My debut at the CSL Golf Classic

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Quite the foursome: Sam Goldbloom, George and Glenn J. Nashen and Mike Cohen

Quite the foursome: Sam Goldbloom, George and Glenn J. Nashen and Mike Cohen

What a great day to become a golfer! A record 104 people teed off at the 36th annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic this morning at the Meadowbrook Golf Course. Not only was it my first time out for a game of golf  but it was also my first time at Meadowbrook, which I have advocated to preserve for more than 25 years. And best of all, I was joined by my dad to coach me along.
The format of play was called “Scramble” which helps speed up the game as players decide which golfer hits the best shot off the tee and then all players from that foursome play their next shot from that point. Play continues from hole to hole in the same fashion for the rest of the outing.
George Nashen giving tips on swinging and posture

George Nashen giving tips on swinging and posture

With tips and advice that even Tiger Woods would have benefited from, my 92-year-old father and veteran golfer, George Nashen, quickly upped my game from rank amateur to rookie superstar.
Unbelievably, I had the longest drive on four of nine holes compared to my friendly foursome including event co-chairs Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom along with my fatherly coach. I attribute my rookie success to decades of practice at mini-golf and playing Wii Sports with my kids. Or perhaps it was just beginners luck. In any case it was great fun.
Mike Cohen keeps his eye on the ball

Mike Cohen keeps his eye on the ball

What’s more, I was completely awestruck at the sheer beauty and grandeur of Meadowbrook. Finally, standing among century old trees, seeing the sprawling expanse of the fairways and amused by the three groundhogs that plowed their way across the course I was proud to have, at long last, validated my position in advocating the preservation of this priceless gift of nature in the heart of our city. It must stay green forever!
Meadowbrook is nothing short of an oasis that must remain green in perpetuity

Meadowbrook is nothing short of an oasis that must remain green in perpetuity

The golf outing was followed by an awards banquet honouring long-time volunteer Ron Yarin at the Aquatic and Community Centre.
Sam Eltes, president of Silver Star Mercedes-Benz, sponsored a hole-in-one contest. If someone achieved this feat they would have driven away in a brand new Mercedes-Benz. While my hopes were high, I fell embarrassingly short of the prize and will practice on my Wii for next time.
Not even a veteran golfer like George Nashen was able to snatch the top prize Mercedez... this year.

Not even a veteran golfer like George Nashen was able to snatch the top prize Mercedez… this year.

Many thanks go to the title sponsor, Freemark Apparel Brands and its Bench brand. Mark Routtenberg, president of Freemark  and former co-owner of the Montreal Expos, served as honourary chairperson for this year’s event. Routtenberg, who raised his family in Côte Saint-Luc, was the guest speaker at the luncheon and spoke about the Expos and the possibilities surrounding the return of baseball to Montreal.
“Montreal can definitely support Major League Baseball,” Routtenberg said at the banquet. “We have the taste for it.”
Honouree Ron Yarin was, and is, a huge baseball fan and those paying tribute referred to his life-long passion for the sport.
Ron Yarin was presented with a birthday cake sculpted as  Ebbets Field in NY

Ron Yarin was presented with a birthday cake sculpted as Ebbets Field in NY

Marty Labow, Yarin’s friend for 37 years called him (in Yiddish)” A Gute Neshoma,” literally,  A Good Soul. Both are also members of Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol. “We’d patrol from six in the morning till nine, then golf until noon,” Labow said. “When we didn’t feel like patrolling at six, we’d golf early in the morning and patrol afterwards.”
vCOP and volunteer superstar Ron Yarin

vCOP and volunteer superstar Ron Yarin

Harold Cammy is a longtime friend. “I looked up the definition of a ‘Mensch’ last week and I saw two words: Ron Yarin.”
Mayor Anthony Housefather said of Yarin, “He encompasses what Cote Saint-Luc is all about. Volunteerism, compassion, kindness and civic duty.”
Communications Director Darryl Levine produced a collage of photos and video in tribute to Yarin. “I was moved to tears,” said Councillor Mitchell Brownstein.
Speaking about the possibilities of Major League Baseball returning to Montreal, legendary sportscaster Dick Irvin asked Routtenberg, “Do we need a new stadium or can we get by with the old one?”
Routtenberg responded, “If they fix up the stadium and replace the roof it can work. It’s not the ideal site but in today’s economy we can save $400,000 this way.”
Rabbi Sidney Shoham attended to pay tribute to his old friend Yarin as well. “When the Beth Zion was just built in 1956 we played baseball in Westminster park, just in front of the shul,” the rabbi recounted. “Our team was named Westminster Homes.”
Beth Zion "Old-Timers" George Nashen and Rabbi Sydney Shoham

