Haligonians have a better idea of what the municipality’s police force is looking for in their new armoured rescue vehicle after the municipality issued a tender on Friday.
Last week, Halifax Regional Council approved a line item in the municipality’s 2019-20 budget for Halifax Regional Police to purchase an armoured rescue vehicle.
The armoured vehicle is budgeted for $500,000 and police say it would help them address the ever-changing number of issues they encounter while providing a “level of safety” for officers and the public.
Police have previously indicated that they want a vehicle similar to the ones used by the Fredericton Police Force or the Halton Regional Police Service but the tender provides more specifics.
The police are not looking for a previously used vehicle and say it must be a new “current year model. ”
Halifax police have previously stressed that the vehicle would not be equipped with weaponry or “aggressive equipment.”
However, one of the requirements in the tender is that it be equipped with an “armoured rotating roof hatch with gun port” with a “minimum of 3 gun ports per side” or a minimum of “8 gun ports.”
The vehicle is also expected to come with a front-mounted “powered ram” that will be at least eight feet long and capable of conducting “mechanical breaches.”
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Tender documents also indicate that the vehicle must come equipped with a 360-degree camera system that is capable of infrared and night-vision modes.
“Camera must have recording and playback capabilities,” the tender reads.
The vehicle will also come equipped with a winch, public address system and police siren.
The police force’s goal of purchasing an armoured vehicle has not come without controversy.
Shawn Cleary, councillor for Halifax West Armdale, introduced an amendment to strip the item from the budget last week.
It was swiftly defeated with only a handful of councillors supporting the motion.
The decision to purchase the armoured vehicle also comes on the heels of a report that detailed how Nova Scotians of colour in Halifax were street-checked at a rate six times higher than white people in the city.
Critics say the vehicle makes the police service militaristic, especially to minority and marginalized groups in the city.