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Saskatchewan looking to equip highway officers with heavy body armour

Along with traffic violations, Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officers will respond to 911 calls, collisions, and impaired drivers. Saskatchewan Government / Supplied

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure issued two tenders for light and heavy body armour for Highway Patrol Officers.

“It’s all part of workplace safety,” said Highways and Infrastructure Minister Greg Ottenbreit.

“They’re outfitted like any other peace officer so we want to make sure they have the best quality equipment when they’re carrying out those duties.”

READ MORE: 6 new officers finish training, ready to start with Sask. Highway Patrol

The request for bids (RFBs) are posted on the SaskTenders website. The RFBs are for 50 plates of soft armour, a vest (into which the armour is placed), belts and 60 plates of hard armour, 25 centimetres by 30 centimetres.

“If they’re responding to an event… where there is the possibility of a rifle they would use the hard armour. Other than that the soft armour is their standard issue,” Ottenbreit said.

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He said he wasn’t aware of the number of times the hard armour had been necessary in the past. He also said the equipment was standard across the country and the purchase wasn’t motivated by a specific incident.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Highway Patrol hits the road July 1

The RFBs were issued on Dec. 5 and will close on Dec. 19. The documents state agreements with the selected manufacturers are expected to begin on Dec. 23.

The Highway Patrol was created in 2018 to reduce rural crime. Constables enforce the criminal code as well as federal, provincial and municipal traffic statutes. They also provide support for RCMP and city police services.

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