Wednesday, April 17, 2024

WA Police deploy new assets

WA Police has acquired several world-class, state-of-the-art assets to better protect police officers and the public.

Two new custom-built BearCat armoured vehicles as well as two new rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) were recently delivered to the Tactical Response Group.

The BearCats were built by American company Lenco at a total cost of $1.1 million.

The $1.2 million RHIBs were built and delivered by local manufacturer Kirby Marine.

“The Western Australia Police Force is better equipped than ever before in history,” said Police Minister, Paul Papalia.

“Specialist officers, such as those in the Tactical Response Group, frequently respond to a range of high-risk threats across the State, which is why the WA Government continues to ensure it’s resourced with the best operational assets.

“From international drug smuggling plots to terror threats and lone gunmen, our tactical teams need to be prepared for everything.”

Designed for extreme pace and manoeuvrability, RHIBs can also be rapidly deployed making them the ideal intercepting craft.

Each 9.5 metre vessel boasts twin 225hp Suzuki engines and can reach speeds up to 50 knots (approx. 95 km/hr).

The vessels replace existing RHIBs which have reached the end of their operational life and have been traded into the Henderson based boat builder.

The arrival of the new BearCats has expanded the TRG’s armoured vehicle fleet by one vehicle with an ageing 2006 model BearCat to be decommissioned and donated to the Police Historical Society.

Both armoured vehicle and water borne operations are national capabilities under the Police Tactical Group arrangements agreed to by all State, Territory and Commonwealth jurisdictions.

“These armoured vehicles and specialised vessels are essential to the operating capabilities of the WA Police Force Tactical Response Group,” said WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch.

“While working in any hostile environment presents a number of challenges and risks to police officers, responding to such threats on the water creates additional risks that require specialist skills and vessels to make that response the safest it can be.

“The BearCats are deployed almost weekly during the execution of high-risk warrants and provide ballistic protection for Police Negotiators and Tactical Teams.

“These vehicles allow our tactical operators a chance to get in close and deploy the best tactical outcomes. 

“Both the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats and the BearCats are an important investment to keep our officers safe while they work to keep the community safe,” he said.

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