RCMP not fully prepared for active shooters five years after Moncton: auditor

In June 2014 a heavily armed assailant killed three Mounties and wounded two others

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. The RCMP isn’t sure that all its officers have access to the rifles and body armour needed to respond to an active shooter, almost five years after three Mounties were gunned down in New Brunswick, Canada’s auditor general has found. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The RCMP isn’t sure that all its officers have access to the rifles and body armour they need to respond to an active shooter, almost five years after three Mounties were gunned down in New Brunswick, Canada’s auditor general has found.

In a report released Tuesday, interim auditor Sylvain Ricard said the national police force has mismanaged the purchase, distribution and ongoing maintenance of semi-automatic rifles known as carbines.

In June 2014, a heavily armed assailant in Moncton, N.B., killed three Mounties and wounded two others. The RCMP had about 1,500 high-powered carbines nationwide at the time but officers in the Moncton detachment had not been trained to use them.

The RCMP was convicted under the Canada Labour Code in 2017 of having failed to provide members with the training and equipment to deal with an attack that left the community reeling.

The police force subsequently bought thousands of carbines but did not know whether it had provided the rifles to all of the officers who needed them, the auditor general said.

The auditor also discovered the RCMP had enough hard body armour across the country but not all officers had access to the equipment, which protects officers’ vital organs from bullets.

READ MORE: RCMP fined $550,000 in wake of fatal Moncton shooting rampage

“Overall, we found that not all RCMP officers had access to the equipment they needed to respond to an active-shooter situation,” the report said.

The RCMP agreed with the auditor’s various recommendations and outlined plans to remedy the failings, including progress to date.

The police force realized in 2011 that its officers lacked the firearms they needed to respond effectively to criminals armed with deadly weapons. The Mounties bought 527 carbines in 2012 and, as of last October, had 6,211 of the short-barrelled rifles in service.

In 2014, the force committed to providing the rifles to officers who might be at risk. However, the auditor found the RCMP did not consistently define who those officers were across its divisions. It also had no national standard for the number of carbines needed to equip its officers.

Some detachments did not have enough carbines, which meant there were no spares for when the guns were being serviced.

In addition, there were discrepancies between the RCMP’s data and the number of carbines in various detachments. “So, RCMP National Headquarters did not have a full picture of the actual location of the carbines within the divisions,” the audit report says. “The RCMP could not confirm that officers who needed the equipment had access to it.”

The Mounties say they have introduced electronic, interactive maps to track the whereabouts of carbines and the officers trained to use them.

Distribution of carbines is based on “an ongoing, evergreen risk assessment,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told a news conference. “If we are going to have a successful police force, the officers themselves need to be safe and secure and in a position to do their job.”

The auditor also found:

— The RCMP did not have a plan to manage the acquisition of carbines, causing bottlenecks in distribution and backlogs in recertifying members on how to use them as well as for maintenance of the guns;

— The police force met its target for the initial training of front-line officers on carbines, but 13 per cent of those officers had not completed annual recertification training;

— Half the force’s carbines had not been maintained according to RCMP policy;

— Deficiencies with pistol maintenance and mandatory recertification training.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Most Read