The mayor of Laval, Marc Demers, unveiled a plan to regain the confidence of Laval residents from minorities and in particular their confidence in the police service.
The plan, titled “New look at the Laval Police ServiceWas revealed by the city’s mayor, Marc Demers, and the city’s general manager, Jacques A. Ulysse, at a press conference.
It aims to “revisit certain modes of operation, review existing practices and deploy a series of actions to strengthen ties with citizens of immigrant background, in order to increase the feeling of security and confidence they feel in and towards their City“, Can we read in the document.
The plan includes three components and a dozen measures that would allow the City to achieve the objective of offering a “quality proximity service”
The plan, in three parts:
- Acquire a better knowledge and understanding of the ethnocultural diversity of the territory, its challenges and modes of intervention;
- Promote and promote the profession of police within communities;
- Put in place the tools to achieve the City’s objectives.
First of all, Laval counts “establish a diagnosis on the quality of relations with communities”
To do this, the city will set up a “data collection system that will make possible a detailed, informed and transparent analysis of the issue of racial profiling”
A recognized reality
Asked about racial profiling, Mayor Demers, who was a police officer for over 30 years with the Laval Police Service, admitted that he had witnessed “actions he did not approve of” during his years of service.
It feels a responsibility to maintain the bond of trust between the public on the one hand and the municipal administration and the police service on the other. “It’s going to be a constant challenge to improve ourselves, and to improve the services we provide to the population“, He explains.
To resolve this issue, the City wants to increase the representativeness of visible minorities within the police force and create a “great dialogue” between Laval residents from minorities and the police service.
“The best way to avoid [le profilage racial]is learning to live together and breaking down prejudices about different cultures. “ – Marc Demers, mayor of Laval
A policy on police arrests will also be implemented.
A remarkable absence
Marc Demers insisted that this plan did not only concern the police service, but the entire municipal administration. The mayor reassured about the full collaboration of the Laval police chief, who was absent from the press conference.
“There is no resistance within the police service, he said. The chief of police will speak to the media when he sees fit.”
Laval is one of the most multicultural cities in Quebec. More than a quarter of its population is made up of people with an immigrant background. However, police officers from diverse backgrounds represent only 6.4% of the Laval Police Service.
The city’s director general, Jacques A. Ulysse, indicated that he had a 10% target. He did not indicate a horizon, but the mayor said that ultimately, the objective is that the composition of the employees of the city administration reflect Laval reality.
Asked about the cost of such a plan, Jacques A. Ulysse did not give a figure, but said: “I dare hope that the protection of human life has no cost ”
Video: Desjardins, a year after the data leak (Le Devoir)