One of the Lower Mainland’s most elite law enforcement tactical-response teams is acquiring an armoured rescue vehicle in 2011, police confirmed.

The Municipal Integrated Emergency Response Team, which the Abbotsford Police Department is a member of, could purchase the vehicle as soon as January, APD Sgt. Casey Vinet said.

“I can confirm they are in the process of acquiring an armoured rescue vehicle – or ARV – and that it will occur in the new year,” he said.

MIERT is comprised of tactical-response officers from the Abbotsford, Port Moody, New Westminster and Delta police departments.

“The team is used in high-risk situations, quite often on files where there is an [armed] barricaded person,” Vinet said. “Or, quite frankly, where there is the potential for a hostage taking. But mostly in high-risk warrant service involving weapons, guns or any situation where there is an escalated threat to the officers or the public.”

Because Abbotsford contributes to MIERT, some of the vehicle’s cost and maintenance will be shouldered by the APD, Vinet said.

“This is a joint purchase. A portion of it will be paid by our department.”

Vinet said the MIERT model works because the cost of tactical enforcement is spread out over the different departments.

“Quite often when it comes to specialized equipment that is needed, it’s cost sharing,” he said, adding, “Full-time MIERT officers in Abbotsford respond to high-risk calls and warrants on a daily basis.”

The total being paid out by the department is dependent upon how often the vehicle is used in Abbotsford’s jurisdiction, which, by previous accounts, is often.

“Generally that’s the formula that is used in terms of cost sharing,” Vinet said.

Regardless of the money involved, Vinet said, police have a job to do.

Source: Rafe Arnott for The Vancouver Sun.

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