Fady Dagher sworn in as 42e chief of Montreal police history on Thursday, promising to prioritize the recruitment of new police officers.
“I will be loyal and will bear true allegiance to the constituted authority”, promised Mr. Dagher by pronouncing his commitment, during a solemn ceremony, with bagpipes, caps and loud proclamations. Acting Director Sophie Roy transferred the ceremonial flag of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) to her, through Mayor Valérie Plante.
Originally from Lebanon and having grown up in Ivory Coast, he became the first representative of cultural diversity at the head of the police.
Being a police officer is “the best job in the world,” said the officer in his first speech as police chief.
“The recruitment and retention” of new police officers is “my first priority”, he said, before sending a message to future police officers. “Yes, life is more expensive in Montreal. Yes, the work is more intense. […] But remember why you enrolled in police technology. “ Subsequently, in a press conference, he said bluntly: “The SPVM lacks police officers.”
Second priority: “it is imperative to bring the police closer to the population. And it works both ways,” he said. “The police have become, somewhat in spite of themselves, a social safety net. […] This is a mission for which we were not initially trained and for which we do not always have the necessary resources. “Third priority: “we have far too many weapons circulating illegally on the island,” said Mr. Dagher, who announced that he wanted to “give more robustness” to investigations in this area.
One match perfect
The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, seemed completely satisfied with the choice of Montreal: “welcome back to the SPVM, Fady,” she said.
“I think it’s a match perfect. Mr. Dagher has a vision of security that combines prevention and repression. It corresponds to what our administration wants, ”she explained at a press conference. “I am confident and excited. This is an important issue for Montrealers: ensuring that our neighborhoods are safe. »
A few minutes earlier, in her speech, the mayor of Montreal said that the new police chief was arriving at a critical moment. “Our societies are being shaken up and they are in full transformation: by COVID-19, by the increase in armed violence, by the precariousness that we see in our streets and by the increase in violence among young people, especially,” she said. The Dagher method is the right one to “mobilize” the police to face these challenges, in the opinion of the mayor.
Quebec Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said he was looking forward to working with Mr. Dagher.
It’s a homecoming for Fady Dagher, who became Longueuil’s police chief in 2017 after a career at the SPVM.
The 54-year-old man was chosen before the holidays by a municipal selection committee. His appointment was quickly approved by the Plante administration, then by Quebec.