http://www.themonitor.ca/article-69447-Cop-shops-set-to-merge.html

Cop shops set to merge
Stations 11 and 9 could join together next year

January 25, 2007
BY MARTIN C. BARRY, West End Chronicle

Police and elected officials in the West End have confirmed that a merger involving four local police stations could be taking place next year, affecting residents of Côte St. Luc, NDG and Côte des Neiges.

According to plans made public recently for the reduction of stations in the neighbourhood policing system set up a decade ago, Station 9 on Cavendish Boulevard in Côte St. Luc and Station 11 on Somerled Avenue in NDG would be merged at a new and larger location yet to be determined.

The police department wants to reduce the number of stations across the island from 39 to 32. In Côte des Neiges, stations 25 and 26 would be amalgamated into the island’s largest station. The combining of stations 9 and 11 would create the third-largest detachment, with about 100 officers.

Station 9 commander Sylvain Bissonnette told The Chronicle that the Côte St. Luc and NDG stations should remain in operation until the end of their leases in 2008. “One or the other doesn’t have the location to have those stations together,” he said. “We’re planning for the next year-and-a-half to make sure that by the end of the lease we’ll end up in a new location.”

Côte des Neiges-NDG mayor Michael Applebaum maintains the proposed mergers would free up more officers for patrol and other kinds of security duties. “The amalgamation of 25 and 26 would be the largest and the 11 and the 9 are not far beyond,” he said.

“The whole plan will be presented, there will be public consultation and then, of course, it has to go to city council to be accepted. There’s a process and it’s the police department who are putting that process in place.

“The objective here is to get the police department closer to the public and to ensure that there are more police officers out on the road doing their job,” he added. “Some people may be concerned about the closing of police stations, but I am open to that if it’s going to improve police services to the population.”

In Côte St. Luc, Councillor Glenn Nashen, the commissioner responsible for public safety, was contacted last week shortly before he was scheduled to discuss the issue with the commander of the police department’s West Division.

“The latest that I’ve been told is that no decisions have been made and no decisions will be made until all of the consultations take place with the local elected officials and possibly with community organizations,” said Nashen.

“No decision can be taken until a recommendation is made by the police service to the Public Security Commission that is part of the Agglomeration,” he added.

“Ultimately it’s the security commission that will, I guess, make recommendations to the executive committee of Montreal in consultation with the Agglomeration committee. They’re the decision-makers.”