The Ministry of Public Security does not agree with the SPVM on the minimum number of staff in Montreal

Quebec had promised millions to finance the Montreal City Police Service on the condition that it deploy a certain number of agents on the ground, but it turns out that the Ministry of Public Security and the police force are not. don’t hear about this figure.

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The office of Minister François Bonnardel affirmed Thursday morning that the SPVM must have a minimum number of more than 4,800 police officers in order to respect an agreement signed in 2022 and thus be entitled to help to hire new officers.

At 6 p.m., the minister’s office admitted to having transmitted bad information and established that the minimum workforce should be more than 4,400.

The police fraternity affirmed on May 17 that the police force of the City of Montreal had 4,500 officers on duty, so according to this estimate, the SPVM would be entitled to the subsidy from Quebec.

But in François Bonnardel’s office, we indicate that we do not agree with the SPVM on how to calculate the number of police officers on the ground.

New hires at the SPVM

The SPVM revealed by email Thursday evening that it plans to make 320 new hires in 2024, while the metropolis is experiencing an increase in violent crimes with a series of seven murders in the last two weeks.

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Capture taken from a courtesy video | TVA News

A fight that degenerated in the Plateau-Mont-Royale borough cost the lives of three young men in Montreal on Tuesday evening

The police service also specified in its message that it “has 4,615 permanent police officers and 63 reservists” on its staff in May, specifying “that these figures are constantly evolving according to the arrival of new contingents of recruits and reservists as well as only departures.”

In addition to the 320 hires planned for 2024, the SPVM revealed that “around 100 additional hire promises have been signed”.

“These recruits are expected in 2025 due to the limited number of places dedicated to the SPVM at the ENPQ,” added Caroline Labelle, communications manager at the SPVM, by email.

225 million for the SPVM

Minister Bonnardel recalled today in a press scrum that the government will inject $225 million to add 225 new police officers in the City of Montreal if the minimum staffing conditions are met.

“They have a problem,” François Bonnardel said earlier in the day. There was a shortage of police officers to reach a minimum level.”

The minister nevertheless insists on the need to add police officers to the Montreal team and not to replace those who are retiring.

We need “new boots on the ground to combat gun violence,” he said.

The crime rate is on the rise in Quebec after experiencing a low in 2020. It went from approximately 2,898 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020 to nearly 3,050 in 2021 and more than 3,365 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022.

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To respond to this increase, Minister Bonnardel announced that he had increased the number of aspiring police officers in 2024.

“We have increased the cohorts at the national police academy from 650 to 1000 for this year,” he confirmed at the press scrum. We will train 1,100 new police officers this year.”

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