RCMP in Nova Scotia have taken their first action under provincial legislation covering replica police cars that was introduced in the wake of the murders of 22 people in a mass killing two years ago.
The gunman responsible for the killings was driving a replica police car.
In response, the province introduced the Nova Scotia Police Identity Management Act, which prohibits people from owning certain items, including cars that could be mistaken for police vehicles.
Last month, RCMP in Annapolis District received a complaint from a member of the public about a vehicle they had spotted in the area.
Ford Taurus with push bar
It was a Ford Taurus that had a push bar on the front and a police interceptor badge on the back. The badge identifies vehicles that are built with special engines and suspension packages specifically for police use.
"Our understanding is that the vehicle was purchased and brought in from Ontario and is not a vehicle that was local here in Nova Scotia," RCMP Cpl. Chris Marshall said Friday.
"We know that it was not an RCMP vehicle. We don't actually know what agency it belonged to before it was decommissioned."
Marshall said the badge and the push bar were the only items that identified the car as a former police vehicle.
Items surrendered, destroyed
"There were no lights, no radio, nothing like that," Marshall said.
"But given the concern that was brought to us from the member of the public, and the fact that it is a decommissioned police car, it was at that point that our members decided that … the vehicle was subject to [the new legislation] and … they decided to issue the notice as required by the act."
Marshall said the owner of the vehicle voluntarily surrendered the two items, which have since been destroyed.
The commission investigating the events of April 2020 has produced evidence that shows the gunman bought a decommissioned police car at a surplus auction, then used eBay and other sources to acquire parts like roof lights and a push bar to restore the vehicle to the way it looked when it was operated by the RCMP.
It was several hours into the rampage before police confirmed that the car looked like an RCMP cruiser and it was hours after they got that confirmation before they warned the public.
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