Labor shortage: around fifty police officers are missing in Gatineau

Labor shortage: around fifty police officers are missing in Gatineau
Labor shortage: around fifty police officers are missing in Gatineau

The Gatineau police are not immune to the labor shortage affecting Quebec, with around fifty police officers missing to provide adequate service to the population.

The geographical location of the city is one of the factors that makes it difficult to recruit according to the president of the Fraternity of Police Officers of Gatineau, Steve Spooner.

“The problem is that there are markets that are more interesting for young people leaving Nicolet who have to repay fees in a context of inflation,” he says. Rents here are extremely high, a bit like in Montreal. When we look at the salaries and working conditions in the collective agreement, there are things that we must greatly improve to become much more attractive”

Gatineau police also have one of the lowest entry-level salaries in the province currently, making it less attractive.

This is not the first time that the police department has faced a shortage of staff, although this situation had already occurred last summer.

“Since April we have been below the minimum provided for by the collective agreement, so we find ourselves with sectors which are not patrolled during certain periods and for us this is alarming, because citizens do not have the service they should expect,” continues Mr. Spooner.

To temporarily alleviate the problem, RCMP officers and union members carried out patrols. Even the director of the police department got involved.

“At one point, we were four people short of meeting the minimum, so the director and one of his managers returned. It was a nice gesture on his part, but it was in reaction mode to the lack of staff,” he said.

In order to attract more future police officers, the Gatineau police are considering paying for training.

“We know that it’s being done in Ontario now and that’s one of the suggestions we made,” says Steve Spooner.

Watch the full interview video above



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