Dive / Rov Operations
The Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USRT) consists of one dive Sergeant and seven constables. All officers have gone through extensive training in order to become qualified commercial divers. The minimum requirement to be eligible to join the police team is to posses a dive certificate, have a minimum of 20 dives with 10hrs of bottom time. Divers must also possess a high level of fitness and pass an extensive medical examination.
All dive team members are qualified in scuba and surface supply diving. The team trains 40 hours a month and works closely with other police dive teams in Ontario. The team is able to conduct dive operations in any body of water to a maximum depth of 100 feet. Lakes, ponds, rivers and sewers are common area's of dive team operations.
The dive team is able to assist any division or unit within the Toronto Police Service with any water related investigations such as, the recovery of bodies, firearms, weapons, vehicles, vessels, aircraft or any criminal evidence that may have been discarded in a body of water. All dive team members perform the duties of a regular marine unit officer, and perform a secondary fucntion as divers.
Once fully trained and operational as a police diver, members can further specialize as dive medics, underwater bomb technicians, dive supervisors, (which allows the officer to legally run a dive operation), underwater death investigators, and crime scene management. The dive team is fully equipped with underwater video and digital camera capabilities which can be utilized for any police investigation. Any divisional calls regarding water related deaths should notify the Marine unit for an officer to attend and assist with their investigations.
If a dive operation is required, the dive sergeant (Sgt. David Harlock) should be contacted for further information.
A Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) is a tethered underwater robot. ROV's are manuverable and operated by marine officers on board a vessel or land. It has the ability to send data signals back and forth to a computer. ROV is equipped with a sonar, a color video camera and a manipulating arm. It can reach depths of up to 500 feet.
The ROV can be used to survey the bottom of the lake for any hazards before sending a diver down. The manipulating arm has the capability of retrieving objects from the lake bottom. The camera can be used to survey the hull of a boat for damages or foreign objects that may be attached for criminal activities such as narcotics.
Selected marine unit officers train constantly to be proficient in the use of the ROV. This is also a secondary function for marine unit officers.