VANCOUVER - The 82 officers who patrol Vancouver's rapid transit SkyTrain system will be allowed to carry guns, the regional transit authority says.
There's widespread support for the idea, said Bob Kind, chief officer of the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) Police Service.
"It's come from the public, it's come from the government, it's come from TransLink," he says. "It's something that's required, a secure and safe system has always been a priority with TransLink."
All but 15 of the 82 are former police officers, and those 15 will be trained before being allowed to carry a gun. The remaining staff will have their skills re-evaluated.
Until now, the officers who patrol the SkyTrain lines have had to rely on police backup.
Even with the guns, Kind said, the transit officers will not be replacing the police.
"The key thing you have to remember is that we are a supplementary police unit," he said. "We are not a full police department."
The transit force works closely with municipal police, but those forces still have full responsibility in their jurisdictions.
TransLink said SkyTrain police face dangers just like other officers, so there is no reason why they shouldn't be authorized to carry weapons.
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national ... 50322.html
Oh Goodie. Hopefully this will reduce the number of lethal shootings on skytrain from zero to.. uh... zero?
Because, transit cops are so often in a situation where shooting someone would be an adviseable option.
Granted, people are occasionally caught with concealed (as in not being used on the train) weapons and people do occsaionally get mugger... but, err, wouldn't pepper spray and a tazer be just as effective?