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The head of the SPVM announces his retirement

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The director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), Sylvain Caron, will leave his post earlier than expected, learned The Press. He should officially confirm it on Tuesday, alongside Mayor Valérie Plante.

In the middle of the afternoon, Mr. Caron indeed announced to his executives that he was retiring. He has been director of the SPVM since December 2018 and had been recommended by Martin Prud’homme, who himself had been appointed provisional administrator of the SPVM during the crisis that hit the service in 2017.

Normally, Mr. Caron’s mandate was to last five years and end in December 2023. Sylvain Caron had a police career spanning more than 40 years, during which he was notably director of the Police Department of the city of Sorel-Tracy and deputy director of the Sûreté du Québec.

Barely mentioned, the departure of Mr. Caron was quick to react on the Montreal political scene. Municipal sources mention in particular an “emotional” moment, but not “surprising”. According to our information, the chief of police is leaving for personal reasons, and would have notified the general management of the City as early as last December.

“What we understand is that it was probably particularly trying on a personal level. It’s always addictive and when you add the pandemic, armed violence, it’s very demanding on a personal level, “said a municipal source well versed in the matter, arguing that Mr. Caron has “contributed to the Montreal model of public security which is being developed at the moment”, opening the door to several “innovations”, in particular the squads to fight against arms trafficking.

Mr. Caron is expected to officially step down at the end of April. A process for appointing his successor should be launched thereafter. The mayoress of Montreal, Valérie Plante, must also hold an “important announcement” Tuesday morning, with the principal concerned, to specify the continuation of things.

On Twitter, the president of the Montreal Police Brotherhood (FPPM), Yves Francœur, praised Mr. Caron’s contribution, “in particular to his stability in troubled times, as well as the spirit of collaboration he has known. demonstrate”. “He will have been present at a pivotal moment. I wish him the best of continuities, ”wrote Mr. Francoeur.

The Opposition attacks Plante

In the ranks of the Official Opposition, leader Aref Salem did not fail to scorch the current administration, arguing that “the retirement of Sylvain Caron, when his contract was to end at the end of 2023, demonstrates to what extent the Plante administration has lost control of what is happening at the SPVM and that it is disconnected from the needs of Montrealers”.

“Refusal to hire the promised 250 new police officers, surprise elimination of neighborhood police stations, changing positions on the body camera project, defunding of the SPVM, police officers on the edge of the abyss: one need only take stock of the past year to see how the administration has failed to maintain good communications and good relations with its police department and its chief,” Mr. Salem further castigated.

He argues that Mr. Caron’s departure comes “while the metropolis is experiencing a major crisis in terms of violence, which is worrying for Montrealers”. “While this is the second hasty departure after that of Mr. Luc Tremblay at the STM, citizens are entitled to ask questions,” raises the elected official.

At the end of January, the STM had indeed also announced that its general manager, Luc Tremblay, is retiring. He too will step down in April, after a 28-year career with the organization.

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