot and embarrass people.

Nothing new about 9-1-1 union scare tactics where I live.

Radio ads with hysterical callers. Dispatchers apologising they have no available units in the area to send.

The narrator putting a fright into listeners, "It's about public safety. Your safety. Maybe even your life."

They won the two-officer car arbitration in 1976. When Metro slow-walked its implementation, the union went on a slow-down.

Not sure if the new RCMP union is ready to go that far, yet.
 

Booter

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Maybe what's required is police and their new police union to be more vocal about this. Put the province on the spot and embarrass people.

Of course that's a double edge sword with no handle.
There are some items officer safety wise that have to provided for so they don’t get an option. But that’s when the money shell game starts. And generally for safety kit I don’t think anyone objects.

Where they start to object is things like paying for more officers.

I’d like to explain deeper but it’s not for open talk- but there are some stories I’d love to share on your post
 
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daftandbarmy

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There are some items officer safety wise that have to provided for so they don’t get an option. But that’s when the money shell game starts. And generally for safety kit I don’t think anyone objects.

Where they start to object is things like paying for more officers.

I’d like to explain deeper but it’s not for open talk- but there are some stories I’d love to share on your post

I'm unqualified to comment, but the situation reminded me of a good old 'terrorist attack' management scenario.

It seemed less about kit and equipment, and individual Officer performance, and more about the coordination of cordon and search type operations over a large area.
 

Booter

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The “kit” being The infrastructure (such as coms) and then the contingency planning- then the multiple levels of review behind single actions like using the alert system- provincial officials and executives. Atlantic region has struggled with coms for a long time. Even where money is put in the depth of that system- or even how many operators is bootstrapped

But you’re right
 

Haggis

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Nightmare scenario, as you can be pretty sure he’s going to be able to get the drop on you, which will make anyone that much more on edge.
There is still an expectation in some circles that the police should not be allowed to fire until fired upon. That's simply wrong, obviously, as the subject's first shot may be the last sound the officer hears.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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"It was actually worse than one bulletin.
It would turn out that RCMP received at least three warnings that Wortman had illegal weapons at his home in Portapique, was mentally unstable and had been making threats.
And that despite warnings from both Halifax and Truro municipal agencies, they never sought a warrant to search his property."

Well when they do, and things go bad, the police are still made out to be the bad guys. [check the gun thread on here] Lets see, a proper warrant and, unlike the NS shooter, had already been involved with a sold gun/ murder scenario, so based on that on what innuendo would they have had to try for a search warrant on the NS clown's place?

 
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