The near $1 billion price tag for the upcoming G8 and G20 summits may have your head spinning, but crowd control devices acquired by Toronto Police will have you covering your ears.
According to a report in the Toronto Star, authorities purchased four long range acoustic devices, or L-RADs, also known as sound cannons, for the upcoming G20 summit June 26th and 27th.
Police said the devices will likely be used as communication devices. The L-RADs also double as loud speakers.
Authorities in Pittsburgh were criticized for their use of sound cannons during the G20 summit last September when they unleashed an assault of piercing beeps before throwing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse a crowd marching toward the summit venue. It was the first time sound cannons had been used in public.
The truck-mounted model can emit an ear-splitting 143 decibels, far above the pain threshold of 110 to 120dB.
Some worry that if misued L-RADs could violate protesters’ rights.
The Star reports three of the four L-RADs purchased by Toronto Police are handheld models capable of emitting sound heard up to 600 metres away with a volume up to 135dB.