MONTREAL - Montreal police have shown off the latest addition to their crime-fighting arsenal — a $360,000 armoured vehicle they say has been in development for the past 11 years.
Francois Houle, the commander of the Montreal force's SWAT team, says the grey-coloured vehicle, similar to those that transport money, will be used primarily to protect officers against armed suspects, who may be involved in situations like hostage-takings.
Reporters were invited Wednesday to get a closer look at the imposing police wagon, which is designed to allow officers to use less force when negotiating with someone threatening to use weapons.
House says it could be used to protect an injured citizen or a police officer who is trying to get inside a perimeter where a person is using firearms.
He adds that the mobile barricade can take a pounding from projectiles, but he won't provide any precise details about its capabilities.
The SWAT team boss notes that other major police forces in Canada have similar armoured vehicles, including the RCMP, Quebec provincial police, Ontario provincial police and municipal forces in Quebec City, Ottawa and Vancouver.
Houle was asked whether it would be used in demonstrations similar to the massive protests carried out by students last year.
He responded that it would only be used where protection from ballistic weapons is required.