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London police compete with Russian unit

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Thai Truong, chief of the London, Ont., police force says it will cooperate in reviewing the decision to send officers to the competition in Dubai. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

London police in the South West ;Ontario is in the hot seat after sending a team to an international competition in Dubai, an event where some of its agents trained and competed with members of a suspected Russian special unit. ;having committed atrocities in Ukraine.

London Police Chief Thai Truong and Mayor Josh Morgan confirmed a review of the decision by the Police Services Board.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Dozens of units from various countries participated in the UAE Swat Challenge competition in the United Arab Emirates, which included tactical, rescue and obstacle courses in late January and early February.

The Police Department London was the only Canadian police force to take part in the competition.

Among the participants was the&# x27;Akhmat unit of the Russian republic of Chechnya, a group accused of committing atrocities during the invasion of Ukraine.

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The victory of this unit in an event organized on the fourth day was celebrated with a ceremony in the presence of Adam Kadyrov, son of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, according to a press release Press. Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is among those subject to economic sanctions by the Canadian government.

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London police were recently criticized for their handling of the gang rape allegedly perpetrated by former London hockey players. Junior Team Canada. Police Chief Truong apologized to the alleged victim.

In the case of the competition in Dubai, Chief Truong defended his members' participation.

I am prepared to fully participate in the review as we continue to ensure our members receive the best possible training to perform their duties effectively and safely.

A quote from London Police Chief Thai Truong (written statement)

He stated that the cost of trip had been reduced from $115,000 to $15,700 after discussions with Dubai Police, who organized the event.

As leader, I am committed to ensuring our members have access to world-class training opportunities, he added. I supported this chance for our members to train, compete and learn from over 70 teams from around the world in Dubai, who are considered among the best internationally .

Asked about London police training alongside the Chechen unit, Chief Truong's office declined to comment.

London Mayor Josh Morgan, who serves on the Police Services Commission, has asked the administration to define specific financial and procedural considerations governing not only the approval of this particular training competition, but also the approval process governing similar training opportunities for the police department.

Mayor Morgan added that he could not comment further in order not to compromise the review process.

Aurel Braun, professor of international relations and political science at the University of Toronto, believes the London police force's participation in the event damages Canada's image and that there is no reasonable justification for this, even though little taxpayer money has been spent.

When you do something thing internationally, you also need to be aware of the country's image, it's not just a local issue.

A quote from Aurel Braun , political scientist, University of Toronto

According to Professor Braun, who is also associated with the Davis Center for Russia and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, USA, it would be important to know exactly how the decision to participate was made. Just as important, he said, sanctions should be severe enough to deter similar decisions in the future.

For him, the decision to participate in the competition should lead to resignations. He draws parallels with the incident in the House of Commons last year, when Speaker Anthony Rota resigned after inviting to Parliament a man who had fought for a Nazi military unit.

In Ukraine, the Kadyrov clan is a big supporter of aggression, they are a big supporter of the regime Poutine. So how can we […] consider it justified to participate in the event where these people are present? asks Professor Braun.

The competition website states that it aims to promote the exchange of techniques and tactical skills between SWAT teams

Other participating countries this year included Belarus, China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Two units from Dubai placed first and second, l&#x27 ;Chechen team having finished in eighth place. London Police made the bottom ten.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116