Abbotsford ERT officers surround a house in the Townline Hill area in west Abbotsford in October, 2019. Patrick Penner/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford ERT officers surround a house in the Townline Hill area in west Abbotsford in October, 2019. Patrick Penner/Abbotsford News

Abbotsford Police Department loses Emergency Response Team, joins regional force

Department wanted to keep local team, but unable to sustain nationally accepted standards

The Abbotsford Police Department no longer has its own Emergency Response Team (ERT), and now shares resources with a combined regional unit.

As of April 4, emergency calls requiring a heavily armoured police response are handled by the Lower Mainland’s Integrated Emergency Response Team (IERT).

“When you lose your speciality in it … (it’s) unfortunate,” said Sgt. Judy Bird, media officer for the Abbotsford Police Department (APD). “There’s a lot of boxes that need to be ticked for us to maintain our emergency response team, and we weren’t able to do that.”

ERTs attend police calls where the possibility of firearms and other extreme dangers exist. Officers in these units are highly trained and specialized experts in weapons and tactics.

The department wanted to be able to keep its local team, but were unable to secure the training necessary to maintain nationally accepted standards after conducting a sustainability assessment, according to Deputy Chief Const. Crosby Jones.

Four to six of the 13 members of Abbotsford’s ERT team will be joining the integrated team, which is a combination of municipal, transit and RCMP resources, Jones said. The remaining officers will be reassigned to other units.

He said there will be no change in operations or service delivery, and there will be some cost savings as IERT is given federal and provincial funding.

“IERT is a fully mission capable team that will provide full coverage to Abbotsford,” Jones said.

Aside from the Vancouver Police Department, the APD was the only force in the Lower Mainland to not already be joined with the IERT.

The change is the latest integration into shared regional forces, with earlier examples being the Integrated Traffic Collision Unit, the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service Unit and the Air One helicopter.

Part of the reason behind the resource sharing is several of the APD’s critical incident commanders (which are a requirement for ERTs) are at a higher rank and planning retirement, Bird said.

“That would mean in a very quick turn around where we would have to find more critical incident commanders, which we don’t have.”

RELATED: Bloody man with hands tied escapes home, leading to 12-hour police incident in Abbotsford

abbotsford

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

Just Posted

The Chilliwack Chiefs played their 2020-21 BCHL season finale Sunday against Prince George at the Chilliwack Coliseum. The junior A team will open 2021-22 with an American Hockey League team calling Abbotsford home. (Darren Francis photo)
Chilliwack Chiefs viewing Abbotsford AHL arrival as an opportunity

The junior A BCHL club hopes to strike up a friendly relationship with the unnamed Canucks affiliate

Chilliwack’s Allie Thiessen enjoyed a productive season for the Central Washington Wildcats women’s softball squad, and earned GNAC All-Academic status. (Central Washington U graphic)
Chilliwack’s Allie Thiessen earns All-Academic status in Great Northwest Athletic Conference

The women’s softball star at Central Washington University had one of the highest GPAs on the list

Trina Hunt’s remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Trina Hunt’s family appeals to killer to step forward after remains found in Hope

Cousins also ask Hope residents to think back to weekend Port Moody woman was in the area

Chilliwack real estate may finally be moving towards a buyers' market, according to the local real estate board. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack real estate sales forecast to see the highest increase in B.C. in 2021

BCREA second quarter forecast predicts 51.6% jump in sales this year, 20% rise in prices

Corey Neyrinck was sentenced on Jan. 19, 2018 to seven years in jail for sexually touching two young girls and creating child pornography. He was released on Dec. 4, 2018. As of May 11, 2021 he faced two counts of failing to comply with a prohibition order. (File)
Chilliwack man sentenced to 7 years for sexually touching underage girls back in custody

One-time school board candidate Corey Neyrinck charged with violating internet prohibitions

Still from a video of a townhouse fire on South Sumas at Vedder Road in Chilliwack on May 9, 2021 before Chilliwack Fire Depatment crew arrived. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Grass fire leads to townhouse blaze in Sardis on Mother’s Day

Chilliwack Fire Department warns that matches and lighters can have ‘devastating’ effects

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read