Service de police de la Ville de Montréal 2017 annual report
Director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal
Message from the Director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) plays a central role in the public’s quality of life. In the following pages, you will find the 2017 report on its activities and achievements, giving an excellent overview of what police work involves in Montréal, both in terms of quality of services and the diversity of interventions.
The SPVM is currently writing a new page of its history by reviewing its decision-making structure, with the goal of favouring greater efficiency in the circulation of information and the use of its resources.
With gender parity on its Executive Committee, the support of the managers in the different units, and the contribution of external expertise and an external point of view for the Assistant Directors, the SPVM is putting itself on the path to renewal, ready to take on the challenges that await it.
Message from the Chair of the Commission de la sécurité publique
Public security plays a major role in the public’s everyday life. Everyone has a right to expect that the police will treat the public with respect and professionalism, so that the police presence is a reassuring factor and public confidence is maintained in all circumstances.
Montréal society’s understanding of the nature and complexity of police work is therefore a prerequisite on which respect and mutual trust depend.
In this regard, the 2017 Report of the SPVM is an excellent showcase to discover the range of police work performed every day with the goal of ensuring public security throughout the territory.
With this perspective in mind, the Public Security Committee / Commission de sécurité publique (CSP) will sit in public more frequently from now on. We thus hope to improve accessibility and have the CSP serve the entire population.
By doing this, the transparency of police work and the SPVM’s accountability will live up to Montrealers’ expectations.
Chair of the Commission de la sécurité publique
In the field
Investigation into a series of violent crimes in Montréal
The Mazout project is one of the largest investigations conducted by the SPVM in 2017. It solved a wave of violent crimes connected with street gangs. To spearhead this major investigation in Montréal’s criminal underworld, the SPVM set up a team of police officers from different investigation units, including ajor crimes — which also coordinated the effort — the arson division, the eastern division’s violent crime unit and the Anti-gang squad. The joint team of investigators successfully linked suspects to seven cases of violent crimes, including one murder, three arson fires, one home invasion and fraud. During the investigation itself, police also managed to foil several more crimes.
With the support of PDQ 39 police officers, the investigators conducted five searches in Montréal and arrested seven individuals. They face a series of charges including murder, arson, robbery, possession of firearms, possession of illegal firearms, fraud and conspiracy.
Synthetic drugs : major investigation into traditional Italian organized crime and criminal biker gangs
In January 2017, the Affliction project was launched by the Anti-gang squad of the organized crime division. This broad investigation targeted a major criminal cell involved in the large-scale trafficking of cocaine and the production of synthetic drugs. The investigation revealed that the members of this network were supplying drugs to traditional Italian organized crime, criminal biker gangs and many distribution networks active in Montréal.
Together with various units of the SPVM, police conducted more than twenty searches in the Greater Montréal area and in the Laurentians. This led to the seizure of 42 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 50,000 tablets of synthetic drugs, several kilograms of methamphetamine, 42 weapons, as well as equipment and products used to manufacture drugs. Police also arrested 11 individuals. They faced multiple charges including drug trafficking and conspiracy.
Spring 2017 flooding: Making a difference together
In spring 2017, Montréal was hard hit by flooding due to higher-than-average water levels. The flooding particularly affected areas along the Rivière-des-Prairies in the West, North and East divisions. In early May, police officers were on the ground, ensuring the safety of citizens and controlling traffic. On May 7, a state of emergency was declared and emergency centres sprang into action. While continuing to protect lives and property, the SPVM provided its support to the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (SIM) and responded to the needs of the Centre de sécurité civile.
Present on the ground from start to finish, police officers worked with their SIM partners and members of the Canadian Armed Forces, while personnel from the four divisions of the SPVM and the marine and motorcycle units were dispatched to flood areas. Constant communication with the Centre de coordination des mesures d’urgence (CCMU), a central control centre, ensured the coordinated deployment of personnel. Community relations officers and liaison officers of the SPVM visited 1,846 homes and met with 102 citizens to ensure their safety.
The fight against fentanyl
The dangerous drug fentanyl entered the Montréal scene a few years ago. Overdose-related deaths have gone up in 2017. In response to this situation, the SPVM has coordinated the reported cases of overdoses to make sure they are processed in an optimal and consistent manner across the territory. Each case is analyzed, and an investigation is launched to better understand the circumstances of the overdose and to find the source of the narcotics.
To humanize its interventions with consumers and provide assistance to overdose victims, the SPVM has focused on the application of the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. It has worked closely with the public health directorate on seeking out solutions. Police officers also proceeded to drug busts targeting both street vendors and the networks involved in the supply, manufacturing and distribution of drugs. Dealers of heroin, one of the main drugs contaminated with fentanyl, were specifically targeted by these operations. Arrests and major seizures were made and laboratories were dismantled, which significantly weakened the illicit fentanyl market.
