MONTREAL -- The City of Montreal should opt for public consultations before removing a local police station from NDG, the municipal opposition argued on Monday

"We owe it to the population to hear them out and to hear what they have to say and the impact from their point of view," said Lionel Perez, leader of the opposition, at a press conference.

The local police station, Station 11, is on Somerled Avenue, in NDG. The city plans to merge it with Station 9, in Côte Saint-Luc. The resulting station would have about 100 officers and serve both communities.

Station 11 was part of the community, according to borough Mayor Sue Montgomery. "People feel at ease walking in there, the officers there are very engaged in community functions. They come to multicultural festivals," she said.

But the merged station would optimize resources and improve efficiency, said Montreal police spokesperson Andre Durocher. "Last year we integrated stations 24 and 26. We've improved response time, the feedback we have is very positive," he said.

Roughly 1000 people have signed an online petition calling on Montreal police and city hall to reverse the decision.