Police practice escorting VIPs

Around 50 Ottawa Police and RCMP officers are taking part in motorcade training today.

An exercise of this scale, which brings traffic to a stand still as it passes, takes place once or twice every year.

Weaving in and out, officers on motorcycles blocked off intersections as the escort for the fictional President Sanduchi of Europa made its way through the city.

Sanduchi is placed in an armoured RCMP limousine, led and followed by an assortment of marked and unmarked police vehicles and a paramedic SUV.

Motorcycles zip up ahead to close intersections so the motorcade could pass through without waiting at the lights.

This is level 5 training, the kind that would be afforded to the highest risk passengers, including dignitaries like the Israeli Prime Minister and that means once these wheels start rolling, they do not stop until they reach destinations where fake protesters - police foundations students from Algonquin and La Cite Collegiale - scream and assassination attempts are possible.

"We're in the nation's capital, where the Prime Minister invites heads of state to come here on a regular basis, so we have to keep up our skills to make sure that this runs fluid each time that we come here," said Sgt. Mark Gatien.

Gatien said training like this is key to ensuring actual escorts, which include complicated manoeuvres go off without a hitch.

The exercise also served as a kind of exam for some of the officers.

"There's a lot of mistakes they make along the way, but everybody will and you have to learn how to position yourself along the way," said Gatien.

"So far I've watched a few there, there's a few little hiccups, but I don't think it's big enough to fail them," he said.

The RCMP led this particular exercise.

The training comes one day after an OPP officer in the Toronto-area lost his leg during a similar exercise when he was struck by a goose and lost control of his motorcycle.

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