SQ officer was working on second job night of Hwy 13 debacle: report
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:15PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 28, 2017 7:43PM EDT
The SQ officer in charge of operations the night of the recent major snowstorm was off the job taking care of other business as a real estate broker, according to a report published Tuesday.
Capt. Michel Lapointe was in charge of operations on Highway 13, where 300 cars were left stranded overnight earlier this month.
The Surete du Quebec suspended Lapointe in the aftermath of the storm.
According to La Presse, the captain left the job during his shift to visit a notary in connection with his side job as a real estate broker.
Further, Lapointe didn't show up to assist the 300 stranded motorists.
Among those drivers was Marlene Berman, who is outraged.
“There are no words,” she said. “I think it's audacious and completely unacceptable, but the person who was supposed to bring to attention was preoccupied with other things. It's ridiculous that you have other things to do. I think that the mandate to serve and protect is the issue here.”
The Surete du Quebec declined CTV’s request for an interview – we wanted to ask them what kind of rules govern police officers who hold a second job. Instead, we were referred to the provincial law which dictates the behaviour of police officers. The law simply states that the second job must be disclosed:
"Any police officer who holds other employment or receives other income from the carrying on of a business must disclose its nature to the director of police… (and) inform the director of any potentially incompatible situation."
John Abbott College police technology teacher Paul Chablo said it's not uncommon for police officers to hold a second source of revenue.
“People in all lines of work have second jobs. You have teachers who tutor on the side, firemen who do other jobs, people in public works who do renovation, so it's very normal that police officers will have other employment, as long as they follow the rules,” he said.
Investigators are seeking to determine if Lapointe's extra-curricular activities played a role in the response time for the stranded motorists.
Capt. Lapointe remains suspended with pay.