New Montreal police chief is ready to clean house
Published Thursday, December 21, 2017 1:13PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 21, 2017 6:49PM EST
The interim director of the Montreal police force says he's ready to clean house at the SPVM.
Martin Prud'homme was named two weeks ago as the replacement for Philippe Pichet, who was relieved of his command following a devastating report on his leadership.
Prud’homme was serving as chief of the Sureté du Quebec when Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux appointed him to lead Montreal's police department.
In an interview with CTV Montreal Thursday, Prud’homme said his first goal is to restore confidence in the force, adding that he wants to fix the crisis that's been plaguing the SPVM for the past couple of years.
The Pichet administration was rocked by several scandals, including the charge that the internal affairs department was so dysfunctional that some investigators are alleged to have broken the law, fabricated evidence, and hid criminal acts.
"As far as I'm concerned, internal affairs has to be rebuilt from A to Z. We'll do things differently," said Prud'homme.
"The trust, the way that we carry out investigations, criminal investigations, we will be accountable."
Prud'homme said his first step was to meet as many employees as he could, adding that so far he's getting everyone's full support.
With a one-year mandate, Prud'homme said the next director will have to be above clan infighting at the Montreal police, and said he is favourable to the idea of a civilian running the police force.
"We will have a race for the SPVM leadership, but we can't self-destruct through in-fighting because once it's over, it leaves some scars," said Prud'homme.
Prud'homme said he will begin his job with a few important priorities.
“I have a budget to present in January. I have a plan to work on, and I'm on a few other things, like work environment, promotions, and how we organize the work we do. There are things at the SPVM that I want to change or replace,” he said.
Prud'homme admitted the SQ and the SPVM have far different cultures and systems. Indeed, he said, there’s a different reality when running a police force in a city as diverse as Montreal compared to the rest of the province.
The new chief, though, grew up in Montreal, called it his city, and said he doubts rank-and-file police officers will feel out of place with him as an interim leader.