Police bolstered by new armoured vehicles and specialised vessels

  • Two new BearCat armoured vehicles acquired for elite tactical team
  • Two new Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats also acquired
  • $2.3 million investment to upgrade and grow Tactical Response Group (TRG) resources, expanding its capability to react to developing emergencies

The Cook Government has ramped up efforts to equip the WA Police Force with world-class state-of-the-art assets to better protect officers and the public.

Two new custom-built BearCat armoured vehicles as well as two new Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB) have been delivered to the Tactical Response Group.

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

Used by specialist military and police teams around the world, BearCats are an invaluable asset when responding to high-risk situations including active shooters, the execution of high-risk warrants and hostage rescue scenarios.

Armoured vehicles provide vital protection for the specialist unit when engaging suspects armed with firearms or explosives.

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

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

Engaging suspicious vessels, including those suspected of being involved in the transportation of illicit drugs, can be a dangerous task and these modern, reliable boats are critical to ensuring the safety of TRG officers and the community.

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.

As stated by Police Minister Paul Papalia:

“The Western Australia Police Force is better equipped than ever before in history.

“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.

“We recently delivered a new helicopter to Police Air Wing Unit and a second is on its way.

“Soon all regional officers will have constant high-speed internet anywhere in the State thanks to our satellite communications rollout.

“This ongoing support from the Cook Labor Government is why there’s a tidal wave of applications from people eager to join the WA Police Force ranks.”

As stated by Police Commissioner Col Blanch:

“These armoured vehicles and specialised vessels are essential to the operating capabilities of the WA Police Force Tactical Response Group.

“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.”

/Public Release. View in full here.