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Montreal closer to naming permanent police chief


The City of Montreal moved one step closer to finding a new police chief on Tuesday when the results of the public consultation were released.

The city, however, is still months away from hiring someone and the opposition says there is no time to waste at a time of rising concerns about violence in the city and no permanent police chief in Montreal.

"One of the top priorities is basically armed violence," said Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) director Fo Niemi. "We've seen it practically every week. Everyone is concerned about that."

This weekend, a body was found in a recycling bin which was deemed a homicide and a person was stabbed and killed in one of two stabbings within six hours, for example.

The public wants the next chief to come up with a concrete plan.

After three months of public consultations, the city released its findings on what Montrealers want from the person leading the force.

"I'm really excited, today is a big step in getting our new chief, Montrealers have spoken," said Montreal executive committee member Alain Vaillancourt.

More than 700 people and community groups were surveyed and they said they want the next chief to crack down on gun violence, combat racial profiling, and attract more diverse officers.

They also want better communication, transparency and accountability.

"It was important for us to reach out to all communities, regardless of language or race, and we did so," said Vaillancourt. "For the anglophone community, we did it twice because the first time wasn't representative enough."

At the beginning of the consultation process, the committee faced criticism for not having enough English-speaking community groups.

"We spoke up, and we had to push from the inside and the outside so that it could be more inclusive, not only linguistically but also culturally and socially," said Niemi.

Some want the process of choosing a new police chief to move more quickly.

Former police chief Sylvain Caron retired six months ago and Sophie Roy was appointed interim chief.

The city expects to hire someone at the beginning of next year, but the opposition says that's not fast enough.

"We don't have this luxury to wait and to take time, we are waiting for what exactly," said Ensemble Mtl interim leader councillor Abdelhaq Sari. "We know we're living through a crisis right now." Top Stories

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