An RCMP Air One aircraft. (Photo: Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)

Louder helicopter partly to blame for rash of complaints in Surrey: RCMP

Police say helicopter training is conducted in Cloverdale because it’s ‘a very practical area where we do a lot of real police work’

RCMP’s Air One program is “amending” further training after complaints about a helicopter in Cloverdale last weekend.

Police had been conducting late-night training in the area, leading to some locals taking to social media asking what was going on, several complaining about noise.

As it turns out, BC RCMP were doing a new type of training.

It was a “beta project” involving a different type of helicopter that was noisier than the previous aircraft, explained Corporal Curtis Brassington, Chief Tactical Officer for the Lower Mainland’s Air One program.

He noted the RCMP adjusted the altitude of the chopper higher, in an effort to mitigate the noise impact.

“It’s very similar to what we’ve been doing for the past 13 years with marginal levels of complaints,” said Brassington.

“Certainly it’s not our intention or goal to upset people,” he added. “We’ve done everything we can to mitigate the impact to the public and we’ve made even more changes – we sat down yesterday afternoon and had to make changes on the fly.”

Brassington said he read feedback from dozens of people and can appreciate why some were upset.

Although many locals complained about the helicopters, Brassington said he was “also very pleased at the positive response from so many Surrey residents who understand sometimes police work is noisy, sometimes it’s messy.”

READ MORE: RCMP ‘amending’ helicopter training after complaints in Surrey

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale photographer captures blood moon, RCMP helicopter in timelapse photo

While Brassington said he was “not at liberty to discuss details (of the amended training) for the security of our job,” he did say RCMP have “adjusted where we were working, how we were working and when we were working. But we still have to meet our training objectives and goals.”

He stressed that police “don’t want to let bad guys know what we’re doing. Then it makes it a whole lot easier to monitor us, figure out our tactics. We’re not going to give that away.”

Brassington noted the training involves members from across the country, and was mandated to the RCMP by the “McNeil report,” which was done in response to the 2014 Moncton shooting that saw three officers killed.

“The Canada Labour Board found RCMP were lacking in training and equipping, so we’re trying to address those shortcomings,” he added. “You’ll never be able to respond to a real call properly and effectively unless you train for it.”

Brassington stressed it was not the RCMP’s intention, or goal, to upset people.

“We’ve done what we can to mitigate it,” he said.

Brassington confirmed that Surrey RCMP weren’t notified ahead of last weekend’s training.

“We’d thought we’d taken enough mitigation steps, so we didn’t find it necessary to notify the local police,” he explained, adding that he “honestly thought people would’ve been used to it.”

Brassington added: “I hope that the adjustments we’ve made address most of the problems.”

Why was the training done in Cloverdale?

“Most of our training happened in the Cloverdale area because it was a very practical area where we do a lot of real police work,” he explained, “so we wanted to train in an environment that was realistic.”

The Langley-based Air One program has been running for 13 years. It serves the Lower Mainland but occasionally the unit is called to incidents further away, such as the recent pipeline protests in B.C.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Semiahmoo Trail students surpass Coldest Night fundraising goal

Rocco Forte and his team are third-year participants in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year walk

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station upgrades completed

It’s the seventh station along Expo Line to see upgrades completed. Construction began in March 2017

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Former Cloverdale church elder will be tried in Supreme Court on sexual assault charges

Preliminary inquiry for Brian Batke case set for February 2020

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game in Langley

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Most Read

l -->