TORONTO – RCMP cadets have now begun training in the use of carbine rifles and active shooter situations at the RCMP Training Academy “Depot” located in Regina, Global News has learned.
An internal RCMP memo, obtained exclusively by Global News, says the new training for graduated troops in carbine and active shooter training, known as immediate action rapid deployment (IARD), began July 9.
In addition, all RCMP divisions have on-going “patrol carbine and IARD training initiatives to further increase the amount of carbine and IARD trained members on the frontlines.”
An earlier email to high-ranking RCMP officers in June, obtained by Global News, revealed plans for nearly 700 new cadets to receive carbine and IARD training.
The training will be adjunct to the traditional RCMP syllabus, that new officers will complete after graduation.
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The announcement comes more than a year after the murder of three RCMP officers in Moncton on June 4: Constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Doug Larche. Constables Darlene Goguen and Eric Dubois were also injured that night.
Carbines have been an ongoing concern for RCMP officer safety since the 2005 shooting deaths of four Mounties in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.
The ramped-up training also follows a detailed report into the Moncton shooting by retired RCMP Assistant Commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, which recommended additional carbine training and active shooter training for frontline officers.
In its response to the report, the RCMP said it would examine whether active shooter and carbine training should be mandatory for all members and whether it should be included at Depot.
“This would ensure all members arriving at their posts would be fully trained and prepared to deal with an active shooter situation,” the report said.
In a 16X9 investigation, frontline members told Global News they needed more carbines, the semi-automatic rifles that allow officers to shoot from a farther distance.
On May 14, the RCMP was charged with four counts under the Canada Labour Code for training and equipment issues relating to the June 4 shooting in Moncton.
According to the June email obtained by Global News, the carbine training at Depot will “boost the percentages for some divisions over the 25 per cent trained front line members we are seeking for this fiscal.”
Ottawa recently increased funding for the RCMP by $150 million over the next five years. However, it is unclear how much of that will be spent on equipment and training for front line officers.
*Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Monday, June 15, 2015. It was updated at 5:40 p.m. ET Thursday, July 30, 2015.