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Victoria BC Police Departments'

"Zero Tolerance" policy

Gallery Article by Alvis 3.1

Silly Week 2007

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The ownership of private warbirds has always been a thorny issue in Canada. In this case, it became police department policy!

An avid WWII Japanese naval modeller and hysterical...err...HISTORICAL researcher, Officer C. Preston was able to purchase an intact and  WW II Mitsubish A6M5 Zero at a government assets auction. Realising there was a grey area in departmental policy of "Personal Aircraft Usage", he was able to operate it without restrictions as long as it was on police department time and business. His flights went unnoticed by the "brass" until one hot February day, when a barge loaded with explosives was being towed toward the world famous "Undersea Gardens" by a group of disgruntled pot growers. In a display of amazing aerobatic skill, Officer Preston was able to shoot the tow rope off the tug during an inverted outside loop passing UNDER the Bay Street Bridge! Surface units safely removed the explosives and arrested the malcontents, but Officer Preston was faced with weeks of paperwork for discharging excessive amounts of ammunition inside city limits!

The Victoria Police was forced to adopt a "Zero Tolerance" policy to avoid serious federal legal action, and as a result, the A6M5 got the paint finish as seen here. Light bars were installed in the leading edges of the wing (cowl guns being retained) and a siren was placed inside the engine cowling. The Zero and the now "Flight Officer" Preston went on to a very successful career in Armed Aerial Law Enforcement, including the famous shoot down of an Me-262 flown by a local pothead!

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Kits used was the older 1/48 Tamiya A6M5 Zero. The decals were from JBOT (I think) and are 1/24 Victoria Police Markings. The tail number actually matches the real Mr. Prestons' patrol car number. The leading edge lights were made from tubes of clear plastic found on some paintbrushes as protective covers, painted clear red/blue and metal coloured spacings.

Alvis 3.1

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Photos and text by Alvis 3.1

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