Carpentier case: the SQ is committed to better collaborating and training its police officers
Since the beginning of the research, the SQ has validated more than 1000 reports.
A senior member of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) assures that the police force is better prepared to intervene in the context of field searches that it was not in July 2020.
It was André Santerre's turn to testify on the thirteenth day of the coroner's public inquest into the deaths of Romy, Norah and Martin Carpentier. He held the position of chief inspector and director of emergency measures for the SQ during the events.
André Santerre held the position of chief inspector and director of emergency measures for the Sûreté du Québec when sisters Norah and Romy Carpentier disappeared in July 2020.
The coroner Luc Malouin sought to find out if the police force would have the resources available to intervene more quickly in 2023.
Recall that, during the first hours following the disappearance of the Carpentier trio in 2020, in Saint-Appolinaire, the SQ was unable to mobilize more than six specialized walkers. Most of them were assigned to other duties.
We are in July 2023, we have a problem in Matane. We have a problem in Natashquan, in Lac-Saint-Jean. We have missing people in the woods. How many walkers are available? asked the coroner.
With the pools we currently have, we will be able to respond to that, replied Mr. Santerre.
The police entered in small groups in a densely wooded area of Saint-Apollinaire in order to find Martin Carpentier.
The coroner also stressed the importance to the SQ of doing business with partners trained in field research.
For example, the SPVQ had teams trained in research, but was not called upon. The same goes for the Quebec Association of Search and Rescue Volunteers, which had more than 20 trained volunteers available on July 9. Wildlife officers were also available.
I spoke with my director of emergency measures and there will [be] communication channels that will be created. We will discuss with them to validate what their capacity is, their training and their working method. Rest assured. I will get in touch with the Fauna people [to find out] their capacities, their methods. The action has already begun, said André Santerre.
“Security learned from the events. »
— André Santerre
The population hears you, replied Luc Malouin.
André Santerre also defended the decision of the Sûreté de Québec to reorganize its emergency service, which includes police officers trained in forest research.
Before February 2019, 72 specialized police officers were based in Quebec, Mascouche and Saint-Hubert, said Mr. Santerre.
However, to increase its workforce on the highways, the Sûreté du Québec carried out a reorganization in 2019. Thus, it sent about twenty of them to highway stations.
The number of full-time police officers trained in emergency measures then fell to 51.
The police must drive through a densely wooded area in order to find Martin Carpentier.
However, if the vast majority of them were not available on July 9, it is due to several events underway in Quebec. There was the vacation period, but especially police officers affected by COVID-19. We had a mobilization challenge. There were several operations in progress.
André Santerre assures that at present, nearly 160 police officers distributed in the province are able to be on a line of march in the forest in case of disappearance.
“There is always a dedicated team to respond to queries. Security is learning. »
— André Santerre
This 2019 reorganization, according to a witness, rather contributed to a loss of expertise and the departure of several experienced police officers.
Coroner Malouin also tried to find out the quality and the frequency of training and training of specialized police officers.
André Santerre replied that most of the police officers who could be called upon to intervene in cases of search in the field do not have not the same level of training, the majority of whom are assigned to various MRC and motorway posts.
We realized that training was a challenge to mobilize these people there and to be able to put them in training with the MI members. We were not always able to free them from their [other] task. The important thing is to train our people. We are going to set up trainings[…].
More details to come