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Communication system used by Montreal police, firefighters suffers outage overnight

A Montreal police officer in a squad car

The radio system used by Montreal police and firefighters suddenly stopped working overnight, cutting off communication for about two hours.

Thankfully, the interruption was "minor," with service restored by 4 a.m. Sunday, the Montreal police department (SPVM) confirmed. No major events occurred on the territory during the blackout.

But the police union says it isn't taking the incident lightly.

"The Fraternité is very concerned about the failures of the SERAM communication system, and has requested and obtained an emergency meeting with the employer to discuss occupational health and safety and the safety of Montrealers," reads a statement from the Fraternité des policiers et policières.

"We consider it essential that solutions be identified and implemented within a very short timeframe."

The radio system, called the SERAM, was first launched in 2014 under a 15-year contract. But the technology had issues from the beginning, with multiple service interruptions making headlines over the years.

The SERAM contract ends in 2029. The City of Montreal has yet to respond to a request for comment on whether it's considering ending the contract early.

Kevin Francoeur, prevention chief at the Montreal fire department (SIM), told TVA Nouvelles that the system should be replaced sooner rather than later.

He said police working early Sunday morning resorted to using cell phones to communicate.

Francoeur was not available for an interview with CTV News on Sunday. Top Stories

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