Rail Safety Week is about safety around railway property

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CP Rail locomotives pass trough Cote Saint-Luc every day. Stay away. Stay safe.

From April 24 through April 30, Canadian Pacific CP will conduct rail safety blitzes in communities across their network – from Montreal to Vancouver – with participation from police agencies and schools to educate motorists, pedestrians and the general public about staying safe.

“When people use railway property or tracks as walking paths, they are risking their lives,” said Laird Pitz, CP’s Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. “Rail safety requires vigilance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are asking everyone to consider their own safety around railroad property. The impact of an incident can have tragic consequences for all concerned, including family, friends and community.”

CP is proud to be the safest railway in North America, with the fewest reportable train accidents per million train miles among all Class 1 railroads for 11 years straight.

No space for kids or teens to squeeze through at Westminster evacuation gates

While we are pleased that crossing incidents declined in Canada last year, a sharp rise in trespassing incidents means we must continue to do more. Tragically, 46 pedestrians and 19 drivers lost their lives in these preventable incidents. This is in comparison to 31 pedestrian and 14 driver lives in 2015.

CP believes that one incident is too many. That is why they are working tirelessly, along with their community partners, to promote safety in and around railway property throughout Canada.

Cote Saint-Luc is surrounded by CP Rail yards and tracks. CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen and the entire City Council remind our residents to stay safe, to keep out of the rail yards and off of their tracks. Report any damaged or missing fences along railway property. Most importantly, take the opportunity to remind children of the extreme danger in ignoring these vital safety tips.

CP Rail Police patrol in the St. Luc Yards and will issue a hefty fine to trespassers


·         Did you know this week marks Canada’s Rail Safety Week? Remember to Look and Listen to Live!

·         This week we’re joining @CanadianPacific and all Canadian railways in reminding people to make smart decisions around tracks and trains

·         Scary stats: In 2016, 46 pedestrians and 19 drivers tragically lost their lives in preventable rail incidents

·         Always practice situational awareness around tracks and trains to keep yourself safe

·         This Rail Safety Week, choose the safe route to school or work and stick to it. Don’t let a shortcut cut your life short

·         If you use railway property or tracks as walking paths, you risk your life. Always use designated paths and crossings

·         This Rail Safety Week, speak to your children about dangers at level crossings and railway property



For more social media content, visit Operation Lifesaver’s website at www.oplifesaver.ca

City updates emergency preparedness plan

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emergency preparedness plan 2017


The City of Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Preparedness Plan is one of the most important documents prepared by the elected officials and staff at City Hall. This plan sets out the framework for the protection of the people, environment and infrastructure before, during and after a disaster.

Emergency preparedness in the City is overseen by the Emergency Preparedness Committee, which I have chaired since first being elected in 1990. The committee is comprised of elected officials, staff and partners in emergency, health, social and technical services. This plan creates a process to avoid or reduce the damage and suffering caused by disasters and requires effective coordination between many internal and external resources.


All residents play an important role too to protect their family and home. Visit the Emergency Preparedness page at http://www.CoteSaintLuc.org to learn what you can do today to prepare for the first 72 hours of a disaster.

The City Council, staff and partners are hard at work behind the scenes, ensuring that the City is always ready and helping our residents feel safe and secure. This plan is updated on a regular basis to ensure that the City is always ready to handle any type of disaster – natural or man-made.

The City of Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Preparedness Plan addresses the preparation for, mitigation of, response to and recovery from disasters affecting the City
and its residents. The Emergency Preparedness Plan is mission-focused, as the source of the disaster is of secondary importance.

A prioritized list of threats, with the possible effects and impacts on people and on infrastructure is presented based on discussions by the City’s Emergency Preparedness Committee.

In preparing for and responding to a disaster, each group has important roles and responsibilities to fulfill. This includes elected officials, senior management, employees, volunteers and partners. A detailed training program is also presented, to allow responders different scenarios and opportunities to practice their skills, so that they are better prepared in a real emergency.

The Emergency Management Organization is divided into two important decision centres: the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the Emergency Site Management (ESM) teams. The EOC is responsible for strategic planning, dealing with regional and provincial partners, planning for business continuity, recovery and high-level decision making. The ESM team is responsible for providing service at the scene of the disaster.

The four missions of the City are:
(1) Social Services
(2) Public Works
(3) Communications
(4) Administration & Logistics

Each of the missions is divided into specific functions or tasks, with different departments or partners designated as being responsible, partner or support.
The goal of the document is to ensure that the City is prepared to respond to disasters, whenever, wherever and however they occur. The updated plan was officially adopted by way of a public resolution at the January public council meeting. I am proud to have moved the resolution.


