From: Philip St. George, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
MATTAWA — Following a high octane chase on Lake Talon which involved a paddleboat and a dog, the Mattawa O.P.P. announced early this morning that they would be ordering an entire fleet of police pursuit paddleboats.
“I think our proud men and women deserve only the best,” began O.P.P. Staff Sergeant Carol Tucker Tuesday morning. “Saturday’s high speed marine pursuit showed how resilient we can be. The resourcefulness of the O.P.P. can never be overstated; but there won’t always be a paddleboat to commandeer.”
“And for this reason I have gone ahead on an order of 150 ‘police pursuit paddleboats’ for the North East O.P.P.”
Staff Sergeant Tucker explained that each pursuit paddleboat will be painted with the distinct black and white O.P.P. colour scheme, and will be outfitted with a police siren, a 100 watt searchlight, built-in cupholders, a suspect restraint system, a front facing battering ram, emergency paddles and a fire extinguisher.
“Some models will also have a hidden taser compartment and a nice place for the dog to sit,” says Tucker.
Among the 150 police pursuit paddleboats will be a dozen or more “stealth paddleboats,” though Tucker would not comment on what a stealth paddleboat might feature.
“We are confident that these fine watercraft, many of which can reach a top speed of 3 knots, will be able to catch most swimmers and even a few paddleboats.”
Staff Sergeant Tucker continued:
“I know our Mattawa area officers are going to take to these like a duck to water. They’ll all undergo two weeks of paddleboat training, after which they’ll be ready for lake patrol and high speed paddleboat pursuit.”
“I also told them that once we’re confident that they’ve got this, we’ll think about trusting them with canoes.”