Pedestrian safety and seniors
In 2017, in collaboration with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), the SPVM launched an awareness campaign entitled, “Traversez sans jouer avec votre vie” (crossing without playing with your life). The campaign was aimed at senior pedestrians, due to their greater vulnerability. In fact, 50% of accident victims are 55 years of age or over. As part of the campaign, the SPVM was pleased to count on the participation of actress and director Louise Latraverse. Issues addressed included staying safe at intersections, evaluating speed and identifying obstacles, in addition to the risks associated with diminished physical, sensory and cognitive faculties due to aging.
The ultimate end of this campaign was to ensure safe road crossings by explaining pedestrian crossing signals and focusing on the importance of being visible before going into an intersection. So before crossing the street, be sure to always establish eye contact with drivers, especially when a heavy vehicle is involved.
The « Trade in your ticket » initiative for better road safety
In May 2017, the SPVM launched the « Trade in your ticket » project. First introduced as a pilot project, the initiative gives pedestrians and cyclists the chance to have the tickets they received during a targeted operation cancelled by the municipal court of Montréal. Offenders can take advantage of this offer as long as they attend an information and prevention session on pedestrian or bicycle safety. The sessions focus on the road safety practices promoted by the SPVM and SAAQ.
Four SPVM units have participated in the development of this pilot project. The targeted operations took place in high-traffic areas. Project results were subsequently analyzed and recommendations were made to the SPVM management. During these operations, 896 tickets were given out. Of this number, 429 were cancelled by the municipal court of Montréal. « Trade in your ticket » is an original idea from the Service de police de l’agglomération de Longueuil.
Temporary phone line to report sexual assaults
In October, a movement denouncing sexual assaults took unprecedented proportions. In the wake of this movement, the SPVM set up a temporary phone line to make it easier for victims to report these crimes. Between October 19 and November 6, 2017, investigators received 460 calls. Of this total, 98 led to a sexual assault case being opened and 34 complaints were transferred to other police departments. In addition, during the same period, SPVM PDQs received 26 sexual assault complaints. Given this significant increase in the number of complaints, investigators from various units joined the sexual assault team to lend them a hand.
On November 6, during a week when the number of phone calls dramatically decreased, the SPVM closed the temporary phone line. In emergency situations, PDQs and 911 remain the first point of contact to report sex-based offences.
Ullivik and the SPVM: A team at your service
On November 6, the video Ullivik and the SPVM: A team at your service was launched at the Ullivik Health Center in Dorval. The video is one of the tools made available to clients arriving at the Centre. It presents basic safety rules and provides information on how to react if under threat. Police officers of PDQ 5, where the Ullivik Center is located, are very familiar with the needs of members of the Inuit community and work every day with the Center on offering prevention tips and support. In fact, two officers from PDQ 5 have been tasked with maintaining close ties with the Center and responding to the concerns and expectations of its clients. The approach involves collaboration among all partners of the sector, as well as other units of the SPVM, given that the clients of the Center often travel to other areas on the territory.
New unit to fight human trafficking and procuring
On April 21, 2017, the Minister of Public Safety announced the creation of the Équipe intégrée de lutte contre le proxénétisme (EILP). The EILP brings together investigators and civilian officials from the SPVM, SQ and RCMP and from police forces in Laval, Longueuil, Gatineau and Québec City. It is headquartered in Montréal; the SPVM leads the unit’s tactical operations, while the SQ ensures its coordination.
The unit was set up to fight networks involved in procuring and human trafficking for sexual exploitation that carry out interregional, interprovincial and international activities in Québec. It does so by targeting individuals who allow sexual exploitation to prosper, either through the purchase of sexual services or the profits they generate, and by reducing the economic attractiveness of sexual exploitation through the maximum recovery of the products and instruments of this illegal activity.
The creation of a team composed of members from various police forces has many advantages when it comes to sharing information and expertise, coordinating cases and promptly responding to victims. In addition, the team is structured in a way that ensures optimal geographic coverage and provides the flexibility required to address this complex issue.
A new collective agreement for police officers
In August 2017, the 4,500 SPVM police officers approved, by a strong majority, an agreement in principle on a new seven-year collective agreement valid from January 1, 2015 to December 21, 2021. The agreement was officially signed by both the employer and the union parties on October 11.
In September 2017, a steering committee was set up to implement the new collective agreement. Six working committees were also created to closely monitor the progress made in applying the new clauses of the agreement. Each of these committees was tasked with making amendments to the new agreement. For example, one committee was in charge of overseeing the transition of police functions to civilian functions, for instance in cases involving the transfer of traffic duties near construction sites from police officers to police cadets.
Hate crimes and incidents module
The Hate crimes and incidents module of the SPVM investigates reports and complaints in connection with hate crimes. Hate crimes have always been a focus of investigation by the SPVM, but this has not always been the case for hate incidents. The module aims to rectify this situation.