Beth Zion “Old-Timers” George Nashen and Rabbi Sydney Shoham

Other local personalities participating in the annual outing and luncheon included Police Commander Marc Cournoyer and his predecessor at Station 9, Sylvain Bissonnette. Even Montreal Police Mascot Flick was out on the links, with police escort by Sargent Bryan Cunningham. Jazz great and Cote Saint-Lucer Oliver Jones was there as was Mayor Anthony Housefather and the City Council.
Police mascot Flick with his trusty sidekick Sargent Bryan Cunningham conduct a golfers ID check on George and Glenn J. Nashen

Police mascot Flick with his trusty sidekick Sargent Bryan Cunningham conduct a golfers ID check on George and Glenn J. Nashen

I thank my good friend Mike Cohen for being persistent in inviting me out to golf course for the last ten years. His nudging finally paid off. Thanks to his co-chair, my friend and old neighbour on Cork Avenue, Sam Goldbloom as well. The two, along with Recreation stalwarts Harold Cammy, Alvin Fishman and the energetic staff and volunteers of the entire department put on a great event. I’m already looking forward to my next game, next year!
CSL Golf Classic co-chairs Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom relaxing after a brutal 9 holes!

CSL Golf Classic co-chairs Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom relaxing after a brutal 9 holes!

Three cities thank Commander Bissonnette

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The mayors and many councillors of the cities of Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West held a small reception to honour and thank outgoing Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette. Bissonnette wrapped up his duties at Neighbourhood Station 9 last week and moved over to head up Station 8 in Lachine.

CSL Council thanks Commander Sylvain Bissonnette for his outstanding service

CSL Council thanks Commander Sylvain Bissonnette for his outstanding service

Mayor Anthony Housefather thanked Bissonnette for his exemplary service saying he will leave big shoes to fill.

As councillor responsible for public safety, I met and spoke to Commander Bissonnette quite often. He showed great understanding and sensitivity to not only the Jewish community but the greater community, its multicultural characteristics, and to our seniors.

His co-operation with city officials was exemplary. I’ve worked with many station commanders, and I’m saddened to lose him. He’s an outstanding leader.

Bissonnette’s encouragement and assistance in the launching of the volunteer Citizens’ on Patrol about six years ago was fantastic. Bissonnette recognized that vCOP is an asset, not a hindrance, to the work of the police. He was a partner in this project from day one, helping with the planning and training. It’s in great part due to his vision and willingness that Cote Saint-Luc has the lowest crime rate in the Montreal agglomeration.

More:

Cllr. Mike Cohen’s blog

Montreal community pays tribute to good cop

Jewish community bids adieu to Commander Bissonnette

PDQ9 Commander Bissonnette moving to Lachine

Commander Sylvain Bissonnette knighted by Order of St. John

Montreal community pays tribute to good cop

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Janice Arnold, Staff Reporter, Canadian Jewish News, Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Outgoing Station 9 commander Sylvain Bissonnette, centre, is toasted by Moshe Ben-Shach, left, and Rabbi Reuben Poupko

Outgoing Station 9 commander Sylvain Bissonnette, centre, is toasted by Moshe Ben-Shach, left, and Rabbi Reuben Poupko (Photo: CJN)

The Jewish community bade a fond farewell to a police officer it considers a good friend: Sylvain Bissonnette, who was commander of Station 9 serving Côte St. Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West for nearly seven years.

A reception was held Aug. 27 for the well-regarded Bissonnette at Federation CJA just before he left the post to take up his new command of Station 8 in Lachine this month.

The federation’s chief operations officer, Moshe Ben-Shach, spoke warmly of, not only Bissonnette’s close co-operation with the Jewish community, but of his interest in and efforts to understand it.

Ben-Shach recalled that the first time they met was soon after Bissonnette came to Station 9. The federation’s annual March to Jerusalem was departing from Cavendish Mall, and members of the anti-Zionist haredi sect, Neturei Karta, were holding a demonstration.

Bissonnette wanted to make sense of Jews protesting against Israel. “We talked for about four hours about the different facets of the Jewish community,” recalled Ben-Shach, who was impressed by Bissonnette’s quick grasp of the complexities.

From then on, the two worked closely together on many files – some public, some not – including the incidents of synagogue vandalism in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“You were always available to listen and support, and you instilled that in your team,” Ben-Shach said.

Bissonnette was a familiar figure at community events, such as the annual Yom Hashoah commemoration.

Ben-Shach described two important projects the federation completed with the help of Bissonnette over the past year. One is an emergency-preparedness plan developed in conjunction with Station 9 and Côte St. Luc’s public security department.

