Wellington County OPP receiving new tactical equipment

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Wellington County OPP is receiving new tactical equipment following purchase approval by the county’s Police Services Board.

A “Saint Model XL” remotely controlled hydraulic door rammer has been purchased from Off the X, a multi-national company with an office in Edmonton, at a tax-in cost of $16,536.

According to the company’s website, the door rammer is a “compact, lightweight, rapidly deployable, and remotely operable non-explosive tool which can breach nearly any inward- and outward-opening door.”

Also purchased was an “Explorer 2.0” camera ball offering video and two-way audio from New York-based Bounce Imaging.

Included in the $8,006 purchase are a mount, allowing the camera to be attached to dogs, and a mobile phone-compatible wireless range extender that can extend transmission range up to 400 feet.

A total of $24,873 in taxpayer dollars from the county’s property reserve is funding the purchase.

Wellington OPP and PSB chair Joanne Ross-Zuj declined to provide the Advertiser with any insight about the equipment or about what prompted the purchase request and its approval.

The Advertiser made requests to Wellington OPP and Wellington County for a copy of a presentation about the equipment, provided by police to the board, but was denied on the basis that the presentation was made behind closed doors in a session where access by the public, including reporters, is prohibited.

Ross-Zuj, when reached by phone, said she had no comment regarding the purchase.

“The explanation was received in closed session and that’s where it will stay,” said Ross-Zuj.

“If the OPP wanted to give any details about that, that’s their prerogative.”

Wellington OPP media relations officer Jacob Unger stated, in part, in an email: “We will not be releasing any information regarding it,” citing the closed session.

Equipment purchase orders were provided by the county at the newspaper’s request.