The Calgary Police Service is launching a program to arm front-line officers with single-shot 37mm ARWEN ACE-T launchers and impact munitions for less-lethal response.
This summer, 40 trained officers will be deployed across the city along with 40 of the ARWEN launchers. The service says it will have 160 officers trained and 80 systems available by the end of 2019. This will roughly equate to 20 officers for each of the city’s eight districts.
The less-lethal program was developed as a result of officers having a limited ability in using such tools as Tasers in extended ranges before escalating to the use of firearms. The ARWEN has been used by the tactical unit, but Wednesday was the first time front-line officers had access to it.
When the ARWEN is used, it is based on the idea that the pain of being hit will make those targeted more willing to be compliant with police.
“If we look at known objects out in the world, we can equate the AR-1 baton to about one-and-a-half times the energy of somebody being struck by a 100-mile-per-hour fast ball or roughly the same energy as somebody being struck by the fastest slapshot ever recorded,” Staff Sgt. Jason Bobrowich told the Calgary Herald.