It was established in 2016, making 2017 its first full year of operation. During this period, 250 hate crimes were processed, including 155 crimes against persons, 66 crimes against property (e.g., graffiti) and 29 crimes of another nature. Still in 2017, the module recorded 173 hate incidents (non-criminal acts), most of them targeting the religion or ethnic origin of individuals.
The unit has been busy responding to events affecting the sense of safety of identifiable groups and makes regular visits to communities in order to present its service offering.
The safety network (Réseau de la sécurité) is a mechanism coordinated by the SPVM’s Section de la prévention et de la sécurité urbaine (SPSU), a unit dedicated to prevention and urban safety. It works with existing local committees set up by PDQs, relies on various divisions to better understand crime-related issues at the regional level and has implemented within the organization a strategic committee tasked with advising management on these issues.
The network acts as a liaison among these three levels. The coordination ensured by the SPSU provides PDQs and divisions with concrete support and helps to channel our efforts toward consistent, complementary action on prevention and problem-resolution in connection with our partners.
In sum, the network is a structure that enables the SPVM to better integrate its activities across the entire organization. The SPSU is particularly active when it comes to implementing the citizen-based approach of each PDQ, which focuses on bridging the gap between citizens and our partners by way of keeping a constant watch on safety, proposing prevention activities and consulting citizens on local priorities.
Elder abuse: The SPVM presents a brief to the National Assembly
On January 19, 2017, the SPVM took part in the special consultations and public hearings at the National Assembly, pertaining to Bill 115: An Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations.
The SPVM made four recommendations to ensure the bill met current elder abuse challenges, including:
- Support the development of a socio-judicial agreement adapted to Montréal’s special characteristics;
- Recognize the importance of having the Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVAC) as a partner;
- Amend the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information to facilitate the reporting of maltreatment cases;
- Promote Montréal initiatives to fight maltreatment, more specifically the Integrated Police Response for Abused Seniors (IPRAS) model.
Developed jointly by the SPVM and the Université de Sherbrooke’s Research Chair on Elder Abuse, the IPRAS project is in line with Bill 115. Police forces that would like to implement the IPRAS model have access to all of the upgraded tools on the SPVM website.
Action plan for reassuring and improving citizens’ trust in the SPVM
On March 31, 2017, the SPVM tabled its action plan for reassuring and improving citizens’ trust in the SPVM. This action plan was requested by Martin Coiteux, Minister of Public Security, a month earlier. A progress report on the implementation of the action plan is submitted to the Minister every three months, and was publicly tabled on June 16 and September 29, 2017, to the City of Montréal’s Commission de la sécurité publique. Consisting of 38 measures, the action plan is based on three key elements—transforming police culture at the SPVM, improving governance and reviewing the organizational structure. Each mandate is assigned to an executive, who appoints a representative. More than thirty executives were thus involved in implementing this plan.
The “Dare to Act” walk against elder abuse, when generations come together
On June 11, 2017, some 150 seniors took part in the seniors’ “Dare to Act” walk at Outremont park, an activity organized by PDQ 24 and the North Division, in partnership with the Outremont en famille community organization. The walk took place during the 5th annual Foulée des parcs, an urban race to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle through physical activity.
Sporting their purple “Dare to Act” t-shirts, the seniors enthusiastically walked from 1 km to 5 km alongside regulars of the race, which draws over 2,000 participants each year. The event provided an opportunity to bring together different generations in a festive and supportive atmosphere. The walk also kicked off activities organized by the SPVM and its partners for the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Police officers of the North Division were accompanied by their colleagues from the Road safety unit, a police dog and its handler, cavalry patrollers and their mounts and police cadets.
Officers from PDQ 44 and local youth lend a hand
On August 24, 2017, police officers from PDQ 44 prepared a community meal with the help of 17-to-20-year-old youth from the Saint-Denis residential centre. The meals were then distributed to local residents in need of food assistance. They were prepared on the premises of Bouffe-Action, a community organization. The menu included everything from a cream of vegetable soup to an Asian-style stir fry and a Spanish omelette. When all when said and done, some fifty meals had been provided to the Logis Rose Virginie organization.
By working side by side with local youth and distributing meals with them to other residents of the sector, police officers were hoping to bring together groups of people of all ages, while raising the profile of the community organizations that support area residents.
PDQ 21 and Loisirs St-Jacques hold friendly sports competitions
Throughout the summer of 2017, police officers of PDQ 21 and young people from the Loisirs St-Jacques day camp hosted a street basketball competition, giving teens ages 12 to 15 the chance to showcase their talent. Every Monday, from late June to late August, officers from PDQ 21 actively participated in the friendly competition, much to the delight of the youth, who had to use their best strategies to outwit their police opponents. The goal of the exercise was to break down the prejudices some people may have when it comes to the police. For the officers, it was a great opportunity to get to know the young people and build closer ties with them.