“We hope it will never be tested, but it’s comforting to have it in place,” he said.

The other is conducting drills in schools to prepare students and staff for what to do if there is a gun shooting.

“This will go a tremendous way in making our community safer,” Ben-Shach said.

“He was always there to offer security and reassurance when something was happening, whether at holidays or sad events, like vandalism,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel Beth Aaron in Côte St. Luc.

“He was always thoughtful and considerate.”

In a jocular mode, typical of the easy relationship between the two, Rabbi Poupko added, referring to the PQ government’s proposed values charter and its possible ban on displays of religion by public servants: “You’re getting out just before you have to arrest someone for wearing a kippah.”

Bissonnette, a 24-year veteran, was visibly touched by the tribute. He thanked the federation for its constant collaboration.

He said he came to Station 9 with the belief that the police should serve all of the population and that it’s important to form partnerships with local political and communal institutions.

“I knew the Jewish community was important. I wanted to know your needs, your ways, your history, your roots, your traditions,” he said.

“I wanted to do everything in order that history not repeat itself. That was my mission, and I made sure my officers understood it.”

As a history buff, he was already knowledgeable about the Middle East and conscious of the risk of a local reverberation when an incident happened there.

“It’s important to be pro-active,” he said.

As a token of appreciation, the federation has planted five trees in Bissonnette’s name in Israel.

Indeed, the Jewish National Fund is an organization he is well aware of: its office is in the same building as Station 9.

The Côte St. Luc city councillor responsible for public security, Glenn Nashen, told The CJN that Bissonnette “showed great understanding and sensitivity to not only the Jewish community but the greater community, its multicultural and aging [characteristics].”

His co-operation with city officials was exemplary, he said.

“I’ve worked with five station commanders, and I’m saddened to lose him,” Nashen said. “He’s an outstanding leader.”

One project that stands out for him is Bissonnette’s encouragement and assistance in the launching of a volunteer citizens’ patrol about six years ago.

Made up mainly of retirees, the patrol is the only one of its kind in Quebec, he said. Bissonnette recognized the vCOPS (volunteer Citizens on Patrol) as an asset, not a hindrance, to the work of the police.

“He was a partner in this project from day one, helping with the planning and training. It’s in great part due to his vision and willingness that Côte St. Luc has the lowest crime rate in the Montreal agglomeration,” Nashen said.

– See more at: http://www.cjnews.com/?q=node/113784#sthash.ukcsiCIZ.dpuf

New police commander for Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West

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We have said adieu to veteran commander Sylvain Bissonnette who has vacated his Cote Saint-Luc office in Neighbourhood Station 9 to make room for incoming commander Marc Cournoyer. The change in command took place last week.

Meeting our new police commander, Marc Cournoyer

Meeting our new police commander, Marc Cournoyer

Cournoyer, a 25 year veteran of the force has held positions in many parts of the Montreal territory, including  Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Park Extension, and Pointe Claire.  He began his police service out of the station in Westmount.

His work included assignments on the morality squad and working with women suffering from domestic violence.

The new commander looks forward to working in partnership with the Public Security departments in the three cities as well as with the volunteers of CSL EMS and vCOP.

The first days of Commander Cournoyer’s introduction were far from ordinary with a stabbing incident on Kingsley Road, a rare occurrence in this city.

As he entered City Hall for his first formal meeting with Mayors Housefather, Steinberg and Masella, City Managers and myself earlier this week, the commander was stopped by a lovely older lady with a walker and was complimented on his suit. “You’re fine looking gentlemen,” the woman said. “Are you all from the same group?” she quizzed to the current and former commanders along with a regional chief. I interjected that they were police officers, which she politely brushed off. “Such handsome men, are you undertakers?” she joked.  The commander pulled back his jacket to reveal a shiny police badge and a service revolver. “Oh my,” she said, her eyes wide in astonishment. “I better let you get on with your business,” as she shuffled off.

This began the next step in Cournoyer’s career. The unknown and unpredictable nature of policing in Cote Saint-Luc.

I look forward to working closely with the commander in ensuring Cote saint-Luc’s position as the safest community in the region.

Felicitations Commandant Cournoyer. We wish you a long and successful career in our city.

Jewish community bids adieu to Commander Bissonnette

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Rabbi Reuben Poupko and Moshe Ben shach present a plaque to Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Rabbi Reuben Poupko and Moshe Ben Shach present a plaque to Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Federation CJA held a small reception on Tuesday evening in honour of Police Station 9 outgoing commander, Sylvain Bissonnette.

