Ret. Cst. Al Arsenault
Beat Policing, Script Review, Weapons, Undercover Work
Areas of Expertise and Strengths
- street policing; testifying in court; non-firearm (street) weapons expert
- tactical communications; public speaking and media interviews
- martial arts and street violence (Police Judo); physical arrests (hundreds!)
- surveillance and undercover work; cell-mating
- streets drugs and their use; drug addiction and drug policy
- teaching, writing, physical literacy, film work and world travel
Al is a retired Vancouver Police Officer, a Career he proudly served for 27 years (1979-2006). He has worked in the entire city of Vancouver, the Jail, the Juvenile Car, Strike Force, Crowd Control, Tactical Trainers’ Group, Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Unit, and he has done undercover work. His longest tenure has been as a beat officer in the DTES (approximately 15 years, in over four tours of duty). He has cell-mated murderers/rapists/career criminals and he has extensive experience in physically arresting criminals while testifying in all levels of court, including being a subject matter expert on non-firearm weapons and street weapons. Al is also an expert in Tactical Communications, having taught Canada’s National Park Wardens, police, and civilians coast to coast.
Al has been awarded a score of commendations (including Police Officer of the Year Award in 2005). He was a Founding Member of the Crowd Control Unit (a veteran of the 1994 Stanley Cup Riot), a Control Tactics Trainer who has studied police self-defence and physical fitness programs in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia and the RCMP Depot in Regina. Being a lifelong martial artist expert with advanced black belts in Karate and Sanshou Dao (and a black belt in Judo) had helped him create the new martial art of Police Judo (2010). He currently teaches at the various Police Judo clubs; he has been a contract Control Tactics Instructor and Applied Law Enforcement Instructor at the JIBC’s Police Academy and Justice and Public Safety Divisions respectively (2008 – 2014) providing linkage with Judo to the tactical applications of restraint and control (and handcuffing). Al continues to teach use of force and tactics through the Law Enforcement Training (Police Judo) Association. Al is a published martial arts author (Chin Na in Ground Fighting – 2003); he is currently working on a series of Police Judo books (2010 to present).
Al is also familiar with filmmaking through Odd Squad Productions Society, a charitable organization he helped create in 1997. He co-directed the award-winning documentary Tears for April (2007), a follow-up film to the NFB’s top documentary Through a Blue Lens (1999).