Toronto cop weighs in on “armed police for hire” debate

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Toronto cop weighs in on armed police for hire debate
Toronto police sergeant Lawrence Sager, Facebook

Toronto police sergeant Lawrence Sager weighed in regarding a Suburban report that Hampstead is pressing for local Montreal Torah Centre congregants to be able to hire armed off-duty SPVM police officers to provide security.

“Police Paid Duties have always been an extremely effective way to provide security to an event,” Sgt. Sager wrote on Facebook this past weekend. “Few would try and cause trouble with highly visible uniformed police officers present. The only pitfall is the cost.”

As we reported, Hampstead councillor Harvey Shaffer was told by the SPVM that the MTC congregants would not be allowed to hire officers. The SPVM declined to comment to The Suburban, when asked the reason for the refusal. Mayor William Steinberg is working on the matter as well, in light of recent shootings in synagogues in the U.S. and religious institutions around the world.

Sgt. Sager posted as part of a Facebook discussion on our article initiated by former Côte St. Luc councillor Glenn Nashen.

“Toronto Police have done paid duties at synagogues for many decades, as well as funerals and many other large private events,” the sergeant, who attended Wagar High School in Côte St. Luc, explained. “The paid duty office determines the number of officers required, depending on the venue and can also provide cruisers for funeral escorts.

“The drawback is that paid duty officers are quite expensive,” he added. “You get what you pay for. A police officer is armed, well trained, has other use of force options and is equipped with a police radio, in touch with the police dispatcher, capable of calling for immediate police backup without delay. We actually have difficulty filling all the paid duty requests due to manpower shortages.”

Nashen responded to Sager by saying that paid armed off-duty officers “would be a viable option in Montreal for those that can afford it. Unfortunately, the cost couldn’t be sustained by community organizations already struggling.”

Sgt. Sager further wrote that he does not know why Montreal police have not provided the service, “but I suspect it has to do with the Quebec Police Act.

“In Ontario, it’s called the Ontario Police Service Act and every province has its own laws governing what their police can do,” he wrote. “Toronto Police do paid duties in order to bolster our numbers rather than using on-duty officers and it’s allowed in Ontario.

Sgt. Sager also pointed out that the Toronto police’s 32 Division “has the largest Jewish community in Toronto with many synagogues.

“During the High Holidays, there were so many paid duties that they filled its own binder. Once no more could be given out because we ran out of officers to do them, they were offered to the rest of the service outside our division. …. Despite the high cost, there’s no shortage of requests and in many cases insurance companies require that paid duty officers be hired.

joel@thesuburban.com

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New director takes control at CSL Public Safety

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Philip Chateauvert

Philip Chateauvert is assuming command of the Cote Saint-Luc Public Safety Department. Public Safety includes five divisions of professional staff and volunteers: Public Security, Emergency Communications (Dispatch), Emergency Medical Services, volunteer Citizens on Patrol and Emergency Preparedness.

Chateauvert spent the last five years as manager of Public Safety. He takes over from Jordy Reichson who recently moved on after a 10 year run as Public Safety Director. Reichson was an energetic and creative leader in this field with a passion for matters of community and personal safety. He has taken on the responsibility of managing the security of all City of Montreal buildings and facilities.

Chateauvert has distinguished himself as an affable colleague of staff and volunteers. He is also very interested in teaching which he continues to do in the field of security management at two CEGEPs, La Cité collégial Ottawa and Gerald Godin in the West Island.

He also directed medical operations in various major events such as the Thriatlon International de Montréal and the Montreal Marathon.

Previously, Chateauvert had five years of experience as a security manager in various organizations such as the Port of Montreal, the École de Technologie Supérieure and the Société de la Place des Arts. Before that he was a firefighter.

I was fortunate to serve as City Councillor responsible for Public Safety from Chateauvert’s beginning in Cote Saint-Luc. He was an excellent addition to the city’s ranks who gained the respect and appreciation of his crews.

Philip Chateauvert

I recently asked Chateauvert what inspires him most about his job?

“Undoubtedly, to have the opportunity to have an even greater impact on our ability to help the community by making it safer,” he said. “Very few managers can say that as part of their work they have the opportunity to put in place policies and procedures that can save lives,” Chateauvert added proudly. “This is my greatest motivation.”

And what are Chateauvert’s highs and lows?

“Anytime I feel like I made a difference in someone else’s life is a great day for me. Lucky enough, this happens quite often in our line of work,” he said.

“However, facing the death and grief of our patients’ families is certainly the most difficult part to see,” said Chateauvert.

And what plans does Chateauvert have as he assumes control as director?

” I plan to continue to give my 110% to find ways to prevent even more crimes, save more lives and make Cote Saint-Luc an even safer place!”

I wish much luck and success to Director Philip Chateauvert.

CSL arsonists sets house, and himself, on fire, strips and flees in underwear

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Man sought in CôteStLuc arson –
Montreal Gazette
Man sought in CôteStLuc arson … Police are on the lookout for an arsonist after a man set fire to a house in CôteStLuc Wednesday afternoon.

