Report by interim chief says outsider should head fragile Montreal police force

first_imgMONTREAL – The interim chief brought in to clean up problems in the Montreal police force says the internal climate remains fragile and the next chief should come from outside the department.The recommendation is among 14 made Tuesday by Martin Prud’homme, the provincial police chief who took charge of the Montreal force following the suspension of Philippe Pichet last December.Pichet, who was named in August 2015 by then-mayor Denis Coderre, was suspended with pay after an independent report found irregularities in the Montreal police force’s internal investigations.In a preliminary report in June, Prud’homme described a city police force with low morale and warring internal factions, saying officers were afraid to speak out.Prud’homme’s final report says the working climate has improved in the past year, but there is a risk that progress will be undone.Quebec Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault agrees with Prud’homme’s assessment.“It’s still fragile, and that’s why I endorse the recommendation made by Mr. Prud’homme that the next chief of police should be nominated among the two persons who worked with him,” she told reporters in Quebec City.One of Prud’homme’s two assistants was Line Carbonneau, a retired RCMP officer, whose job was to get the internal investigation unit back on its feet.The other was Sylvain Caron, a retired provincial police officer, who handled criminal investigations while working with Prud’homme.Guilbault said the review has helped to restore confidence in police institutions and bodes well for the force.Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said Tuesday that a selection committee has already been put in place to find a new Montreal police chief.But she added that she wants to proceed cautiously, echoing the sentiment that the force is in a “fragile” state.“The city of Montreal’s police service needs stability,” Plante said.Addressing the police force’s 6,000 employees, she said there have been difficult moments, but “finally, we see the light at the end of the tunnel.”Prud’homme, who is set to return to the provincial police at the end of the year, has also called on the city and the police to put together a final reorganization plan and send it to Guilbault.Another recommendation is the creation, along with provincial police, of a joint team that would investigate criminal allegations against police officers. Prud’homme says the Montreal force should not be solely responsible for such inquiries.He also called for improved training of investigators, a third of whom do not have the required certification, and the creation of an internal audit bureau to monitor spending.last_img read more

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