On January 17, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay presented his plan to combat profiling along with Montreal Police Chief Marc Parent. This announcement follows the recommendations made by the Human Rights Commission in 2010 about the practice of profiling among police.
Montreal police wish to set up a training program “to increase the intercultural competencies of personnel” or to support the district stations in organizing an annual day of exchange relating to police-citizen relations.
“In general, our police officers are more and more sensitized. Beyond the training, I think that they should be sensitized to the achievements of these individuals and their history and what is behind a situation, a set of problems,” said Parent.
Parent spoke about a “challenge to adapt the services they offer” by referring to comments or subjects which “perhaps” were tolerated 20 years ago, but today, “there are things that we do not want to hear any more.”
The police chief hopes to not only intervene on the question of profiling by means of prevention but also indicated that there will be consequences if officers practice profiling.
“The acts of discrimination will be punished and could reach, depending on its severity, a dismissal,” he said. Parent indicated that over the last year certain administrative moves were made among officers who made comments considered to be discriminatory towards members of cultural communities.
As for complaints which will be submitted for racial profiling, Mayor Tremblay indicated that they will be the subject of “more intense” discussion between the police, the Human Rights Commission as well as the League of Rights and Freedoms so that they are taken seriously. “If we want to maintain confidence with the community, it is necessary that perception changes,” he said.
The City also set up an Integration Committee for measures regarding profiling, to ensure the follow-up of various processes. It will be made up of elected officials, representatives from the police and the boroughs.
Racial and social profiling refers to members of cultural communities, the disadvantaged, itinerants and people suffering from mental disorders.
(Translated by Michael Beigleman)