Interim Montreal police chief Martin Prud’homme ready to lead change
Montreal Police Headquarters on St. Urbain street is currently under repair and inside its walls, there’s another form of renovating taking place.
The Sûreté du Québec’s (SQ) Martin Prud’homme says he’s ready to lead change.
Prud’homme took over as interim chair of Montreal’s police service (SPVM) following former crown prosecutor Michel Bouchard’s report into the SPVM’s internal affairs that recommended former Chief Philippe Pichet be relieved of his duties.
“I will review departments from A to Z,” Prud’homme said.
Part of his new job will be to bring back trust and transparency in the force — both within the department and the general public.
“We have to review all internal processes,” Prud’homme added.
The Bouchard report exposed problems within the force’s internal affairs: from botched investigations and manipulating information to in-fighting — it’s all created a sense of distrust.
Prud’homme says he’ll lead change by prioritizing communication and transparency.
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The new boss says he’s met with about 800 police officers in the field to get a sense of what’s bothering them.
“Some things need to change and we’ll change them,” Prud’homme told Global News.
Change will have to come fast. Prud’homme has been given a one-year mandate.
“We will change people, we will try to put the best people in the right places.”
Dr. Myrna Lashley has spent years analyzing and working with the force on various issues.
“I think he’s got a big job,” Lashley said. “His timeframe is very short but if they make that timeframe too long, he may end up getting feedback he’s there too long. They need to hold on to their sovereignty.”
Lashley said Prud’homme’s starting point should be frontline officers, who she says feel excluded from the decision-making process.
“If you look after your people, they’ll look after their citizens.”
Prud’homme is preparing a preliminary report he’ll hand in to the government in the new year.
And even though the trust may not be there yet, he says Montrealers can rest assured their police force is doing great work on the ground.
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