Via Rail Police Service

VIA Rail Canada Police Service
Service de police de VIA Rail Canada
Crest of the VRCPS
Crest of the VRCPS
Shoulder flash of the VRCPS
Shoulder flash of the VRCPS
Common nameVIA Rail Police
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionCanada
Legal jurisdictionFederal
Constituting instrument
  • Railway Safety Act
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters3 Place Ville Marie, Suite 500
Montreal, Quebec
Elected officer responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyVIA Rail Canada Inc.

The VIA Rail Canada Police Service (VRCPS) (French: Service de police de VIA Rail Canada (SPVRC)) is the federal railway police service of the Canadian intercity passenger rail operator, VIA Rail Canada Inc..

The agency was formed in 2015 under the Railway Safety Act with Peter Lambrinakos becoming VIA Rail Canada’s first chief of police and chief of corporate security.[1] As a railway police service, the agency is under the purview of the Department of Transport Canada.


As indicated under Canada's federal Railway Safety Act, VIA Rail police constables are appointed by a judge of a superior court for the enforcement of the laws of Canada or a province in so far as their enforcement relates to the protection of property owned, possessed or administered by VIA Rail Canada and for the protection of persons and property on their property.

VIA Rail Canada is mandated to operate intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada.[2] The police constables have jurisdiction on property under the administration of VIA Rail Canada and in any place within 500 metres of property that VIA Rail Canada owns, possesses or administers.[3]


The VIA Rail Police deploy at VIA Rail passenger train stations, along the right-of-ways on which VIA Rail trains operate, and on board VIA Rail trains to prevent security incidents and to exercise response and counterterrorism capabilities including events such as the 2013 Via Rail Canada terrorism plot.[4] VIA Rail Police work closely with the other two federal railway police services, the CN Police and CP Police, as well as many local police services of jurisdiction throughout the country to respond and investigate both provincial and federal crimes, as well as undertake a collaborative approach with various law enforcement and community partners to educate the general public on topics related to rail safety in an effort to reduce track-level incidents.

VIA Rail Canada Terror Plot

On March 20, 2015, Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser were sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to commit murder for a terrorist group following a conspiracy to derail a train route operated by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada, known as the Maple Leaf, running between Toronto and New York City.[5]

Canine Unit

The VIA Rail Police has its own canine unit and deploys vapor wake dogs to alert their human police canine handlers to the presence of threats. The police dogs can quickly screen large crowds and they can follow the trail of a scent.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Agenda at a Glance". 10th Annual Law of Policing Conference. Retrieved 2021-05-09.
  2. ^ "VIA Rail Committed to Follow the Way Towards a More Accessible and Inclusive Future". CISION. 2020-06-25. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  3. ^ "Railway Safety Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))". Justice Canada. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  4. ^ "Blue Line - VIA Rail Canada Police protecting Canada's intercity passenger rail service". 2020-05-03.
  5. ^ "Via Rail plotters weren't sick or addicted — they were evil, FBI undercover agent says". National Post. 2021-10-24. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  6. ^ "The 'Vapor Wake' Dogs That Protect the Thanksgiving Day Parade". WIRED. 2017-11-22. Retrieved 2021-01-03.

External links

  • Official website

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