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Amazing display of Canadian/Ontario police patches in Ottawa

Chris Madsen

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Incredible number and variety of patches amongst the police engaged in the operations to clear the streets of downtown Ottawa today.  Really shows the importance of patches and insignia as an identifying means in these public order operations.

Police from all sorts of services working together and doing an outstanding job as trained professionals.  Very rare to see in Canada.

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Move over binge watching of Winter Olympics in Beijing, when one can have three days of constant coverage of major police operations in Ottawa.  It was really very hard to be away from the television for any length of time, because one might miss the chance to see another patch or wardrobe/kit variation.  Just like the fashion of the Olympic ceremonies, the participating police forces did not disappoint:

1. Durham Regional Police:  Easily the best dressed and coordinated of any participating partner police service.  The signature red toques matched with a large bold shoulder patch on the black uniform.  These guys were everywhere: moving up on Friday morning in the initial stages, advancing in ranks to the coffee line in the Chateau Laurier, and populating the police line with the red toques peering out from the helmets, in the face of some pretty colorful language from the crowd.

2. Toronto Police Horse Squad:  The horses just looked so pretty lined up, strategically placed as eye candy beside the corralled media.  Children were reported to be among the occupiers, and obviously what child does not like horses.  But once committed to break up a particularly unruly knot of occupiers pushing back against the police line, they demonstrated their power and strength as a serious public order formation.  Thereafter, every time the horses showed up again behind the police line the occupiers began to boo and jeer.  Now that is respect. Obviously, as every trade unionist who has walked a picket line during a strike knows, being bitten by a police service dog or trampled by a police horse is almost a badge of honor.

3. Sûreté du Québec:  It looked like these guys had done this before and meant business.  The equivalent of heavy infantry, the Sûreté du Québec public order squad in green fatigues with subdued patches had the big numbers on their backs.  Some wearing gas masks right from the start, they were ready for anything.

4. Ottawa Police Service:  Taking back the yellow vest from the "yellow vest" movement.  Easily identifiable in the police lines and on the perimeter.  Tactical gear and yellow vests apparently work very well together as an ensemble.

5. Vancouver Police:  One could forgive the partner service from the West Coast for confusing the aggressive occupiers for simple drunk hockey fan sore-losers after a Stanley Cup final.  The logic was equally applicable.  What part of move do you not understand...

6. RCMP ERT:  Putting the paramilitary in gendarmerie.  Leave it to the RCMP to look more military than the military with their Ranger green fatigues, TAVs, and heavier weaponry.  An occasional glimpse of sniper and observer teams on the roofs of Parliament and the Prime Minister's Office just added to the effect.  The ability to get into a locked vehicle quickly was amply demonstrated by the ERT and Ottawa tactical team in their distinguishing bluish green uniforms.   The Ottawa Police Service armoured truck appeared to be doing lots of the heavy lifting.

Just glad it ended so quickly and peacefully in Ottawa.

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