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Interim chief shakes up management of Montreal Police department

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WATCH: Interim chief Martin Prud'Homme is restructuring the Montreal police force, eliminating seven high-paying upper management jobs. Global's Amanda Jelowicki has the details – Jan 26, 2018

Some big changes are coming to upper management at the Montreal police department

In an internal memo sent to the force’s 4,500 officers Thursday night, interim Police Chief Martin Prud’homme announced changes that will streamline upper management.

READ MORE: Interim Montreal police chief Martin Prud’homme ready to lead change

He’s eliminating seven senior managerial positions. Instead of 11, there will now  be four assistant directors.

The officers aren’t being fired, they are just being demoted and reassigned. They will keep their $200,000 salaries.

“It’s a heck of a change for some people,” said police spokesperson Ian Lafrenière.

Lafrenière admitted it will be tough for the officers reassigned because some have worked in upper management for years, and will go back to having the same status as many others.

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READ MORE: Philippe Pichet suspended; SQ head takes over SPVM

The problem-plagued force has faced scandal after scandal in recent years.

The changes come after Quebec provincial police temporarily took over the internal affairs division; the force is expected to regain control of that division soon.

Prud’homme is also proposing a new organizational structure consisting of four major divisions, separating criminal investigations, patrolling, corporate services and internal affairs.

Some of the divsions used to be grouped together, creating bitter internal rivalries.

READ MORE: Montreal police accused of fabricating evidence, SQ investigating

It also saw the suspension of several officers, including former police chief Philippe Pichet.

The aim was to make the force less top heavy, Lafrenière said, adding that it was much needed.

“There have been a lot of comments from patrollers that sometimes things happen on the street, and those at the top have no idea what happened,” Lafrenière said.

“So, by taking down officers to that level, we will make sure we have all the information.”

Montreal police say the changes coming won’t affect service to the public.

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Montreal’s police brotherhood says upper management was far too bloated and welcomes the changes.

READ MORE: Montreal police share details on plan to improve public confidence

“It will encourage a better cohesion between the base and management, and secondly, between all the different units of the police department,” said police brotherhood president Yves Francoeur.

The changes come just a month and a half after Prud’homme took over as police chief for his year-long mandate.

He insisted the changes are just the beginning, and there will be many more to come.

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