Montreal Jewish Community Security Coordinating Group chairman Rabbi Reuben Poupko was joined by Federation CJA Operations Chief Moshe Ben Shach and Community Security Director Adam Cohen along with local police commanders and community members involved in security.

Poupko and Ben Shach noted that Bissonnette was an exceptional police representative who made enormous efforts in getting to know the Jewish community well. They credited him with providing excellent police services particularly during tense times in the Middle East and when an outbreak of stone throwing had been perpetrated against Jewish institutions here in the West End of Montreal.

In his remarks, Bissonnette said that when he took on the role of commanding the police force in Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West he wanted to understand more than the residents.  He wanted to understand their parents, grandparents, their culture and their history. Bissonnette himself is a historian and his academic training served him well in his role as commanding officer in a territory that is rich in Jewish and multicultural communities.  The three cities are officially bilingual, with a strong sense of attachment and involvement, he noted.

This marks Commander Bissonnette’s last week in charge of PDQ9 before heading over to take up command in Lachine.

In the words of the commander, we don’t say good-bye to our friends, we just see them less often.

Bon voyage et bonne chance monsieur le commandant.

Letter: No one should blame police for the unfortunate death of man at centre of standoff

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THE GAZETTE AUGUST 20, 2013

Re: “Côte-St-Luc man, 71, arrested in standoff dies” (Gazette, Aug. 20)

It is very unfortunate that Isidore Havis, the man at the centre of the Côte-St-Luc standoff, has passed away, but the police should not be chastised or held accountable for the unfortunate ending.

The authorities did everything in their power and under the circumstances to try get the man to surrender peacefully and without harm, all to no avail. Such a standoff should have taken no more than a few hours to be resolved, yet they waited patiently for nearly 20 hours.

The police may not be perfect, yet every day they put themselves in harm’s way to protect honest, law-abiding citizens and suffer casualties to themselves and their property. They, too, are human and should be given more credit than condemnation. They tried their best to resolve the standoff in order to avert loss of life.

Daniel Evans

Pierrefonds

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

In my opinion:

As I wrote on my blog a few weeks ago I believe the police did a superb job in this case, acting with calm, cool professionalism seeking to bring about a peaceful resolution. They were focused on public safety, on securing the neighbourhood, on ensuring the well-being of those in the immediate vicinity – police officers and residents alike – and presumably on the safety of the suspect as well.

I am well aware that our local PDQ9 Commander Bissonnette was on scene throughout the incident and his concern for the community is of primary importance.

Thank you to the Montreal and Quebec Provincial Police departments for their work and to their officers for putting themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe.

Please see my letter to the Montreal Gazette concerning the need for gun control.  I received many hateful and despicable responses to my letter from those who supposedly and erroneously proclaim a right to bear arms, presumably to defend the right to speak freely which they would seek to deny me. Fortunately, all of the feedback from Cote Saint-Lucers was most positive and supportive.

It is very unfortunate that Mr, Havis has died.  I extend my condolences to his family.

PDQ9 Commander Bissonnette moving to Lachine

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Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

The Montreal Police Department has announced that Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette will be leaving the Cote Saint-Luc – Hampstead – Montreal West Neighbourhood Station and will be taking command of the station in Lachine.

Commander Bissonnette has been an outstanding leader and invaluable resource to the City of Cote Saint-Luc. During his six years as local commander he made exceptional efforts to become part of the fabric of our city. I am personally appreciative of the support Commander Bissonnette has shown in my capacity as chair of the Public Safety, Transportation and Emergency Preparedness committees.

In particular, the commander has been completely supportive of our local Emergency Medical Services volunteers and Public Security agents. Moreover, he went above and beyond in his support of our volunteer Citizens on Patrol team, creating an annual police award for vCOP, coming out on evenings to help train our volunteers in surveillance and public safety strategies as well as on the history of policing, and in integrating the vCOP initiative into his vision of public protection among his local officers and across our city.

L-R: Former Public Security Chief Michel Martel, vCOP Supervisors Mitchell Herf and Susie Schwartz, Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, vCOP Senior Supervisor Lewis Cohen

L-R: Former Public Security Chief Michel Martel, vCOP Supervisors Mitchell Herf and Susie Schwartz, Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, vCOP Senior Supervisor Lewis Cohen. Commander Bissonnette launches the annual police award to a member of vCOP.

Sylvain Bissonnette joined the Montreal Police Department (Service de police de la Ville de Montréal -SPVM) in 1989. An extremely varied career has led him to his current position as commander at Poste de quartier (Neighbourhood Police Station) 9 (PDQ 9).

