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Quebec police unions call for reform of ticket quotas

Watch: No more ticket quotas in Quebec? Billy Shields has details.

MONTREAL — The Montreal Police Brotherhood is calling on lawmakers to reduce the quotas of tickets officers are expected to write in an effort to put police back to more important police work.

“Maybe we’re going to give two or three tickets a day instead of 16, but we’ll do a better job of keeping things safe for citizens,” said Yves Francoeur, the Montreal Police Brotherhood president.

A police department is expected “to give more and more tickets to get more money for the city hall,” he said.

The union’s reaction comes about a week after the city of Montreal took it to arbitration, saying that police were not writing enough tickets as a way of voicing displeasure over Bill 3, the controversial pension reform bill.

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The union denied any link.

“There’s no relation between this and Bill 3,” Francoeur said.

Regardless of the union’s rationale, the quotas for police do seem steep.

According to the brotherhood, a biker cop is expected to write 18 tickets a day, and a traffic officer, 16.

“Policing is becoming a business.”

Depending on its size, a police station is expected to generate as many as 1,500 tickets per month.

“It’s very sad, now, policing is becoming a business, it’s taking justice and putting it on the business side,” said Alfredo Munoz.

Munoz is the founder of SOS Ticket, a business that specializes in fighting fines in court. He’s also a 12-year veteran of the Montreal police force (SPVM).

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Because of the pressure police are under to issue infractions, Munoz said that he has seen tickets given out under dire circumstances.

He said the worst case he could remember involved a driver getting written up for talking on his cellphone while driving. At the time the driver was on the phone with his daughter, who was contemplating suicide. Munoz said a judge threw the infraction out.

The city deferred questions to the provincial Ministry of Public Safety, who didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Officials in the Montreal police department wouldn’t comment on the matter, but noted that they do not dispute the union’s quota claims.

For Munoz, the situation shows an abuse of the trust citizens put in their government.

“They’re paying for a police service,” he said.

“What they’re getting are tickets.