Train­ing days

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE - BY NANCY MACPHEE JOUR­NAL PIONEER nmacphee@jour­nal­pi­

It’s ac­cu­rate up to 300 me­tres and its im­pact can be deadly.

Const. Richard MacLeod has been trained to use car­bine ri­fles for a decade.

The al­most five-year vet­eran of Summerside po­lice re­cently spent a week teach­ing his fel­low of­fi­cers all about the ri­fle and its proper use.

“We do a whole morn­ing of classes, go­ing over the weapon it­self, char­ac­ter­is­tics of it,” said MacLeod, who went through spe­cial­ized train­ing at the At­lantic Po­lice Acad­emy in or­der to in­struct his fel­low of­fi­cers.

“For a lot of the mem­bers, this is a brand new weapon.”

Each of­fi­cer with the Summerside Po­lice Ser­vice spent two days, first in the class­room and then on the shoot­ing range at Sle­mon Park, be­com­ing fa­mil­iar­ized with the weapon.

The train­ing was in­ten­sive and pre­cau­tion­ary in­stead of re­ac­tionary.

“As peo­ple get more com­fort­able, there are more dy­namic drills with more move­ment and, by the end of the to­day (day two of train­ing), we were mov­ing as teams, run­ning up and re­spond­ing to a pos­si­ble ac­tive shooter.”

It’s a sce­nario MacLeod hopes he will never see come to life while on duty.

But, he added, be­ing trained and pre­pared is vi­tal to the job.

“You can deal with a sit­u­a­tion from a far greater dis­tance than just with your pis­tol,” ex­plained MacLeod, of the ad­van­tage of the car­bine. “With your pis­tol, ob­vi­ously, you have to be a lot closer to what­ever it is you are drawn on.”

Three mem­bers of the Summerside po­lice were called to Monc­ton on the fate­ful day in June 2014, trained to jump into ac­tion at a mo­ment’s no­tice.

“When th­ese un­for­tu­nate events hap­pen we all learn from them and de­velop best prac­tices mov­ing for­ward,” said Cpl. Ja­son Blac­quiere.

MacLeod added, “Ev­ery sit­u­a­tion we go into we don’t want to use our sidearm or car­bine. We want to be able to calm that sit­u­a­tion and end it peace­fully. Th­ese just of­fer a lot more peace of mind.”

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