Police officers in France who are part of the BAC (the acronym for the country’s Anti-Crime Brigade) will soon be carrying their own assault rifles as upgrades to the force’s equipment begins over the coming weeks.
According to this story from vice.com, the upgrades are in response to the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 that killed 130 people. The Paris police chief and his driver, who were wearing bulletproof vests and carrying handguns, spotted one of the gunmen and engaged him, managing to put him down, but because they were only armed with handguns, they were forced to retreat and await backup when faced with heavy fire from the terrorists’ assault rifles.
France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced that the BAC officers would be issued the rifles and upgraded body armor along with ballistic shields, and bulletproof helmets.
“Before late February, and at the latest in early March, 204 of these submachine guns will have been delivered to BAC officers in and around Paris,” Cazeneuve said in the story.
The BAC’s new assault rifle is the Heckler & Koch G36. The Vice article calls it both a submachine gun (as Cazeneuve did) and an assault rifle. It can’t be both—and it is certainly not a submachine gun, and is most certainly a 5.56mm, fully automatic/selective fire carbine that is currently in use by the French police’s GIPN tactical unit, along with many other law enforcement agencies and militaries.
The G36 system began production in the mid-90s as a go-to 5.56 firearm for the German military.
Cazeneuve said eventually every police patrol unit in France will be equipped with the G36, the story says.
The story also says BAC officers may be getting a new fleet of vehicles with “secure trunks” in which they can store the rifles. The upgrades are expected to cost taxpayers in France about 43 million euros ($46 million).
The story says the rifles will not be carried by police, and will be team weapons that can only be used if authorized by the team chief and that the policies regulating the use of the rifles will be very restrictive and limited to “Bataclan-style interventions.”
Next, police will have to be trained to use the G36s.