Montreal police are holding an online information session next month over the decision to merge of two of their stations in the city’s west end.
The presentation will be online in order to respect social-distancing measures amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the police force.
The meeting comes after the police force confirmed it is closing Station 11 in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) and integrating it with Station 9 in Côte Saint-Luc later this year.
However, the information session will not be interactive and citizens will have to submit their questions in advance by email.
Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery said in statement that the session’s format is “insufficient.”
She said that the COVID-19 crisis highlights the need for police services in the community and that neighbourhood policing “contributes to better relations with citizens.”
“What the citizens of NDG have demanded time and time again is a full public consultation,” she said. “Although this SPVM presentation is not the consultation that NDG demands, it’s important that citizens participate and make their voices heard.”
The project has raised concerns from municipal politicians and residents, who worry that the plan could lead to fewer services in their areas and weaken community relations.
An online petition against the proposed closure of Station 11 in NDG has garnered more than 2,800 signatures.
Montreal police have defended the plan, saying that the proposed merger is for operational reasons and not a question of finances. In February, Insp. André Durocher said the integration of both stations will not result in job losses for any officer.
The online information session will be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on May 5 on the police force’s website.