June 5, 2017 1:01 pm

Laval police test increased security measures during weekend family festival

Laval police put new security measures to the test over the weekend. Monday, June 5, 2017.

Mario Beauregard / The Canadian Press

Laval firefighters held their annual Firefest over the weekend — a three-day family friendly event featuring live music, a firetruck parade, a cook-off and a series of races including a marathon.

The aim of the event is to introduce residents to the world of firefighting through interactive activities focusing on fire safety and prevention.

But for Laval police officers it was a chance to put the force’s new security measures to the test.

Some of those security measures were on display during the marathon portion of the festivities and include the use of dump trucks to protect the runners, 1,500 lb concrete barriers to block access to the site and a security convoy to accompany the runners at the start and finish of the the race.

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In a written statement, Laval Police chief Pierre Brochet explained the force adopted the new measures to adapt to changing times.

 “We are forced to adapt due to the increasing number of terrorist attacks worldwide,” he said.

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According to Brochet, the effort didn’t go unnoticed.

“I was on site yesterday, and several people came to see me to express their satisfaction in regards to the marked police presence,” he said.

Brochet said that feeling of security is something the police department is committed to maintaining.

To that effect, Laval police officers have been receiving special training in recent months pertaining to security measures during large events, as well as learning to detect abnormal behaviour in large crowds.

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In Montreal, Mayor Denis Coderre told Global News in the wake of the Manchester attack that killed 22 concert-goers that the city is safe and focused on prevention.

“Nobody can say that nothing will happen — I mean, it’s all over the place,” Coderre said. “We’re not waiting for the worst to happen, and that’s why we’re putting together a prevention plan.”


© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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