Free Press | Jan. 31, 2017 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Jan. 31, 2017 | Click to enlarge

Côte Saint-Luc vCOP smoke detector brigade going door to door

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smoke_detectorFor the fifth consecutive year, members of the Côte Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) smoke detector brigade are ringing door bells and offering to check smoke detectors and replacing dead batteries where needed.

The smoke detector brigade recently completed the south-east corner of the city including Borden, Randall, Alpine and Pinedale Avenues and surrounding east-west streets. It is now moving on to David Lewis and surrounding streets near the Décarie Square area.

“Smoke detectors save lives by warning people of possible fires in a home, but they can only do the job if they are working,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “Too many deaths occur that could have been prevented if the house was equipped with a working smoke detector.”

vCOP Smoke Detector Brigade goes door to door inspecting mandatory smoke detectors and will go so far as to install a new one (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

vCOP Smoke Detector Brigade goes door to door inspecting mandatory smoke detectors and will go so far as to install a new one (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

This initiative is done in partnership with the Montreal fire department. Smoke detector brigade volunteers will be wearing vCOP uniforms and carry a photo ID. If you are not home when they visit, they will leave a notice with information on how to schedule a visit. This is a free service.


“Once again, our vCOP teams are providing another level of preventative safety to residents,” said Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, who is the council member responsible for vCOP. “Whether they are checking smoke detectors, spotting garage doors left open, or watching out for homes of vacationers, our vCOP volunteers are helping Côte Saint-Luc remain one of the safest cities on the island.”
Côte Saint-Luc has a long history of fire prevention, including By-law 1556 requires smoke detectors in all new homes and buildings, which was adopted in 1977.

Natural gas leak disrupts central Cote Saint-Luc

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Emergency crews respond to natural gas leak at Parkhaven and Kildare in Cote Saint-Luc (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

Emergency crews respond to natural gas leak at Parkhaven and Kildare in Cote Saint-Luc (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

UPDATED Aug. 30, 2016 22:20

A ruptured natural gas line disrupted a normal, quiet afternoon in Cote Saint-Luc today. Just before 5:00 P.M. calls started coming in from residents in the area of Parkhaven and Kildare about the smell of gas. I was passing the intersection of Cavendish and Kildare at 5:00 P.M. and noticed the distinct rotten-egg sulfuric smell. Emergency services were called and began arriving moments later.

CSL volunteer Citizens o Patrol maintain perimeter around gas leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

CSL volunteer Citizens o Patrol maintain perimeter around gas leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

Cote Saint-Luc Public Safety Director was one of the first on scene and quickly dispatched his Public Security agents to close off the area and evacuate residents within close proximity to the construction site at Kildare and Parkhaven.

As close as we can safely get to the scene of the leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

As close as we can safely get to the scene of the leak (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol was also activated and several teams quickly responded to assist in securing a perimeter to safeguard the immediate sector for several responding Montreal Fire Department vehicles. Police services also responded along with an Urgences Santé supervisor and CSL Emergency Medical Services. Within a short while Gaz Met crews also showed up on scene to assess the situation. Hydro Quebec emergency crews showed up and began cutting power to the immediate area and as far west as Blossom Ave.

vCOP detour traffic off of Kildare onto Wildwood (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

vCOP detour traffic off of Kildare onto Wildwood (Photo: Sidney Benizri)

By 6:30 P.M. I saw some fire crews leaving the area. By 7:30 P.M. some power was returning to the outer perimeter.

At 9:30 P.M. Gaz Met capped the leak and the fire department has begun house to house inspections. Once complete the road will be reopened and Hydro Quebec crews will be able to restore power.

As of 10:20 P.M. all power and water are reported to have been restored.


Gaz leak Parkhaven Kildare Photo Sidney Benizri 2016-08-30 006

CSL personnel and senior management were on scene coordinating local services and assessing damage. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was in constant contact with staff. City Manager Nadia Di Furia and Assistant Manager Jonathan Shecter remain on scene as of this posting to coordinate with Reichson. Joining them are Urban Development Director Charles Senekal and Manager Mohammed Ali.  These two engineers know every inch of the city and are extremely helpful in this situation in organizing the response for underground services such as water supply. As work crews will begin digging up the road this evening, Senekal and Ali will work with water engineering company Sima, to minimize any disruption. While some local streets may have their water cut, PS and vCOP will begin distribution of bottled water, as per our emergency procedures.

