The Langley RCMP have added a new tool to their crime-fighting and crime-prevention arsenal – a remote controlled police cruiser.
Meant to start conversations and encourage friendly police-youth interactions over the summer, it’s part of ongoing outreach efforts by the local detachment, said Cpl. Craig van Herk, head of the Langley RCMP Youth Section.
The RC car, upgraded from a standard kit model with paint and working lights by Const. Jason Kennard and his sons, got its unveiling at the Langley RCMP Cadet Camp from July 3 to 5.
Officers set up a road course in the Langley Events Centre and had a “police chase.”
“We had a course set up, and there was a police pursuit,” said van Herk. An RC pickup truck played the part of a fleeing suspect.
The Dukes of Hazzard-style course included a ramp jump that sent the police car airborne for a considerable distance.
That gave the officers an idea, said van Herk.
Van Herk, Kennard, and Const. Damian Moe laid down on the floor by the ramp and the police RC car flew over them, Evel Knievel-style.
“The kids absolutely went crazy when we laid down behind the ramp,” said van Herk.
The car successfully cleared the officers with room to spare.
After that successful launch, the RC car made its first debut in public on Tuesday, July 16th at a local playground.
That’s where it will be all summer, van Herk said. Officers with the Youth Section will be showing off their vehicle at parks and playgrounds around Langley.
The goal isn’t simply to have fun.
“We’re looking to kind of break barriers down, and connect with youth in different ways,” said van Herk.
In the past police have used hockey and basketball games with local youths, as well as Nerf battles.
Anything that gets people talking and attracts a crowd can help.
“Kids come over, adults come over,” van Herk said of reaction to the RC car. “It really opened the door to conversation.”