Montreal police (SPVM) lost ten officers last week, seven of whom quit for reasons other than retirement.

The news comes as Quebec announced a $250-million investment to hire 450 SPVM officers in the next five years to reduce gun violence in the city.

Former Montreal police inspector André Durocher says the SPVM is dealing with two problems at once: retaining and recruiting.

"Right now, unfortunately, what we're hearing about Montreal is a lot of shootings, no support from the municipal administration, poor working conditions compared to other recruits, traffic jams, no parking [for officers] — and the list goes on and on," he said.

All resigning police staff will be asked to explain why they left, said the interim chief of Montreal police, Sophie Roy, in a press conference Saturday.

Common reasons for quitting include feeling the "superior pressure" from being filmed and judged on social media, and simply not getting paid enough, according to the Montreal Police Brotherhood.

The average police officer makes $80,886 per year in Montreal, compared to $86,053 in Ottawa and $86,555 in Toronto, the Economic Research Institute reports.

"It is evident that working conditions need to be adjusted to the complexity, intensity, and the general situation in Montreal," said Martin Desrochers, a spokesperson for the Brotherhood.

The SPVM refused to comment on the matter.

And while gun violence doubled over the past two years in Montreal (with more than 225 shootings in 2021-22 compared to 112 in 2019-20), Durocher said violent crime is not to blame for the staff shortage.

"Most police officers, when they're young, they're drawn by action," he added. "I have never heard a police officer tell me that this was an obstacle."


Quebec's national police academy will ramp up its efforts and train an extra 72 aspiring officers every year to have them join Montreal's police force later on.

Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said the police should also feel supported by the province for a new generation of officers to join the units.

"Police officers are essential in order to maintain the sense of security here in Montreal and all over the province of Quebec, so thank you very much for your work," she said at the Saturday press conference.

Montreal also hopes to recruit more social intervention workers with the ÉMMIS unit to prevent crime and help those who suffer from mental illness.

And while police recruitment could be an uphill battle for the province, Mayor Valérie Plante told Montrealers the city will not become "a playground for criminals."