TORONTO -- A retired RCMP officer says the RCMP is "ìll-equipped to deal with situations like the one in Moncton" last Wednesday.
Three Mounties were shot and killed Wednesday evening after responding to a call about a man walking down the street with firearms. Two other officers were injured.
Justin Bourque, 24, has been charged with three counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Kent Taylor, a retired OPP sergeant and weapons expert, told QMI Agency the "weaponry the RCMP is using is absolutely antiquated" and that officers are "so outgunned" in situations like the one in Moncton.
"It's like going to a gun fight with a pea shooter," Taylor said from his home in Gravenhurst. "You're taking on a heavily armed guy with homicidal tendencies and you have a handgun."
Taylor is a former instructor with the OPP's Tactics and Rescue Unit, a former firearms instructor at the Ontario Police College, and a former instructor with the RCMP's Immediate Action Rapid Deployment program.
"Patrol officers only have their handguns and shotguns," Taylor said. "Both are very short range compared to the assault type weapons we see being used by hostile shooters. RCMP officers need access to rifles to respond to incidents in their patrol areas as all too often their tactical backup is very far away."
Taylor painted a scenario to emphasize his point.
"In school shootings, RCMP officers can't wait for tactical teams as children are dying. Imagine an RCMP officer entering a school full of children with a shotgun. Even if he or she confronted the hostile individual they would quite likely not be able to shoot because of the spread pattern of the shotgun pellets," he said.
Taylor says the government and the RCMP promised to properly equip officers after four RCMP officers were gunned down in Mayerthorpe, Alta., but haven't kept their word.
"It has been eight years since that tragedy. Two weeks ago officers shot it out with a heavily armed individual in St. Paul, Alberta. Three officers were injured. This week five officers were shot, three fatally. What tragedy will be required to cause our government to properly equip those brave RCMP members sworn to protect us?
"It is time for Canadians to stand up and speak for out RCMP officers."
The RCMP's media officer could not be reached for comment, but last week retired RCMP deputy commissioner Doug Lang told CBC News that it is possible Bourque was better armed than the Mounties who were called to the scene.
"We don't outpower all the big guns out there," Lang said.