Thanks to the generosity of a large sporting equipment distributor, the participating teens received a pair of basketball shoes.
A well-deserved recognition day for seniors at PDQ 26
On May 18, 2017, during Police Week, the first edition of a recognition day for Côte-des-Neiges seniors was hosted by the team at PDQ 26 in cooperation with local partners. The goal of the special day, which took place in a community hall in the borough, was to bring together seniors in a pleasant atmosphere to break down their isolation, generate conversation and build connections. It was also a wonderful opportunity to tackle prevention issues that affect them.
Over 200 seniors, not only from Côte-des-Neiges but also from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lachine and Kirkland, accepted the invitation extended by the police officers. Together they shared a meal accompanied by officers and 6th grade student volunteers from a neighbourhood elementary school. They also attended a concert by the Symphonie vocale de la Fraternité des policiers et policières de Montréal, who performed at the event. Police officers made a brief presentation to attendees warning them about fraud and abuse affecting seniors.
Information session for partners of PDQ 7
On November 16, 2017, the team at PDQ 7 in the Saint-Laurent borough hosted a unique information session on police work for leaders and workers of different local community organizations. Mindful of maintaining good relationships with local partners and citizens, officers from PDQ 7 decided to innovate by creating a presentation on police interventions with the help of experts from the training unit. Representatives from ten organizations working on the territory among different client groups were invited to the session. The purpose of this information meeting was to demystify certain aspects of police work, including the use of force, demonstrate and explain the challenges involved in police work, share information and answer questions by participants.
The meeting was a rewarding experience for everyone involved, with participants learning a great deal about the day-to-day job of police officers. They left with the intention of sharing their new knowledge with the people in their respective organizations.
PDQ 42 pharmacy project
As part of Fraud Awareness Month, which ran from March 1 to March 31, 2017, PDQ 42 of the SPVM launched an innovative project to inform seniors, a group particularly vulnerable to fraud. The main goal of the pharmacy project was to connect with seniors by distributing a series of four pamphlets specially developed for them through the home delivery service of three partner pharmacies. Through the project, 600 kits were distributed to seniors, who would otherwise have been difficult to reach with traditional prevention activities.
The POP Glacé project wins a 2017 Mérite Ovation municipale award
PDQ 45 received the 2017 Mérite Ovation municipale award from the Union des municipalités du Québec, in the public safety category, for its POP Glacé project, which stood out for its ingenuity, transfer potential and spin-offs in the area.
In 2014, the POP Glacé project initially aimed to prevent incidents on the last day of school. This first edition was so successful that it spread to other high-volume areas. The project grew in 2017. During the summer, patrollers handed out Popsicles to the youth and their parents during special events or in the neighbourhood’s parks and schools.
The POP Glacé project promotes exchanges that are free of judgement and pressure. It helps forge ties with the community and strengthen the trust between citizens and police officers in the area. It also owes its success to the fact that it reaches certain clienteles who would not normally engage with a police officer in the street or call 911.
The day-to-day of police officers
The day-to-day of police officers
CACP – Montréal, host city
From July 16 to 19, 2017, the SPVM hosted the 112th annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the theme of which was “Policing in a Digital Society”. The conference brought together more than 400 police chiefs and senior executives. At the opening, the SPVM and its partners from the Comité aviseur antiterrorisme de Montréal (CAAM) received the CACP Motorola Award for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness for “Montréal 360”.
30 years of partnership with Info-Crime
In 2017, the SPVM marked the 30th anniversary of Info-Crime Montréal (ICM), founded in 1987 by Alex Harper and the late Roland Bourget, former director of the Service de police de Montréal. The SPVM is proud to be part of the success of ICM. Such a partnership is unique and essential.
The SPVM celebrated several anniversaries in 2017: 10 years for the Métro Unit, 20 years for the intervention groups, 20 years for the community police model, 50 years for the arson division and 25 years for the Police Museum.
Bal en blanc to promote the well-treatment of seniors
On June 15, 2017, the SPVM neighbourhood police stations and their partners marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Police officers from the North Division held a large-scale Bal en blanc event to promote the well-treatment of elders. Some 300 seniors took part in the activity aiming to break isolation and build bridges.
Coffee with a cop
Coffee with a cop was created in the United States in 2011. The Québec version of the concept was launched in Blainville in 2014, following an initiative by six police services. Since then, 22 police forces in Québec, including the SPVM, take part in the project. In 2017, 65 Coffee with a cop activities took place in 16 neighbourhood police stations, during which Montréal police officers got to meet some 3,396 citizens.
1 351 898
Number of calls to 9-1-1
Number of offences reported online
Number of transportations by the SPVM for the Canadian Organ Donors Association (CODA)
Permanent auxiliary constable hiring