‘Shoot to Kill’ Is Aim of RCMP Air Police, Trainer Tells Gazette

TheGunBlog.ca — The RCMP air police train officers to kill attackers, the agency’s Gazette reported this week, quoting an instructor. The approach differs from defensive training for solid ground that focuses on stopping threats without necessarily stopping life.

“We don’t shoot to slow down, we shoot to kill,” the unidentified instructor in the In-Flight Security Officer (IFSO) program said in the Gazette article dated Oct. 1. “IFSOs are taught to stop the threat and they react until the threat is neutralized.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police website lists the IFSO program under Protective Policing Services. The services include protecting Canadian and foreign government officials.

Risk, Urgency, Options

Most police in Canada carry loaded firearms on duty for personal and public safety. Many private individuals also train in armed and unarmed self-protection.

Stopping a threat on a plane in flight involves different risks, urgency and options than in daily life on the ground. On the street, at work, or at home it might be possible to end a threat by running away or hiding from it. There’s no running away from a bomb on a plane.

Police and private trainers in armed personal protection on the ground teach “use of force” rules to avoid lethal force except as a last resort. Even then they emphasize the goal isn’t to eliminate the attacker. It’s to stop, neutralize or incapacitate them to eliminate the threat.

Trainers also recognize that proper shot placement and ammunition will probably result in the attacker’s death before emergency medical help arrives.

ISIS Threat?

The Gazette reported the in-flight police train for a month in behavioural analysis, armed and unarmed combat, hostage negotiation and bomb disposal. They commit to at least three years as air police and recertify every six months, the magazine said.

“The No. 1 risk is person-delivered IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on body or in baggage,” Superintendent Janis Gray, the IFSO program’s director, told the Gazette. “What we have now, too, which we didn’t have when the program was created, is high-risk returnees — foreign fighters.”

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