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Quebec Association of Police Chiefs launches campaign to change image of policing

Click to play video: 'Quebec police chiefs launch campaign to change image' Quebec police chiefs launch campaign to change image
WATCH: The Quebec association of police chiefs have launched a one year campaign to promote policing and raise the morale of officers. They say they want to counter misconceptions of law enforcement officers. But as Global’s Phil Carpenter reports, some advocates argue police have a long way to go to rebuild public trust. – Apr 27, 2022

The Quebec Association of Police Chiefs has launched a one year campaign to promote policing and raise the morale of officers.

Police brass say they want to counter what they say are misperceptions about law enforcement officers.

“It is complex to be a police officer in this reality right now,” Didier Deramond, association head, told reporters at a press conference held to launch the programme.

“I think there’s a lack of love by the population towards the police officers.”

Read more: Quebec police watchdog says man who threw himself into river during police chase has died

The campaign will include a series of online videos showing examples of different police interventions and how they are handled, both by police and civilians.

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A report by the Center for Research and Strategic Development of the National Police School of Quebec, released in November, said that police officers across Quebec are refusing to intervene in some situations while on duty because they fear repercussions.

The officers blamed public criticism, ignorance of police work, lack of organizational support and media scrutiny.

“We need to rejuvenate the public perception and the police officer’s perception of the new reality in the communities,” Deramond explained.

Some who work with marginalized groups caution, however, that given issues like racial profiling and violent interactions between mental health patients and some officers, police have a long way to go to regain public trust.

“How are you going to address the harm that you have done, and how are you going to improve so that we can trust you?” said Nakuset, executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal.

Read more: Quebec study exposes dramatic increase in police funding

Others believe the police need to include the public and community groups more in their work.

“As long as they continue hiding behind those walls [of Montreal police headquarters] on St-Urbain Street and not involving the public, it looks as though they’ve got something to hide,” reasoned Dr. Myrna Lashley, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University.  She also works with police and community organizations.
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Lashley concedes, however, that there’s hope.

“Not all police are bad,” she stressed.  “I work with some really good ones and some who are really doing their best to change and they are holding their colleagues’ feet to the fire.”

She points out that, in the end, it’s dialogue that will lead to change.

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Terrebonne police officers under fire for racial profiling – Mar 31, 2022

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