“We have a fantastic team and I am proud to be standing here with them,” City Manager Di Furia stated.

Councillor Sidney Benizri, who lives a few houses away from the scene provided the pictures in this blog post.”It looks like tonight we need to be patient. All the teams are at work here and they’ve handled the situation very professionally,” said Benizri, who is still without power as of this posting.

Evacuated residents take shelter in Montreal Fire Department bus

Evacuated residents take shelter in Montreal Fire Department bus

Councillor Dida Berku reported that the Cavendish Mall food court was packed due to the power outage.

Many thanks to Director Reichson, Public Security agents, senior management, and all emergency personnel from Montreal, Gaz Met and Hydro Quebec for quickly bringing the situation under control and keeping our residents safe.

As Cote Saint-Lucers we are truly fortunate to have a dedicated staff and a city council so committed to our residents. Each city councillor gets involved side by side with our members of staff to ensure our residents are safe and sound. Tonight was no exception as mayor and councillors immediately began emailing, texting and calling to check on the situation and to receive frequent updates.

Gaz leak Parkhaven Kildare Photo Sidney Benizri 2016-08-30 005




CBC News

Railway fire and explosions rock Cote Saint-Luc in Tabletop Exercise

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Emergency service leaders, city service directors, elected officials and community partners ‘raced’ to Cote Saint-Luc City Hall’s Emergency Operations Centre Thursday morning for a mock rail disaster. The exercise was coordinated by Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson in conjunction with Montreal Agglomeration’s Public Safety Centre.

The live action exercise included Montreal agglomeration police and fire services, Urgences Santé ambulance services, CP Police, West-Central Montreal Health, Federation CJA’s community security branch along with all services in the city of CSL.

CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson oversees the Emergency Operations Centre

The scenario involved an overnight train derailment that resulted in a fire and explosion, just east of the Westminster underpass, affecting 250 residents requiring immediate evacuation. Water and electricity was cut off. City personnel established an evacuation centre at the aquatic and community centre on Parkhaven at Mackle. Reichson gave orders to all service directors to huddle and coordinate with their first responders and personnel.

As city councillor responsible for emergency preparedness I can attest that it is evident why CSL is renowned for its level of readiness. The ongoing training, testing and preparing are well worth the investment in time and resources.

Police Commander Jean O’Malley confers with Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. Executive Assistant Tammy McEwan keeps tabs on all decisions.

In this mock scenario I served as official spokesperson for the city in partnership with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, and neighboring municipalities and boroughs. A mock press conference was set up to inform our residents.

Several issues arose for the members of the Emergency Operations Centre to deal with on an urgent basis including diminished air quality, wind direction, sheltering of animals, providing kosher and non-kosher food, evacuation of mobility reduced residents and babies, registering residents willing to take in evacuees, distribution of drinking water and more.

Director Jordy Reichson consults with Cllr. Glenn J. Nashen

Participants dealt with a spreading power outage affecting the whole city. Traffic lights were out. Expectations were two days to restore all to normal.

The three hour scenario demonstrated the participant’s ease in dealing with unraveling urgent situations and in collaborating around the table to ensure the safety of our residents. Discussions, swinging back and forth effortlessly in French and English, flowed smoothly and in a spirit if great cooperation.

Montreal Fire Department Division Chief Martin Ferland and Police Commander Jean O’Malley update the leaders in the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Operations Centre

Cote Saint-Luc residents can take pride in knowing that their emergency, city and community services along with mayor and councillors hold these exercises from time to time and place such a high priority in testing their skills and readiness. Through these exercises improvements and adjustments can be made, professional skills developed and relationships enhanced to be well prepared for the real deal.

On behalf of our residents, thank you to our dedicated leaders around the tabletop mock disaster. Your commitment to emergency services and to our residents and community is exemplary and greatly appreciated. Thank you to Sid-Ali Talbi of Centre de sécurité civile de Montréal and CSL Public Safety Chief Philippe Chateauvert and kudos to Jordy Reichson for his leadership in orchestrating a successful demonstration and return to normalcy for our city.

Councillor Ruth Kovac and I have been involved in emergency preparedness in Cote Saint-Luc for 36 years. I was involved in EMO in the 1987 floods and we both participated in leading city services in the 1998 Ice Storm and in preparation for Y2K. We’ve taken part in many exercises over the years and we were very impressed in how these leaders came together to deal with a sudden, life-threatening crisis in a calm and professional manner.

We’re in good hands in Cote Saint-Luc!