Glenn J. Nashen with Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Glenn J. Nashen with Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

After working as a factionnaire in Parc-Extension-Villeray and downtown Montréal, he became an agent de formation. Promoted to the position of sergeant in 1994, he was assigned to Outremont-Mile End. In 2000, he was transferred to the Section du traitement des appels, where he was responsible for call reconfiguration and data connections with the Section système administratif de la gestion des alarmes.

When he was promoted to the rank of commander on January 19, 2003, SPVM management entrusted him with PDQ 4 (Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Roxboro). Later he was transferred to the Division de la qualité des services, where he directed police operations over the entire territory and eventually took on responsibility for the Unité canine and Section cavalerie.

Mr. Bissonnette earned a bachelor’s degree in history at McGill University, as well as a master’s in history and a certificate in police management and security at the Université de Montréal. He wrote a book and participated in numerous documentaries on the history of the police, and is one of the co-founders of the police museum. He uses history to create bonds between the community and the police.

CSL Public Security Chief Michel Martel, Montreal Police Assistant Commander West Division Pierre Brochet, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, Neighbourhood Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Former CSL Public Security Chief Michel Martel, Former Montreal Police Assistant Commander West Division Pierre Brochet, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, Neighbourhood Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Commander Bissonnette has worked very hard to bring his station and police officers close to the residents of Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West.   He and his brass attend regular council meetings of all three cities, participate on various committees, offer expert advice in safety and security matters and are always at public events.

We will surely miss Commander Bissonnette, a true friend of Cote Saint-Luc, and congratulate him on this promotion.

More: The Suburban News

CSL celebrates Canada

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Canada Day 2013 in Cote Saint-Luc was celebrated with great spirit and national pride. There were many highlights depending on your age and point of view.

While my four year old son and hundreds of other youngsters couldn’t get enough of the Spiderman, caterpillar and fishy inflatables, slides and obstacle courses, others marveled at the Montreal West Operatic Society, Raffi’s Accordian, the incredible Hi-Fi Showband and the hilarious performance by Bowser and Blue.

Spiderman inflatable was a Canada Day hit with the young folks

Spiderman inflatable was a Canada Day hit with the young folks

Other children’s activities included a magic show, the children’s train ride around the park, storytelling, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, and more.

I am always overwhelmed by the momentous life-altering experience for the new Canadian citizens sworn in with pomp and ceremony by Judge Barbara Seal and the officials from the Canadian government.

Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal presides with CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson serving as ceremonial guard

Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal presides with CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson serving as ceremonial guard

The induction of Jackie Robinson onto the Cote Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway was very special as well and most fitting for this community which prides itself in its sense of social justice, promotion of equality and advocacy for human rights.

Jackie Robinson plaque in unveiled

Jackie Robinson plaque in unveiled

The pedal boat rides were open to all on Centennial Lake, while a model airplane show took place during the afternoon. Howard Liebman represented Mount Royal Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler.  Howard’s speech was perhaps the best in his ten years as Chief of Cabinet for our riding. He highlighted our great fortunes as Canadians and paid homage to those less fortunate who have been afflicted by floods in Southern Alberta. 

CJAD radio personalities Dan Laxer and Dr. Laurie Betito served as emcees. Hundreds of Canada Day cupcakes were served, sponsored by Scotiabank Westminster. Food concessions were busy all night long, from Dizengoff Kosher and Dominos’ Pizza to the just-opened Yeh!Yogurt at the Cavendish Mall.

Free cupcakes are always a big hit

Free cupcakes are always a big hit

Longtime Parks and Rec staffer and current volunteer Louise Ferland prepares the cupcakes

Longtime Parks and Rec staffer and current volunteer Louise Ferland prepares the cupcakes

D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman arrived at the park straight from Quebec City where the National Assembly had just adopted back to work legislation for construction workers. We were told that the Quebec Liberal Caucus rose to sing O Canada as the session ran into July 1. Bergman greeted the large crowd and proclaimed that Cote Saint-Luc and its Mayor Anthony Housefather are very well known at the National Assembly. “Mayor Housefather is known as a man of intelligence, integrity and determination,” Bergman said to great applause. Mayor Hosuefather returned the complement stating how effective Bergman has been in representing the interests of Cote Saint-Luc at the National Assembly.

Welcoming the ever present, and highly decorated commander, Sylvain BIssonnette

Welcoming the ever present, and highly decorated commander, Sylvain BIssonnette

Mayor Anthony Housefather gave an energetic and impassioned speech on the pride we feel on this day as proud Canadians. Congratulations to our outstanding mayor for his leadership and vision in building a young and vibrant Cote Saint-Luc, as well as for appointing Councillor Ruth Kovac and me as co-chairs of this premier event on the community calendar.

