G20 Aftermath: Toronto police get to play keepsies with their toys from the G20
It’s always hard to give something up once it’s been held and played with a little bit—just ask any kindergarten teacher about getting kids to part with their toys. So it’s not surprising that the Toronto Police Service wants to hang on to some of the nifty things they got during the G20. The city’s Police Services Board seems to have been ambushed by TPS’s decision. According to the Toronto Star, while this was part of the deal TPS struck with the Feds during the summer, the board is “shocked” by the news anyway. For the record, here’s a list of some of the things that TPS got cheap thanks to Ottawa’s G20 largesse, and would now like to keep.
These long range acoustic devices—more often known as “sound cannons”—are capable of generating eardrum-bursting pulses, but when TPS got them in the spring, the Ontario court ruled they could only be used on their lowest settings. (It’s unclear what effect the ruling might have on whether Bieber-blasting would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.)
The police force already had closed-circuit TV cameras, but they used the occasion of the G20 to increase their inventory. And why not—everybody else is watching the cops with video cameras, after all.
Because every once in a while the police just gotta use some tear gas, and the cheap, low-tech solution (bandanas soaked in vinegar) would make Toronto look a bit too much like Cairo right about now.
Assorted riot gear
Helmets, visors, maybe a baton or two—it’s impossible to say what Toronto police will need the next time a major international event comes to town (Pan Am, anyone?), so they’re stocking up. Now if only someone would invent the thing the police really need: YouTube-blocking camouflage.
• Police keep range of equipment acquired for G20 summit [Globe and Mail]
• Police board ‘shocked’ force will keep sound cannons [Toronto Star]
• Police Board powerless in ‘sound cannon’ buy [National Post]