For more information on emergency preparedness in Cote Saint-Luc and to learn what you can do to better prepare your own family please visit the CSL Emergency Preparedness page here or GetPrepared.ca.

Farewell to CSL EMO pioneer Norman Adler

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Norman Adler

Norman Adler

Norman Adler had a profound effect on many hundreds of teens and young adults across Cote Saint-Luc and the West End of Montreal. More than most people know.

Sadly, Norman suddenly passed away this week, yet he leaves behind a generation of leaders walking in his very large footsteps, including mine.

As head of Cote Saint-Luc’s Emergency Measures Organization from the late 1970s to the early 1990s Norm touched the lives of so many curious, young citizens. These high school and CEGEP aged kids were looking to explore exciting volunteer opportunities, prepare for careers in health sciences and to make a difference helping out neighbours and total strangers in their community. Norm was a mentor, teacher and coach to these young minds, together with his trusty partner in volunteerism, Brian Payne.

Officially, the Assistant Director of CSL EMO (the precursor to the now famed CSL Emergency Medical Services or EMS) Norm was iconic to the CSL emergency scene in his family station wagon, often marked by the large EMO magnets on the doors.


In eulogizing her father, Melissa Adler, spoke about driving around in the family wagon that was outfitted with lights and siren. Not your usual family car.

Melissa quipped how Norm would kid his friends during High Holiday synagogue services that he was listening to the baseball game on his earpiece. Those of us on the other end of his emergency walkie-talkie knew the truth though as Norm was quietly, perhaps secretly, ensuring the safety of our community as he strategically placed us in synagogues throughout CSL with lifesaving equipment in case of sudden illness for the thousands of congregants.

Norm was a rallying force to the younger generation, teaching discipline and leadership skills. Brian and Norm would assemble dozens of us each Remembrance Day for the military style march down Cote Saint-Luc Road to fall in at the cenotaph, standing at attention for far longer than any teen could stand still. Following in unison behind Norm’s station wagon, red Kojak lamp flashing from the roof, he would ensure proper decorum and respect befitting the solemn occasion.
Norm was very proud of his EMO and took particular pride in raising funds to purchase a defibrillator for the EMO rescue squad, the first defibrillator pressed into service in Quebec’s pre-hospital emergency medical services, according to his daughter.
Glenn J. Nashen riding aboard Cote Saint-Luc's first Rescue Medical Fire vehicle RMF-11, 1981

Glenn J. Nashen riding aboard Cote Saint-Luc’s first Rescue Medical Fire vehicle RMF-11, 1981

Norm’s community persona was linked to the famed brown and yellow uniform of the EMO. Our squad of “rescue, medical, fire” first responders worked hand in hand with the CSL Fire Department and all municipal services, training for disaster and preparing for any emergency. We would spend Sunday mornings practicing pulling victims from crushed vehicles behind headquarters at 8100 Cote Saint-Luc Road and repelling off the roof with a pretend patient in a “stokes” basket stretcher of what’s now the CSL Tennis Club on Guelph Road.Norm and Brian pressed us to be ready for any eventuality, cranking up pumps to evacuate water from flooded basements to handling chain saws to clear streets of downed trees.


Glenn J. Nashen, on duty, in Cote Saint-Luc's second ever First Response vehicle

Glenn J. Nashen, on duty, in Cote Saint-Luc’s second ever First Response vehicle

Many of us considered Norm our friend and mentor. Patty Lietman, Hal Newman, Neil Michaels (Emergency Measures Coordinator for West-Central Montreal Health), James Harkins (Fire Captain for Broward County), Jeff and brother John Silver, Toronto Police Sargent Lawrence Sager, Brian Goldberg, Councillor Ruth Kovac,  Elie Raie (Respiratory Tech), Tampa-St. Pete Paramedic Howard Levinson, Marine Biologist Per Comolli, ICU Nurse Naomi Cherow and so many more. Great friendships were born, careers launched and life altering moments began thanks to Norm’s vision.

Erwin Luden joined EMO in the early days of EMO and helped run the Auxiliary Security team. Today he works professionally as a CSL Public Security officer and his son, Brandon, is deeply committed to EMS and has also worked as a dispatcher.

Helen Karls is a longtime EMO volunteer who’s kids also became active in EMS.

