POLITICS

Edmonton police chief wants officers trained in counter-terrorism

11/20/2014 10:01 EST | Updated 01/20/2015 05:59 EST
EDMONTON - Edmonton's police chief says he would like more front-line officers trained in counter-terrorism tactics.

Chief Rod Knecht says he would like to think his officers are ready if something catastrophic happened.

It has been almost a month since gunman Michael Bibeau killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo while he was on ceremonial guard duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

Bibeau then stormed Parliament where he died in a gunfight in the Centre Block.

The RCMP has said it has evidence indicating Bibeau was driven by "ideological and political motives.''

Knecht says along with training, his department will rely heavily on community outreach.

“We only have ... a very limited number of eyes and ears on the street at any given time, but our strength is when we have 870,000 sets of eyes and ears out there that are working with us to make this community a safe place to work and live,” Knecht says.

Since the Ottawa attack, Knecht says there has been growing fear that groups such as ISIL could recruit Albertans to carry out terrorist attacks.

“If we see people that are acting different, uncommon, making threats either online or in person, we want to know about that and we want the community to come forward so we can deal with that," says Knecht, adding Edmonton could be targeted due to important critical infrastructure.

“There is no known threat in Edmonton at this time and it is all about balance. We don’t want to over-react, nor do we want to under-react.”

(CHED)