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The Greater Sudbury Police Service Tactical Unit's mandate is to provide tactical support for a peaceful resolution of a high risk situation. The unit ensures the safety of the public, police, and suspect with the use of special weapons and tactics.
The Tactical Unit trains weekly to respond to hostage situations, armed barricaded persons, high-risk warrant service, high-risk vehicle stops, rapid deployment situations, and many other potentially dangerous situations.
In the late 80s, the Sudbury Regional Police Service recognized the need for a specially trained response team. Since its inception, the Tactical Unit has changed considerably with new technology and tactics. However, one common denominator has been the high level of commitment to teamwork and professionalism from the men and women who have served on the unit.
All tactical officers need to pass a rigorous physical fitness test annually to stay on the team. Their fitness is essential to work and train in a physically demanding and highly technical environment. They wear heavy ballistic body armour, helmets, and shields to protect the operator while maneuvering and using explosives, automatic sub-machine guns, high powered rifles, night/infrared vision, and more.
The most important feature of the Tactical Unit is the capability to adapt, evaluate, research, and refine the tactics employed in order to maximize its effectiveness.
The Greater Sudbury Police Service's Canine Unit began in 1994 with one general service dog and one handler. The success of the unit resulted in the addition of a second general service dog and handler in 1995.
At present, the Canine Unit consists of two handlers and three dogs: two general service dogs and a passive detector dog. The Greater Sudbury Police Service uses German shepherds for general service work and Labrador retrievers for passive detection work. The dogs selected for police work are usually between the ages of 18 months and 2 years of age.
The handlers are responsible for the care and training of the police service dogs, and the dogs reside at the handler's residence. Each dog has to pass a suitability test, be in good health, and have a good temperament. The canine handler must also pass an extensive canine selection course to be deemed suitable for work in the Canine Unit. The canine handler and dog then attend a sixteen-week training course with the Ontario Provincial Police. During the course, the dogs and handlers are taught agility, obedience, tracking, article searches, building searches, and criminal apprehensions. The handler and dog then return in approximately 6 months, at which time the dog is cross-trained in gun, drug, and ammunition detection.
Since the inception of the Canine Unit, the dogs have been responsible for the laying of hundreds of criminal charges, recovery of thousands of dollars in property, and location of numerous lost people.