Norm’s influence also touched John Levac, current President of the Yarmouth, NS, Fire Dept and firefighter instructor, Melaine Selby who went from volunteer to professional staff at EMS, Sheldon Goldberg who went on to become a leader in Hatzolah Montreal, the late Barry Tottle, Arnie Zwaig, Danny Raie (Pharma Research), Jonathan Lack (Periodontist in London, UK), Dentist Uri Laxer, Richard Herzog, Danika Bedard, EMS Director in the US South Brian Lax, Jack Dym, Walter Wheatley, David Sassoon (who became an Urgences Sante senior manager), and Neil Fyckes. The list goes on: Bruce Kahn, the late Doug Lion (CSL FD), Rick Liebmann (CSL and Montreal FD), Larry Rinzler, Jon Cooperman (Emerg doc), Cory Cooperman, Michel DiIorio, John Trager (ER doc) and Scott Hunt. There are so many more names that come to mind. Each one has a special memory of Norm.

Irving Epstein served as senior officer under Norm and Brian. He dutifully organized and coordinated the volunteers under their direction. Irving stayed involved in security and emergency measures for many years too, following his EMS experience.

Neil Michaels said, “He was one of the nicest men I knew. He was a mentor for me when I started at EMO.”

Hal Newman would follow Norm’s lead and become Cote Saint-Luc’s first ever professional director of EMO/EMS. “He was a dad of young kids when I first met him. When he passed Norm was a zaida (grandfather). Sounds like he lived life well and touched a whole lot of lives in the process. Good on you, Norm. Rest easy, brother. We’ll take it from here.” Hal continued that Norm was an early adopted of emergency medical services at a time when Quebec’s pre-hospital scene was unstructured and disorganized.

“Norm Adler was a phenomenal man who had such a love for CSL EMO,” said Patti-Beth Lietman. I remember so many shifts I spent on duty just sitting in his office and talking about so many different aspects of EMS. CSL EMO/EMS was such an important part of my 31 years as a volunteer there and led to my very productive life in Emergency Medical Services. RIP Norm. You will truly be missed.”

“I too was there in those early days. We had large shoes to fill as we built on Norm’s hard work to grow this 24 hour service into what it is today,” Councillor Ruth Kovac said. Ruth’s political career was also spawned thanks to her EMO experience, stating closely involved in emergency services planning and policy making for more than 30 years.

“One of the pioneers of EMO, although not an operational member of emergency medical response, he effectively worked, out of the limelight, in an administrative capacity to get EMO First Response off the ground,” said Lawrence Sager, a former EMO buddy of mine, who went on to become an officer in the RCMP and now in the Toronto Police Services. “He had a good sense of humour and his heart was always in the right place. I would have liked to cross paths with him again and talk about old times. Rest in peace, Norm.”

Norm’s organizational skills, together with Brian Payne, created what is still considered the leading municipal EMS anywhere in Quebec and the most advanced suburban city in the field of emergency preparedness, civil protection, first response and emergency medical services.

Norm’s passion for EMO was infectious and launched what became a defining element in my own personal brand, leading me in a direction I never planned for or sought out. My 30 plus years with EMO/EMS, my eighteen years as an Emergency medical Technician with Urgences Sante and even my political career as a City Councillor overseeing all aspects of public safety were in large part thanks to Norm’s mentorship, dedication and commitment.

Also, Many of us were actively involved in Norm’s campaign when he ran for CSL City Council in the late 80s.

The Cote Saint-Luc EMS flag leading the funeral procession for Norm Adler

The Cote Saint-Luc EMS flag leading the funeral procession for Norm Adler

How symbolic, appropriate and moving it was to watch his final journey, as the casket and pallbearers were led out of the funeral home by the Cote Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services flag, a symbol he played such an important role in building, paraded by current Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. What’s more, this solemn event occurred on the eve of National EMS Week. True to his love for his community and his ‘other kids’, the EMO volunteers, contributions in his memory are directed to the Côte Saint-Luc EMS (Emergency Medical Services), (514) 485-6800 ext.: 5101.

Condolences to the family of the late Norman Adler. May he rest in peace.




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La Presse photo-journalist Martin Chamberland joined the Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol for a ride-along last month. He documented his experience in the superb display on La Presse Plus, viewable on Ipad and Android tablets. Below is the text version.


C’est à Côte-Saint-Luc qu’on trouve, année après année, le plus bas taux de criminalité de toute l’agglomération. Et ce n’est pas un hasard, car elle a un secret bien gardé. Une spécificité locale qui la distingue de toutes les municipalités du Québec. La Presse a patrouillé avec ses policiers… qui n’en sont pas.


