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Montreal police creates new squad to combat gun violence


Montreal police (SPVM) says it intends to launch a new squad, ARRÊT  (Action – Répression – Résolution – Engagement – Terrain), to combat gun violence in the city.

Based on numbers from the SPVM, violent acts involving guns have skyrocketed since 2016.

That year, there were 11 homicides, 21 attempted homicides and 61 firearms discharges that did not injure or kill anyone.

In 2021, the numbers increased to 19 homicides, 52 attempted homicides and 144 shootings.

By the end of July 2022, there were nine homicides, 32 attempted homicides and 80 shootings.

The SPVM says it plans to assign 68 officers from various backgrounds to the new squad.

"Its mission will be to disrupt the activities of violent criminal groups by occupying the field, gathering intelligence and intervening directly with their members," the SPVM said in a news release.

The force will also increase manpower in its ECLIPSE squad, which focuses on violent crimes.


This comes two days after the Quebec government announced it would give $250 million ($45 million per year) to adding 225 officers in Montreal.

The City of Montreal plans to chip in and raise that number to 450 officers.

However, the plan comes as Quebec policing faces a major labour shortage.

Scott Darragh, chair of the police tech program at John Abbott College, says every year, the National Policing School of Quebec in Nicolet has 750 graduates -- 200 fewer than what is needed to replace officers leaving their jobs.

"Every police service, like other fields at present, is vying for candidates," he said. "Like every other industry, all the police services are suffering the need for human resources and recruits."

In addition, not all graduates stay in the province.

Darragh says some find work with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Toronto Police Department.

"I can say that we are being solicited more than ever from Ontario services due to our great reputation and the fact that our officers are bilingual," he said.

Quebec Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault said last weekend the government is opening 72 new spots at the province's police academy to increase the number of recruits. Top Stories

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