Montreal's police force are going to get some fancy new toys, the kind that can split an eardrum and tear through a crowd of people. If the acquisition project goes as planned, the SPVM will be sporting fancy new sound cannons to use against protesters and disturbers of the "peace."
To be exact, these sound cannons are products of the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) Corporation. According to La Presse, the SPVM will be getting two makes of sound cannons: the 100 X, which can reach 137 decibels, and the 300 X, maxing at 143 decibels, both costing a grand total of $18, 000.
Sound cannons sound intense, and that's because they are. LRAD devices are marketed as communications devices, able to send a message to a crowd with ease. Against protesters, however, LRADs can use sound to subdue citizens into submission, as was the case in 2011's Occupy Wall Street protests and 2009's G20 summit, among many others.
An audiologist at the University of Montreal pointed out to La Presse that a sound of 130 decibels can seriously injure parts of the inner ear, if the person is close enough to the sound's source. Since both cannons can reach well above 130 decibels, Montrealers best invest in ear plugs.
Of course, the SPVM has stated the sound cannons will be used solely for communicative purposes, with the minimum distance away from eardrums always maintained. Still, we've all witnessed (either first-hand or on video) just how the SPVM and its riot police can react to protesters, so the LRADs being weaponized is a likely possibility. You know, in the spur of the moment and such.
Are sound cannons too much?
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte