Activities in the BC Place Stadium located in downtown Vancouver were set aside recently to let the Vancouver Police Department snipers train with the instructors of Craft International LLC, co-founded by Chris Kyle. The training helps ensure the criminals will lose the game on a third and final down.

In recent years, SWAT teams and Emergency Response Teams across Canada have begun training with consulting and training providers, who are mostly owned by ex-military operators from across the globe, on tactics used by the military. This gives them the edge against a growing numbers of both criminals and potential terrorists. We all know Canada has been harboring more and more terrorists, and our law enforcement needs to be ready to deal with them.

The training took place four years after the 2010 Winter Olympics, from February 3 to February 5, alongside some other agencies, rumoured to include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and some Washington state personnel. VPD media relation constable, Brian Montague, declined to identify the other agencies that were present in training for operational (OPSEC) and personal (PERSEC) security reasons.

The training topics, given by Mark Lang and Kelly Canterbury, included:

  • Live Fire Training at the Rexall Place Arena
  • Angle Firing Classroom and Practical application
  • Zero Confirmation of distances
  • Sniper Standards
  • Traditional and Advance Firing Platforms
  • Venue Overwatch Planning
  • Sectorization of the Venue
  • Deliberate and Hasty FFP’s and responses
  • Live Fire training Missions

BC Place Stadium

On Craft International’s Facebook page, I was also able to see an Abbotsford law enforcement officer, as well.

Abbotsford LE officer

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Craft International offers 28 different training regimens designed for law enforcement, including basic carbine training to undercover narcotics vehicle fighting. You can read on Craft’s objectives in training law enforcement officers on their website:

“Craft International recognizes the importance of providing law enforcement officers with comprehensive training to address a wide array of increasingly dangerous and sophisticated threats. Many of our staff have extensive law enforcement experience and have trained various police and SWAT units around the country.”

The training offered by Craft International to the VPD officers was a great opportunity to learn from instructors who have been downrange quite a few times, and will also help expand their general knowledge about all the topics included in the training.

VPD’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) was created in 1975. You can read more on the website:

“Today, the Emergency Response Team has 40 tactical members, and is assisted by 16 ERT-trained dog handlers, 24 crisis negotiators, a grouping of technical specialists, five critical incident commanders and an in-house ERT commander who oversees the team’s daily operations.”

VPD’s ERT also uses an Armoured Rescue Vehicle which, in my opinion, clearly the capabilities of the team. Some people might see it as a “militarization” of the law enforcement (LE), but I do believe in the security of the officers, which is the most important thing to consider when looking at those vehicles.

Vancouver PD Armoured Rescue Vehicle

Nowadays, more violent crimes are committed and the LE officers need better equipment to keep them safe and do their job properly.
The Vancouver Police Department also created a Military Liaison Unit (MLU) who trains with the Canadian Forces (CF) and the United States Military four to six times a year.

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Creating strong links between LE and military personnel is a good thing for domestic operations or even overseas operation such as Afghanistan where police officers were deployed to train to Afghan National Police.

A great example of cooperation was the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver. It was the largest domestic peacetime operation in Canadian history. Canadian soldiers were deployed in the mountains around Whistler, BC and provided a quick reaction forces (QRF) in support to the VPD and RCMP, in case of a major incident.

This training will prove useful in the future and I do hope more will be made by LE departments across the country. LE officers needs to learn how to use their weapons properly and train under different scenarios that could occur on a daily basis.

A sword-wielding man in Vancouver's Skytrain

Chris Kyle is one of the individuals I admire the most. To this day, I still can’t believe he was shot dead by a former marine suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I am also working on an article about the militarization of the LE here in Canada. Although the general opinion of this militarization is not really good, I do believe that LE officers need to be ready for any situations, and support training them on other competencies beyond just handing out speeding tickets and cuffing drunks for disorderly conduct.