Arsonist strikes in Cote StLuc home – CTV News

Arsonist leaves behind a pile of clues – CJAD

Hampstead pressing to enable armed off-duty police at synagogue

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Hampstead pressing to enable armed off-duty police at synagogue
The Montreal Torah Centre in Hampstead. themtc.com

Hampstead is pressing to enable the congregants of the Montreal Torah Centre to be able to pay for armed off-duty police officers to provide security.

This, in light of recent synagogue shootings in the United States. As well, other religious institutions have been attacked around the world, including at a mosque in Quebec.

But Hampstead councillor Harvey Shaffer says the SPVM will not allow such officers to be hired.

“Many Hampstead residents, especially those who attend synagogue on a regular basis, were very concerned and somewhat alarmed about the problem of security at synagogues,” he explained. “In Hampstead, there are four synagogues. The one which receives the largest attendance is the Montreal Torah Centre.”

Shaffer added that in Ontario, synagogues can retain the services of off-duty, armed police officers, along with a police car, for as many hours as is required, “usually four hours.

“Due to the fact many congregants at MTC were concerned and sought that type of protection, I communicated with a ranking officer at police headquarters on St. Urbain and asked if it would be possible that the MTC be authorized to hire [two] armed, off-duty police officers and a police car for a little under four hours,” the councillor said. “I was told how much the rate would be if approved. Unfortunately, later that day, I was told the request was refused.”

Shaffer said he was told the request could only possibly be granted by the town going through Montreal city hall or having the issue publicized in the media.

“There seems to be no justification why we shouldn’t have it,” he added. “I wasn’t give a reason. It was simply refused.

Mayor William Steinberg agrees synagogues should be allowed to hire armed off-duty officers.

“I’m in favour of it — every synagogue hires unarmed guards, and it’s much better to have armed policemen. It’s obvious. I will investigate to see what the rules are and what I can do so that this can happen. When I sat on the [agglomeration’s] Public Security commission, I was aware that off-duty policemen were being hired in all kinds of situations. I’m not aware if they had guns or not, but they were being hired. Once I get more information, I will be advocating on behalf of this.

“We live in dangerous times and you want effective protection.”

We contacted the SPVM, which declined comment. Steinberg told us he is still working on the matter. Montreal Torah Centre officials have not responded by press time.

joel@thesuburban.com

Police Commander calls for calm in the wake of Cavendish stabbing incident: Cllr. Mike Cohen

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Police Commander calls for calm in the wake of Cavendish stabbing incident

by: Cllr. Mike Cohen

Posted: 15 Feb 2019 06:09 PM PST

Since last week’s stabbing incident at the Quartier Cavendish Cineplex Odeon Theatre, I have received many calls from frightened constituents.  A couple were reportedly  watching a movie when the wife asked a man behind her to stop smoking cannabis. He allegedly lunged towards her with a knife. The husband stepped in front and was stabbed in the leg.

Five men were stopped by police in the parking lot, but released.

¨PoliceCommander

Commander Oliveira

“Our Sergeant on the scene interviewed them and they were not at all connected to the incident,” Commander Luis Oliveira told me. “There was no evidence to bring any of them in.”

The Commander said none of the men smelled from cannabis either. “We have all of the information on each one of them in the event we need to communicate with them,” he said.

According to the Commander this was an isolated incident and people do not need to panic. In the meantime officers from Police Station 9 have been doing foot patrols in the Quartier all  week and they will continue to do so. The socio community agents are meeting with the cinema management to establish proper procedures  for what to do when people light up, get into fights, etc.  As our City Manager Tanya Abramovitch righly told members of council today, “We at the city have the reflex to call  Public Security and/or the police, but they do not. Had such a procedure been in place, this likely would not have escalated in the way it did. The fact that what they were smoking was cannabis is not really relevant. They could have been smoking a cigarette and the same thing would have happened. ”

I, like many people, often go this theatre. It is absolutely necessary for one staff member to routinely go in and out of each room to see if anyone is acting inappropriately and to take the proper action. How many times have any of us turned around in a movie theatre and, for instance, asked someone to be quiet. As the Commander told me, the perpetrator “was clearly someone  high on dope,”

Côte Saint-Luc has the the second lowest crime rate on the island . The Commander said we can all can consider ourselves residing in a  a “safe” city.

Montreal adopts motion calling for ban on private ownership of handguns, assault weapons | CBC News

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Bold move, long overdue. Canadians do not need handguns.

Let’s see Montreal suburbs pass the same resolution and add to the outcry. Contact your City Councillor as well as your MP.

 

Source: Montreal adopts motion calling for ban on private ownership of handguns, assault weapons | CBC News

Video: Acceptance speech at D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals 2018 Ceremony

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D’Arcy McGee Medal of Citizenship of the National Assembly goes to…, Nashen Notes

D’Arcy McGee medals awarded, The Suburban

The Late Gerry Weinstein among citizenship medal recipients, Canadian Jewish News

 

 

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