Greeting well-known Israeli Lt. Col. Yaacov Perez and his wife Rachel

Greeting well-known Israeli Lt. Col. Yaacov Perez and his wife Rachel

Local up and coming vocalist and actor Alexandra Cohen sang the O Canada prior to the fireworks. And with that the drizzle began but Mother Nature spared the festivities as the rain only began to come down a few minutes after the pyrotechnics ended. And what a superb fireworks show it was!

EMS volunteers take in the tremendous fireworks display Photo: Jacques Rioux.

EMS volunteers take in the tremendous fireworks display Photo: Jacques Rioux.

Thanks to the event sponsors: The Suburban, Department of Canadian Heritage, Domino’s Pizza, RBC, Bureau En Gros, Cavendish Mall, Scotiabank, Qualitifruits, MAAC, Century 21, and Universel Inc.

Fireworks display at Trudeau Park. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

Fireworks display at Trudeau Park. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

Most of all thanks to our recreation director David Taveroff and his star studded team for putting on a great Canada Day in CSL.  A major salute to our volunteers from vCOP (supervised by the extraordinary and energetic Susie Schwartz) and EMS (under Brandon Luden, Captain of Logistics and Joy Rodgers in charge of communications) who came out in big numbers along with our Public Security agents under the direction of Jordy Reichson  and chief Jerome Pontbriand.  Thanks to this team, along with our police officers from station 9, and two horses from the cavalry, all under the direction of Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, the thousands of spectators were welcomed into a safe environment.

CSL EMS volunteers at the ready. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

CSL EMS volunteers at the ready. Photo: Jacques Rioux.

And especially, thanks to our Cote Saint-Luc residents and neighbours for coming out in huge numbers for  this wonderful celebration.  It made me proud to be a Cote Saint-Lucer, Quebecer and Canadian.  HAPPY 146th CANADA DAY!!

CSL Canada Day co-chairs Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac.

CSL Canada Day co-chairs Cllrs. Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac.

In the END, someone's gotta DO it! Thanks to the resourcefulness of Public Safety Chief Jerome Pontbriand there wasn't a trace left BEHIND from the Police horses.

In the END, someone’s gotta DO it! Thanks to the resourcefulness of Public Safety Chief Jerome Pontbriand there wasn’t a trace left BEHIND from the Police horses.

Commander Sylvain Bissonnette knighted by Order of St. John

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Comander Sylvain Bissonnette (middle) invested as Canadian Senate Knight of Justice

Comander Sylvain Bissonnette (middle) invested as Canadian Senate Knight of Justice

Congratulations to Montreal Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, who was recently invested as a Canadian Senate Knight of Justice by the Chancelor of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St-John of Jerusalem.

Established in 1888 by Queen Victoria, the Order of St. John was incorporated into the Canadian Honours system in 1990. In addition to this Order, the Honours system includes the Order of Merit, the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, and the Royal Victorian Order.

Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Sylvain Bissonnette joined the Montreal Police Department (Service de police de la Ville de Montréal -SPVM) in 1989.

An extremely varied career has led him to his current position as commander at Poste de quartier (Neighbourhood Police Station) 9 (PDQ 9).

After working as a factionnaire in Parc-Extension-Villeray and downtown Montréal, he became an agent de formation. Promoted to the position of sergent in 1994, he was assigned to Outremont-Mile End. In 2000, he was transferred to the Section du traitement des appels, where he was responsible for call reconfiguration and data connections with the Section système administratif de la gestion des alarmes.

When he was promoted to the rank of commander on January 19, 2003, SPVM management entrusted him with PDQ 4 (Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Roxboro). Later he was transferred to the Division de la qualité des services, where he directed police operations over the entire territory and eventually took on responsibility for the Unité canine and Section cavalerie.

Mr. Bissonnette earned a bachelor’s degree in history at McGill Univbersity, as well as a master’s in history and a certificate in police management and security at the Université de Montréal. He wrote a book and participated in numerous documentaries on the history of the police, and is one of the co-founders of the police museum. He uses history to create bonds between the community and the police.

Commander Bissonnette has worked very hard to bring his station and police officers close to the residents of Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West.   He and his brass attend regular council meetings of all three cities, participate on various committees, offer expert advise in safety and security matters and are always there at public events.

Felicitations M. le Commandant on this very prestigious award.

A command performance at vCOP meeting

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Glenn J. Nashen with Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Glenn J. Nashen with Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette

Montreal Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette was the special guest speaker at last week’s bi-monthly patrol meeting of Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP).

The local police chief is also a historian and volunteer commander of the St. John’s Ambulance.  He spoke to the membership about the history, philosophy and guiding principles of policing in the western world.

