Even in the middle of booming metropolises like that of downtown Toronto you can find armored vehicles. The most common use for armored vehicles within a city would be cash-in-transit vehicles as they are most often targeted for robbery as opposed to banks with higher security levels and more personnel. Armored vehicles are also used for important-person transport. When government officials need to maneuver through the city streets they aren’t hopping on the TTC.
After the Boston Bombings during the marathon in 2013, North America saw how quickly and effectively a city police force can mobilize a militaristic brigade. Most people considered this a necessary step in finding the perpetrators that committed the heinous act of murdering and maiming innocent civilians. In Canada, if something of that nature were to happen – it might put people at ease to know there are resources for these types of vehicles within our city limits.
The armored vehicle market in Canada does not solely rely on sales abroad or to murderous governments. A Toronto company called INKAS manufactures armored vehicles for normal citizens and companies that need extra security while in transit, for example banks. The company was founded in 1996 and since then they have been providing services and transportation for banks, law enforcement agencies and corporate clients. INKAS has manufacturing sites and office in Canada, Colombia, Nigeria and Spain. INKAS sells their vehicles to the Department of National Defense, the U.S Army, New Brunswick Power Nuclear Corporation, Nigeria Police Force, and the Ghana Police Services.
Recently, a growing number of Canadian police forces have been buffing up their armored vehicle fleet. In fact, in December of 2015 the Winnipeg Police Department put in an order for $343 000 for new armored vehicles (CBC, 11/12/15). Police spokesman Constable Jason Michalyshen said the service’s tactical team performs some 200 search warrants every year, “many of which involve drugs and weapons, and can result in potentially volatile and dangerous situations for the officers and the community.” An armored vehicle will give those officers another tool in dealing with such incidents and will help keep them and their emergency response partners safe, he said (CBC, 11/12/15). Winnipeg is among the last of major Canadian cities to purchase such a vehicle for its police service. Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton, London, Sault Ste. Marie, Peel, Durham and Ottawa all have armoured vehicles. Prices for those vehicles range from $250,000 to $400,000
Canadian police officers are aware that seeing armored vehicles in the streets sometimes heighten public fear, and create more worries than they solve. However, it is stressed that these vehicles are safe, every police officer using the machinery has been extensively trained and they will only be used in extreme circumstances where the lives of police officers or citizens are at risk.
The fact of the matter is that with today’s current terrorist activity being more rampant and rapid than at any other point we need to take extra precaution. Local police forces need these vehicles in order to more efficiently protect citizens in situations like the Boston Bombings or for violent gang activity, drug busts etc. Armored vehicles are also needed for less dramatic situations like transporting money to banks or transporting important persons. Canadians have mostly come to this conclusion and have accepted the reality of higher security measures. The next steps are ensuring our police forces are buying from Canadian companies, like INKAS, to improve our economy.