Le superviseur Mitchell Herf dirige sa torche vers le parc, pour s’assurer de la sécurité des environs. Un geste banal qui fait toute la différence à Côte-Saint-Luc. « Nous sommes le territoire le plus sécuritaire de l’île », explique son compagnon de patrouille, Glenn Nashen. Cet élu municipal n’est pas peu fier de cette reconnaissance, car il en est le grand responsable. Lui et son groupe de 80 bénévoles qui épaule les services d’urgence sur une base quotidienne.

vCOP Smoke Detector Brigade goes door to door inspecting mandatory smoke detectors and will go so far as to install a new one (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

vCOP Smoke Detector Brigade goes door to door inspecting mandatory smoke detectors and will go so far as to install a new one (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

Les membres de vCOP (volunteer Citizens on Patrol) sont très présents à Côte-Saint-Luc. Ils patrouillent à deux dans les rues de la ville. Ils répondent aux demandes non urgentes des citoyens. Ils font aussi du porte-à-porte pour inspecter les détecteurs de fumée grâce à une formation donnée par le Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal. Ils vont parfois même jusqu’à les installer.

Ce qui rend la patrouille citoyenne si efficace, c’est sa complémentarité avec les autres services d’urgence. On trouve là-bas un seul répartiteur, dont la tâche est de trier les appels destinés au 911 et ceux destinés au service de sécurité publique local.

Glenn J. Nashen consults with the dispatcher in the CSL Emergency Communications Centre

Glenn J. Nashen consults with the dispatcher in the CSL Emergency Communications Centre (Photo Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

Lorsqu’ils ne répondent pas à un appel, les patrouilleurs de vCOP font le tour de la municipalité pour s’assurer que tout va bien. Glenn Nashen et Mitchell Herf font ici la visite de la clôture du CP afin de vérifier qu’elle est bien fermée pour éviter les entrées par effraction le long de la voie ferrée.

Fondée il y a neuf ans, la patrouille citoyenne de Côte-Saint-Luc est la seule du genre au Québec. C’est Glenn Nashen (à gauche) qui a eu l’idée d’importer ce concept après une visite en Floride, à Deerfield Beach. « Notre rôle est d’observer et d’assister », dit-il.

Financé par la Ville, qui lui accorde 15 000 $ par année, vCOP est notamment doté de quatre minifourgonnettes. Ces dernières permettent aux bénévoles comme Lewis Cohen et Susie Schwartz de se rendre rapidement aux quatre coins de la municipalité.

Les bénévoles de Citizens on Patrol sont un peu les yeux des citoyens. Ils font ainsi la liaison avec les différents services de la Ville. Comme ici, alors que Lewis Cohen signale au directeur de la sécurité publique un danger potentiel. Un rapport est ensuite rempli et envoyé aux fonctionnaires, qui décideront de la suite.

vCOP Supervisors Lewis Cohen and Susie Schwartz consult the street map while on patrol (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

vCOP Supervisors Lewis Cohen and Susie Schwartz consult the street map while on patrol (Photo: Martin Chamberland, La Presse)

En plus des véhicules routiers, vCOP possède un parc de quatre scooters électriques et quatre vélos. Cela pour aborder plus facilement les citoyens et visiter les parcs de la ville, au besoin.

En plus de leurs patrouilles quotidiennes, les bénévoles font toutes sortes de tâches. Ils livrent les paniers de nourriture aux gens dans le besoin, ils font de la sensibilisation et ils enlèvent au besoin les détritus ou autres objets qui peuvent menacer la sécurité des citoyens.

Formés pour différentes interventions, les « citoyens en patrouille » ont aussi l’équipement nécessaire pour intervenir au besoin : cônes orange, pelles, trousse de premiers soins, défibrillateur cardiaque, etc.

« Lorsqu’ils se portent volontaires, les bénévoles s’engagent à consacrer au moins 6 heures par mois à vCOP, à raison de quarts de travail d’au moins 3 heures, explique Glenn Nashen. Certains s’en tiennent à cela, mais d’autres ont déjà plus de 500 heures à leur actif cette année. C’est eux qui choisissent quand ils veulent patrouiller, sans autre obligation. »

Les citoyens en patrouille complètent les autres services de la Ville. « Si un fil électrique se détache, par exemple, on peut demander à un bénévole de rester sur place avant qu’Hydro-Québec arrive, illustre Glenn Nashen. Ainsi, on n’occupe pas un policier pendant trois heures. C’est une utilisation optimale des services de la Ville. »

Ce texte provenant de La Presse+ est une copie en format web. Consultez-le gratuitement en version interactive dans l’application La Presse+.

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