Modern policing systems are derived from French and British legal systems, Bissonnette explained.  Sir Robert Peel, 19th century British Prime Minister, was a driving force in creating the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829, based at Scotland Yard, while he served as  Home Secretary. The 1,000 constables employed were affectionately nicknamed ‘Bobbies’ (a term still used today).

“Modern police forces are by the people, for the people,” Bissonnette told the volunteers.  “They are there to serve and protect based upon the rules of law and good order, and not at the whim of whomever is in charge of the state, as is the case in dictatorships around the world.”

“The scrutiny over police is extensive,” the commander explained, indicating that there are numerous oversight bodies, both official and unofficial  including the media as well as the average citizen armed with a smartphone video camera. Such was the case with the now famous story about Constable 728 who was videotaped aggressively pepper-spraying student protesters and others.  The video was uploaded to Youtube, covered by national and international media and the officer was disciplined by the force.

The commander concluded saying that the police force is a dynamic and evolving organization, showing off the new vehicles and uniforms that will take effect beginning next month.

Many thanks to Commander Bissonnette for continuing to inspire the members of CSL vCOP.  His collaborative style and optimistic outlook is refreshing.  His tireless efforts have ensured that Cote Saint-Luc remains the safest community in the Montreal Agglomeration.

For more information on CSL volunteer Citizens on Patrol or to join please visit the vCOP website.

Commander Bissonnette awarded Queen’s Jubilee Medal

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Free Press, December 19, 2012 - Click to enlarge

Free Press, December 19, 2012 – Click to enlarge

Congratulations to PDQ 9 Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette on his receiving the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in recognition for his outstanding service to the community.

Bissonnette is no stranger to Cote Saint-Luc.  Since assuming the role as top cop in Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West Bissonnette has immersed himself in community life.  He has taken a personal interest in improving relations between local police and the community, he has gotten to understand the sizable Jewish community and has succeeded in taking action to ensure that police services could be provided in English as well as in French for West End residents.

Commander Bissonnette is a regular attendee of all public council meetings to be able to understand the concerns of the public as well as elected officials.  He also participates at all CSL Public Safety Committee meetings that I have chaired over the years.  He actively participates in the Transportation committee, which I also chair, in order to offer his expert advice regarding traffic calming, enforcement and collaborating with CSL Public Security and volunteer Citizens on Patrol.

Bissonnette and his right hand man Lt. JP Theoret have been staunch supporters of vCOP since its inception and have participated in training the volunteers and in recognizing their efforts.  The commander also initiated the annual PDQ9 award to an outstanding member of vCOP.

Felicitation monsieur le commandant. Vous êtes un pilier de la communauté et je parle au nom de mes électeurs de vous remercier pour tout votre travail remarquable. Nous sommes une ville plus sûre en grande partie grâce à votre intérêt et engagement à servir et protéger. Puissiez-vous continuer d’aller de succès en succès.

Happy Holidays to CSL Citizens on Patrol

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Happy patrollers:  (L-R) Harvey and Susie Schwartz, Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Dr. Gerry Trager, Peter Kovac

Happy patrollers: (L-R) Harvey and Susie Schwartz, Mitchell Herf, Lewis Cohen, Glenn J. Nashen, Ruth Kovac, Dr. Gerry Trager, Peter Kovac

On Tuesday night the Cote Saint-Luc volunteer Citizens on Patrol turned out in large numbers to City Hall.  This was not an emergency civil preparedness drill.  To the contrary, this was a festive gathering to thank our dedicated volunteers for their deep commitment in helping to keep our city safe.

Volunteer supervisor Susie Schwartz organized a lovely buffet dinner for the 80 vCOP members who patrol Cote Saint-Luc streets, parks and facilities at all hours of day and night.

Several members were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of hundreds of hours of service during the year as well as for giving extra time to serve as team leaders and supervisors, handling administrative tasks, training of new members, continuing education of existing members, scheduling, vehicle maintenance and much more.

Also in attendance were CSL Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and Manager Jerome Pontbriand along with Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette and his right hand man Lt. J.P. Theoret.

Bissonnette and Theoret have been staunch supporters of the vCOP program and through close collaboration between vCOP, police and CSL Public Security, Bissonnette reaffirmed that Cote Saint-Luc continues to be the safest community on the Island of Montreal.

Mayor Anthony Housefather was on hand to personally thank each vCOP on behalf of Cote Saint-Luc residents.  The mayor has shown continuous support and much enthusiasm for the vCOP program since its inception six-and-a-half years ago.

I saluted the time, effort and passion that our vCOP members contribute to the community.  Our volunteers are unlike any group in Quebec.

