Medicine Hat Media

Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Forces’

We all have an opinion on the Medicine Hat Police Service, but what happens to our opinion of the organization and its chief, Andy McGrogan, when they get called to deal with a potentially live artillery shell that happens to be in a school? No hype intended or required, they accomplished this all on their own:

The story starts out with James Chatfield, an electrician and a former British Army soldier, doing work in CAPE School. He stumbles upon an artillery shell in a storage room above the stage of the gymnasium that is rarely used. Though it is kind of random that it was there, anyone would understand that the principal, teacher, students and parents would definitely treat this as a threat; anyone but the Police, it appears.

The Principal immediately called the Medicine Hat Police, who responded that they were “too busy” to deal with it right away. The Canadian Forces Base in Suffield was then called, but the school was out of their jurisdiction, so the Police were called a second time. At length, an officer was sent to remove the shell in a fairly unprofessional manner. As the unofficial story goes, the officer knocked on the shell and apathetically tossed it into the back of his cruiser before taking off. Does Medicine Hat have a bomb squad? I cannot see the need for one, but having an experienced individual probably would not be such a bad thing.

Obviously the shell had been sitting there for over half a century and is probably a dud, but as the former soldier, James Chatfield says: “As soon as that outer shell starts to rust and corrode, these things can be dangerous,”

The Police Chief, Andy McGrogan, then followed up with:

“We wouldn’t have made it a priority call, because as I said, we get so many of them. We don’t get calls about them every day, but it’s not uncommon for us to get calls about shells, and in most cases, we find they’re basically duds or they’ve been expended,” McGrogan says.

“It was a shell from 1940 — it’s been there for decades. I’ve got to wonder what’s the rush sometimes.”

Pretty witty, but concerned parents and teachers do not like wit, and probably like Andy McGrogan and a seemingly unconcerned Police Service even less. What is more important than a possibly explosive artillery shell sitting in a school? I bet if the Police Chief’s children went to that school, they would have been there as soon as possible.

The official story can be found on The Medicine Hat News

Back in May the Canadian Forces did urban exercises in Medicine Hat. If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s worth a look to see the excellent training they received here.

In about eight weeks or so, most of the military participants that trained here will be on the ground in Afghanistan.

All our best wishes for a safe tour of duty.



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