RCMP’s Labour Code trial stemming from shooting hears about carbine acquisition
Obtaining carbine rifles was a top priority for the RCMP three years before a shooting rampage in Moncton, N.B., but there were a number of elements to consider before front line officers were armed with the high-powered weapons, an inspector has testified at the national police force’s Labour Code trial.
The RCMP is accused of failing to provide members and supervisors with the appropriate information, instruction, equipment and training in an active-shooter event.
Carbine rifles were not available to general duty officers during Justin Bourque’s shooting rampage on June 4, 2014, and Crown witnesses have testified they could have made a difference in the tragedy that killed three Mounties and wounded two others.
Insp. Larry Brookson told Moncton provincial court Wednesday that he started working on the program in December 2011 and that arming front line officers with C8 carbine rifles was a high priority at the time.
“For me, it was priority one,’’ said Brookson, who worked on the project until June 2013.
He said he was told: ``Get it to the front line.’’
But Brookson testified there were a number of aspects that needed to be considered in obtaining and deploying the rifles, including a risk assessment that would determine where the first batch of weapons were needed most.
“It took a while, but it’s those boxes that needed to be checked off,’’ the defence witness told Judge Leslie Jackson.
Brookson said training procedures and policies had to be developed, and a number of equipment issues also had to be sorted.
For example, the Mountie’s racks in their police cars would not support the carbines, so another rack had to be chosen that could store a carbine or a shotgun. He said the rifles also had to be secure when the officer was away from the vehicle.
“You don’t want a carbine falling into the wrong hands,’’ said Brookson.
In this file photo, police keep watch on a house as they search for a heavily armed gunman following the shooting of three Mounties in Moncton, N.B., on June 5, 2014. Arming front line officers with carbine rifles was a “high priority” for senior Mounties three years before a shooting rampage in Moncton, an RCMP deputy commissioner testified Wednesday at the national police force’s Labour Code trial.