Similarly, I had the pleasure of thanking our EMS volunteers at their holiday dinner just a few nights earlier.  EMS troops dedicate hundreds of hours, 24/7, responding to some 3000 emergency medical calls each year.  With enough volunteers at the ready, EMS has even responded to four simultaneous emergencies on several occasions this year.

At the vCOP celebration I also introduced Councillor Ruth Kovac as my partner in crime prevention.  Ruth and I have been actively involved in emergency preparedness for over 30 years.  Her husband, Peter, joined vCOP last year.  Ruth prepared a poetic tribute to the vCOP members as well as to their spouses who give them the time to serve their city.

ODE TO A VCOP (by Ruth Kovac)

Twenty four hours in every day

Where do you go to give some away?

Time is such a precious gift

And yet you come here and do a shift!

Whether it’s Allan, Gerry, Peter or Paul

It’s a rewarding experience for one and for all

Driving a scooter, a van or a bike

It’s your eyes and ears

And your voice

Over the mike

From dispatch you might hear

“A child is lost”

So you summon all the troops

And all this at no extra cost

At Special events your presence

Is so needed

So once again

The request has been heeded

You don your gear

So proud in orange and black

Your heads are held high

There is no turning a back.

You might stand for hours

Watching over the crowd

Our Cote Saint Luc Residents

Can surely feel proud.

It might be boring

Bur never a complaining word

Just “doing the job”

For our wonderful suburb

Friendships have been strengthened while

Being on shift

You have also learned CPR

And radio protocols, all a personal development lift.

You often take photos

Of things that you see

And send them to Glenn…….

And then he sends them on to me

We talk about the those questions

And discuss at great length

How you all make Cote Saint Luc better

As we go from strength to strength

Perhaps you have seen

An opened garage door

Come upon a car accident

Or seen water gushing into a ground floor

The shifts might be many

Or perhaps just a few

But each one is precious

A donated gift from you

And no matter how your time is spent

Cote Saint Luc knows each of you is heaven sent!

So from Glenn and myself

And Council too

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah

Volunteers…THANK YOU!!!

Youth arrested in CSL after firing BB rifle near school

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Joel Goldenberg, Oct. 10, 2012

The Suburban

 

A 15-year-old youth was arrested after firing a BB rifle in close proximity to the École des Amis de Monde School on Mackle Road in Côte St. Luc recently.

Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette told The Suburban that one child was slightly injured by a plastic pellet. Special precautions were also taken and Jewish community institutions were contacted, as the incident took place on the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur.

But as it turned out, the incident was not a hate crime. “It was just someone doing a stupid thing,” Bissonnette explained.

The commander said he was very pleased with the way the school took precautions for its students during the time of the incident and before the arrest, as well as the actions of his officers. “Everything was done by the book,” Bissonnette said.

••• The commander also said that the apparent motive for the recent Sept. 20 shooting on Borden Avenue and Fleet Road in Côte St. Luc was intimidation of a businessman over money that was wanted. No one was injured in the shooting. According to media reports, the alleged assailant led police on an extensive chase that ended several hours later that same night of Sept. 20, when he was arrested in Laval.

Suburbanites felt close to their local police departments

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The Suburban Newspaper, Aug. 15, 2012 – Click to enlarge

 

CSL’s Finest in Orange celebrate summer

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Cote Saint-Luc’s volunteer Citizens on Patrol held their annual summer BBQ to toast six years of service to the city.  This group is the first and largest COP group in Quebec with over 80 members.

Mayor Anthony Housefather thanked the volunteers for their dedication to serve as eyes and ears. Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and Chief Jerome Pontbriand pledged their continued support of the volunteers.

Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette repeated his familiar refrain that thanks to the culture of safety that has developed in CSL over the last decades this is the safest city on the Island of Montreal.  Police officers Marie Christine Norbert and Vincent de Angelis were in attendance leading me to quip that they were actually the only two officers left in CSL with all others pursuing pot-clanking protesters downtown.

The BBQ was a celebration of volunteerism and community safety.  As the volunteer leader of vCOP I have been working hard with the volunteers and staff to launch a new plan to encourage more leadership and better succession planning in order to restrengthen the organization.

This year alone vCOP has increased its fleet to four marked vans (one of them donated), added two donated electric bicycles, and is set to acquire two new electric scooters to add to its fleet of two donated mountain bikes and its original two electric scooters.

All members of vCOP contribute money in addition to their time.  They look to the community to help offset their modest costs.  If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to vCOP please send your cheque marked “vCOP” made payable to the City of Cote Saint-Luc or contact Public Safety Chief Jerome Pontbriand at 514-485-6800.

 

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