Plane flew to Toronto with bomb, device not recovered by Vancouver Transit Police after long search
Beacon Staff Reporter
Some groups are calling for the disbanding of the Vancouver Transit Police after it was revealed they left an explosive device on a commercial plane during a training exercise in 2011.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reveals that Vancouver Transit Police officers left the device on an Air Canada plane on Jan. 12, 2011.
It was part of a training exercise involving a bomb-sniffing dog and its handler. The handler noticed it was missing two days after the exercise when the Boeing 767 had already resumed service.
The plane was eventually searched but the explosive device, which was rendered unusable before the training exercise, has never been found. It is assumed it was collected during routine cleaning of the aircraft. More than two-dozen airport staff were interviewed by police attempting to locate the bomb before the file was eventually closed.
A live explosive, the bomb could become active once again by re-attaching a blasting cap.
““Why on earth were Vancouver Transit Police – responsible for SkyTrain lines – planting explosives on a commercial airplane as a dog training exercise?” said CTF director Jordan Bateman, who’s organization requested the initial FOI.
“How inept do you have to be to not account for every explosive you put on a plane? This incident is a chilling reminder of what happens when police agencies push past their level of expertise and jurisdiction.”
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The FOI documents show Air Canada inspected the plane 14 times in Toronto looking for the explosives.
“Any time a police explosive is outside the custody and sight of officers, it should be a concern to the public,” said Bateman.
Aside from the obvious security risks, Bateman is critical of the overall budget of the Vancouver Transit Police and is skeptical of their need to perform such training exercises.
“This cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars – all based on the ridiculous premise that a Transit Police dog should know how to find bombs on a commercial jetliner.”
TransLink has not yet responded to the news though the FOI does show they prepared a press release that was never distributed.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Explosive training device left on Air Canada plane in dog-training exercise - Ottawa Citizen : Dog Training Club | January 21, 2013
- Explosive training device left on Air Canada plane in dog-training exercise - Vancouver Sun : Dog Training Club | January 21, 2013
- Explosive training device left on Air Canada plane in dog-training exercise - StarPhoenix : Dog Training Club | January 21, 2013
- Explosive training device left on Air Canada plane in dog-training exercise - Regina Leader-Post : Dog Training Club | January 21, 2013