With files from Anna Kalfa
The VPD’s tactical training centre opened its doors, and its firing ranges, to reporters today — and gave a rare insight into some of the techniques officers use in life-threatening decisions.
A life-changing decision to be made in seconds, and no do-over if you make the wrong choice.
That scenario is a constant reality for Vancouver’s police, and it’s one members of the VPD recreated for journalists at the Tactical Training Centre.
It’s not all about force
When you think of tactical, you often think of guns and firing ranges, but Sergeant Clive Milligan from Force Options Training says there’s more to it than that — tactical also means knowing when and how to end a confrontation with dialogue.
“Very rarely do they have to get into a scuffle, extremely rarely where they have to use a Taser or a baton.”
Milligan says data collected over the last 10 years shows it’s less than one per cent of the time police have to use force.
Using role play to create life-like situations
In one situation, reporters were led backwards into a room in teams of two, so that they couldn’t see the scenario.
They were debriefed as if they were real officers, before they were turned around to find the action erupting around them.
While the reporters tried to break up a fight, another person is getting stabbed.
CKNW’s Jeremy Lye and #VancityBuzz‘s Cecilia Lu are seen here in a mock scenario depicting what could be any Saturday night on the Granville strip in downtown Vancouver. Neither of them knew what was going to happen until the action started.