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Montreal’s police chief announces major changes to city’s police force

Montreal police introduce new open-door policy
WATCH ABOVE: It's a new era in Montreal's police force as closed door meetings will now be held publicly, so residents can attend, listen and ask questions. Global's Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports.

After three months on the job, Montreal’s interim police chief has a plan to regain the public’s trust after a series of scandals rocked the force.

During an open door meeting with the city’s public security committee on Tuesday, Martin Prud’homme announced he’s making the force less top-heavy management-wise.

Eleven assistant-directors positions will be trimmed down to four. There will be a new division that will be home to a restructured internal affairs department.

It all comes after a rough few years for the force. Allegations of favouritism and cliques plagued the internal affairs department.

On Tuesday, the interim police chief confirmed that the situation was just as dysfunctional as previously noted in the Bouchard report, which was made public by provincial Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux in December.

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That report showed a series of botched investigations and internal divisions.

“That division of the force lost the trust of the public,” he said, about internal affairs during the meeting.

After consulting with 1,500 officers, Prud’homme told the city’s public security committee that he’s noted a deep-seated desire from officers to turn the page and regain the public’s trust.

Part of that plan includes open-door meetings at city hall where residents can ask questions to the top brass.

“We are putting an end to the culture of secrecy that has surrounded police oversight for decades,” explained Alex Norris, the chairperson of the city’s public security committee.

Prud’homme’s mandate as head of the Montreal police force ends Dec. 31.

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