Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Winterl 2007 - page 6

New chopper will help city police (add noise!)

By Mia Thomas – staff reporter

Burnaby police—and citizens— will be among those benefiting from a new police helicopter.

Solicitor General John Les announced recently that the province's first helicopter, fully equipped and dedicated to traffic safety, is coming to the Lower Mainland. It's going to be fighting crime from the air over 17 municipalities in the region, those served by either RCMP or municipal police departments.

"What it's going to do is it's going to enhance and certainly support our efforts in Burnaby," said Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre, spokesperson for the Burnaby RCMP. "It will help with overall crime prevention." Lemaitre noted that it could make a difference when police are trying to catch car thieves or those otherwise trying to outrun the law on the roads. "If we put in a request to them because we're doing something operational, it's nice to know they'll be there for us." Crime-fighting in the city will be changing, he added. "It's certainly going to bring a new chapter for us."

Although people might be imagining something along the lines of the Los Angeles Police Department's chopper reporting in


real time, Lemaitre said it won't be quite along those lines. "For us, it's another commitment to having safer homes and safer streets. It's a welcome addition."

The helicopter is a $2.2-million Eurocopter EC-120B Colibri, to be nick-named Air One. Equipment such as an infra- red camera and a high-powered light will help with police night work. It's funded through a joint traffic safety agreement between the provincial and federal governments and ICBC. Crews have yet to finish their training and orientation, but are expected to be ready by March, when the helicopter will take to the air.

The RCMP has a fleet modernization plan, supported by the Treasury Board and Public Works and Government Services Canada. Fixed-wing aircraft are replaced every seven years, about 7,000 hours of flight, and helicopters are replaced after 15 years. The aircraft are sold and the money is used to buy newer aircraft, which are safer, more efficient and cost-effective.

Burnaby Now

Editor's note: Since the acquisition of that helicopter we noticed much more noise over Vancouver.

Tough interrogation techniques include noise exposure

By Ed Pilkington in New York and Clare Dyer

Details emerged yesterday about the seven interrogation techniques the CIA is seeking to be allowed to apply to terror suspects. Newsweek magazine reported that a New York lawyer, Scott Horton, who has acted as an adviser to the US senate on interrogation methods, had acquired a list of the techniques. The details were corroborated by information obtained by the charity Human Rights Watch.

The techniques sought by the CIA are:

  • induced hypothermia
  • forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods
  • sleep deprivation
  • a technique called "the attention grab," where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized
  • the "attention slap" or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage
  • the "belly slap"
  • sound and light manipulation

Several of those techniques chime with information gleaned about interrogation methods used against some serious terror suspects. The New York Times recently


reported that Abu Zubaydah, the first al-Qaida member captured after the September 11 attacks, was kept in a freezing cell until he went blue, and later assailed with loud Red- Hot Chili Peppers music.

The debate on how far the CIA should be allowed to go in aggressively questioning suspects has divided the Republican party after prominent senators led by John McCain of Arizona rebelled against the administration's plans to change the Geneva Convention to meet the CIA's demands. Mr. McCain told ABC television yesterday that "there is a war we are losing in some ways and that's our standing in the world because of our treatment in Abu Ghraib and Guanta'namo".

The British attorney general warned the US that its plans would face international condemnation. Speaking to lawyers in Chicago at the weekend, Lord Goldsmith said he had thought hard about interfering in a "sensitive, domestic political debate," but had concluded that the Geneva Convention was "an international standard of very considerable importance and its content must be the same for all nations." Guanta'namo Bay had become "a symbol" which "the long American tradition of justice and liberty deserves to see removed at the earliest moment".

The Guardian

Right to Quiet turns 25

This year marks the 25th anniversary of our society's existence. On this occasion we intend to issue a "special edition" of our NOISE-Letter this spring and invite our members' contributions to that in the shape of short articles or letters on the topic of noise prevention and abatement. We will select as many as we can fit and give a token award to the "three best contributions". Please don't be shy—and good luck!

Entire contents © 2006 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society
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