The City of Montreal has a problem. While it is experiencing an increase in violent events, it is struggling to retain staff. As of August 30, a total of 49 neighbourhood police officers had decided to leave the Montreal force (SPVM). At the same time, the city is having trouble recruiting new employees to fill these positions. The solution to this problem is obvious: the delegation of certain tasks to security agents in order to allocate the remaining police officers to areas where their expertise is truly necessary.
The tasks carried out by police officers are extremely varied. Indeed, a study conducted in British Columbia concluded that officers spend 40% of their time writing reports and completing other administrative tasks. On top of this, police forces also carry out different tasks that can be delegated, in whole or in part, to security agents occupying auxiliary positions. These tasks include responding to certain calls, patrolling, and providing security for the Montreal metro.
In addition to saving Montreal taxpayers money, this reform would allow Montreal police officers to concentrate on more important tasks, like crime prevention. When this kind of reform has been implemented elsewhere in the world, crime has fallen, depending on the project, by 14% to 43%. The City of Montreal has no reason to pass up this kind of reduction when it is going through a veritable crisis in terms of violent crime. The time to act is now.