Reining in the rabble rousers

Heavily-armed police packing full body armour have descended upon Springbrook and the adjoining training centre.

After securing an intersection during a practice session in crowd control at Springbrook the Calgary Police public safety unit holds their ground.

Heavily-armed police packing full body armour have descended upon Springbrook and the adjoining training centre.

So far, there are no reports of any arrests or injuries. Nor are there any planned, except for practice, says Insp. Bill Webb of the Calgary Police Service.

Calgary’s Public Safety Unit and corresponding units from the Edmonton Police and RCMP have, for the past nine years, used Springbrook and Harvard Business Park as the site for their annual exercises.

On Tuesday, roughly 50 members of the Calgary squad, including a mountain bike unit, gathered in front of the former CFB Penhold military barracks to hone their skills.

Webb won’t say how many police officers belong to the unit altogether — only that there’s a lot of them and they’re ready to roll whenever they’re needed.

The unit works and trains closely with provincial emergency medical service technicians because, in real-life situations, EMTs sometimes need police backup.

Webb used Calgary’s infamous Red Mile on 17th Avenue as an example how the EMTs and police work together.

The Red Mile — an unofficial post-game gathering place for Calgary Flames fans — attracts all kinds of people, including its share of “rabble rousers,” said Webb.

Part of the unit’s role is to help EMTs rescue and treat people who have been injured in the melee, either by accident or on purpose.

The police unit’s first job is to cordon off the area so the EMTs can get to the victim and assess injuries. The police then keep the crowds cleared away while EMTs prepare and transport the victim or victims.

The Calgary Stampede is another example of a situation in which dense crowds can become unruly as imbibers fall under the influence of alcohol.

Calgary’s Public Safety Unit has a mountain-bike squad that plays a front-line role in keeping watch over big crowds, said Webb. If a situation begins to escalate, the mountain-bike squad will be replaced by more heavily armed and armoured members.

Springbrook has proven to be an ideal site for training for two main reasons, he said.

First of all, it’s centrally located so police from Edmonton, Calgary and the RCMP can meet and train together. In addition, its mix of buildings offers a typical urban environment.

“We use the whole area,” said Webb.

Training continues through Friday.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read