The SPVM is testing bulletproof vests to counter the large calibers

Département de Police de la Ville de Montréal. On the left, the bulletproof vest currently in use by SPVM police officers and, on the right, the three models that will be tested.

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal is testing three new models of bulletproof vests to deal with the larger calibers now used by criminals.

Violent criminals are using ever more deadly force lately.

Just a few days ago residents in Parc-Extension were awakened by gunshots. Upon their arrival at the scene, officers from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) found several casings from firearm projectiles on the ground and noted impacts in the window of a residential building.

This is only one of few incidents of firearm use in Montreal prompting police to start a benchmark test for three models of vests before proceeding to tender. “The old model was no longer representative of the firearms found in Montreal,” said an SPVM police officer who requested anonymity since he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Last February, the Montreal Police Brotherhood sent a letter to the SPVM management asking for access to better vests. Those currently in service would no longer be safe to protect against the impacts of certain large caliber firearms.

The objectives are to properly target the needs of the police, to validate the level of comfort as well as the satisfaction with the new bulletproof jacket (ballistic panels and cover), indicates by email an SPVM spokesperson. The final analysis will make it possible to draw up the technical specifications necessary to proceed with the public call for tenders.

In addition to offering better ballistic protection, these new vests will have to use softer and lighter panels in order to improve comfort, offer better resistance to humidity and be more adapted to the physiognomy of women.

To develop this new bulletproof vest, the SPVM set up a committee of experts made up of representatives from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Sûreté du Québec, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Vancouver Police Department, the Service de police de la Ville de Québec and the Toronto Police Service, in particular. In 2021, there are 144 firearm discharges in Montreal, compared to 71 the previous year.