If you see smoke this afternoon west of Townsend Park, don’t assume it’s a fire.
And if you hear some unusual sounds or see what looks like a riot squad in action, don’t worry, it’s just an exercise.
The RCMP’s Lower Mainland District (LMD) Integrated Tactical Troop is planning on conducting a training exercise at the city-owned Chilliwack Fire Department Training Centre on Wolfe Road starting at 3 p.m. and into the evening on Oct. 23.
When word of the training exercise first came out, there was talk of the use of flash bangs, smoke grenades and even gunfire.
An RCMP spokesperson, however, clarified that there will be no gunfire or flash bangs, but there will be some smoke used to simulate tear gas, smoke that is not toxic.
The LMD Integrated Tactical Troop is co-ordinated by the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team.
The troop is called out and gets involved in: public order (crowd control and management); disaster response assistance; scene security and search; and counter terrorist search operations, according to the RCMP’s web page dedicated to the unit.
“Each of the police officers on this team volunteer to perform these functions when needed. The team assists other units in the Lower Mainland and has been involved in major operations within the province and throughout Canada, when necessary. Some of these operations include the Okanagan Mountain Park fire in 2003 and the G8/G20 Summit in Ontario in 2010. The team has also assisted the Vancouver Police Department with the Stanley Cup Riot in 2011.”
The troop is comprised of 130 members from across the RCMP LMD and the municipal police agencies of Abbotsford, New Westminster, West Vancouver, Delta, and the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service.