Police armoured vehicle
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News
London Police have a new tactical vehicle to add to their collection, thanks to a local defence manufacturing plant.
During Thursday’s police board meeting, General Dynamics Land Systems donated an RG-31 light armoured vehicle to police.
Canadian and U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are currently using the RG-31.
London Police will be using the vehicle for tactical rescues and explosive disposal situations, said Chief Brad Duncan.
“It’s going to be more moveable, so we’ll be able to use it tactically in different situations,” he said. “It’s a little different in terms of design of a light armoured vehicle but it’s going to assist us.”
The protection the RG-31 provides is something most forces in the country don’t have, said Danny Deep, vice-president of General Dynamics Canada.
“We’re an international company and we have the great benefit of operating here in London, Ontario (Oxford St. E.) providing these products to countries all over the world,” he said. “We’re a big part of this community and we’re very proud of this London Police Force. Any opportunity we have to support them and give them additional capabilities, I feel pretty good about that.”
In 2005, General Dynamics donated an RG-12 to London Police. Similar to the force’s latest vehicle, the RG-12 is heavier and has less mobility.
“The RG-31 can give them an opportunity to get to places quicker than the RG-12 can and do it in a very safe way,” Deep said.
Despite being slower, the RG-12 is helpful in certain situations that have probably saved more lives than just police, Duncan said.
“We had an active shooter in the area at Cheapside and Adelaide streets. Certainly, this individual was determined to bring harm not only to police officers, but to civilians in the area,” he said, retelling an incident involving the RG-12. “We parked that vehicle right on the doorsteps of that house and effectively blocked all ability for that individual to engage with anybody other than the light armoured vehicle.”
The police’s RG-31 is five-years-old and is expected to last for 35 to 40 years.