Montreal police conducted an online public information session regarding the upcoming closure of Station 11 in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) and integrating it with Station 9 in Côte Saint-Luc.
The meeting was supposed to take place in person last March, but plans changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
During the presentation, officers talked about why the merger is taking place, saying that over the past years, less and less people show up to the station in person.
Instead, they’ve been sending more officers to the streets and that allows for their operations to be more efficient.
“For several years we have known that by bringing together more police officers in the same stations makes it possible to conduct more patrols, to have more police presence and visibility on the ground,” said Simonetta Barth, the SPVM’s deputy director.
“As a result, police services are becoming more accessible to citizens. Response to calls improves.”
Opposition continues to grow against a planned police station merger in the west end
The project has raised concerns from municipal politicians and residents, who worry that the plan could lead to fewer services in their areas and weaken community relations.
An online petition against the proposed closure of Station 11 in NDG has garnered more than 2,800 signatures.
The information session was not interactive, with citizens submitting their questions in advance by email.
The potential loss of services in NDG was one of the concerns people brought up in their questions to officers. Police, however, insisted the borough will maintain services in spite of not having a brick and mortar station.
“Rest assured, the neighbourhood police model is here to stay,” said Barth.
“This philosophy extends beyond a simple building. It is materialized through the daily interventions of the police officers who are dedicated to serving citizens and who create and maintain a relationship of trust with them.”
Barth added that a year after the merger, the SPVM will conduct a survey to ensure people’s needs are being met.
The merger is planned for the fall of 2020.
The SPVM has published a summary of the presentation in English on its website.
— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise
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