Spread the love

Police officers: recruitment exceeds training capacity

Open in full screen mode

The National Police Academy of Quebec in Nicolet has almost doubled its training capacity to meet the recruitment needs of the province's police services.

  • Pascal Robidas (View profile)Pascal Robidas

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, allows you to generate spoken text from written text.

The needs in terms of police recruitment, both at the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and at the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) or within municipal bodies, are so important that the ;Québec National Police School (ENPQ) is unable to respond to the request.

There are 31 police forces in a recruitment campaign in Quebec. The SQ alone is looking for 1,600 new police officers to replenish its ranks by 2027, not only in Greater Montreal, but everywhere else in the province.

The pressure has never been so strong on the shoulders of the director general of the ENPQ, Pierre St-Antoine, and his institution, which has the exclusive responsibility for training police officers in Quebec.

When we do the assessment to know how far we can go on the point of rupture and saturation to train future police officers with quality, consistency and relevance, the number 1000 was adopted. […] It is clear that the 1000 does not meet the current needs of police forces, admits Mr. St-Antoine.

Open in full screen mode

The Director General of the National School of Quebec police, Pierre St-Antoine, has initiated projects to expand the institution. He is seen here observing police training on foot pursuit.

You know, there comes a time when it's no longer about money. It's a question of skill set. If other police forces are experiencing manpower problems, our institution is also experiencing them, he adds.

Loading in progressInflation continues to decline in Canada and stood at 2.8% in February

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: Inflation continues to decline in Canada and stood at 2.8% in FebruaryLoading in progressInflation continues to decline in Canada and stood at 2.8% in February

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: Inflation continues to decline in Canada and stood at 2.8% in February

When I am asked to produce human quality with quality, I know that, as a school, with the human, technical, technological and expertise resources , it is the 1000 which responds to the capacity to give this quality.

A quote from Pierre St-Antoine, director general of the National Police School of Quebec

L'ENPQ is also responsible for training future agents of the indigenous police forces, the constables of the Montreal metro, in addition to having quadrupled the number of special constables trained to work in courthouses.

Last year, the Ministry of Public Security granted an envelope of $62 million over five years to the ENPQ.

For the first time in its history, ENPQ has expanded its activities outside its Nicolet campus, in Center-du-Québec. In particular, it trains special constables from the Société de transport de Montréal in the Montreal region and road controllers in the Quebec region. Another school to train police officers in specialized investigations is about to open its doors in Montreal.

As for correctional services officers, they are now trained under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security in a center located in Laval. The ENPQ stopped providing training last July.

Minister François Bonnardel is confident that MSP’s investments to make all these changes will yield the desired results. We are giving ourselves a horizon of four to five years to fill the missing positions, he said.

Open in full screen mode

Minister François Bonnardel granted more than 62 million dollars to the ENPQ to invest in the hiring of personnel, the acquisition of additional spaces for training and the technological rejuvenation of equipment.

The hiring waves could therefore fade in the medium term. But until then, the reality of retirements spares no police force in Quebec, in seduction mode to attract the best recruits.

When I arrived, I realized that we were going to lack police officers, like in several professions in Quebec. We had several police positions to fill. We are still talking about more than 1000 positions to be filled [vacant] currently, specifies Minister Bonnardel.

Within the provincial police alone, 1,013 police officers have retired from the SQ since 2019. The trend will accelerate in the coming years with the early retirement of 964 additional police officers, explains Pascal Rheault, captain and head of the Service recruitment at the SQ.

Start of widget. Skip widget ?End of widget. Return to top of widget ?

I have pensions every month, so I don't have a big room for maneuver in terms of the police officers who arrive and must enter the units, illustrates Captain Rheault, responsible for one of the most ambitious recruitment campaigns at the SQ in recent years, called Become who you are, carried out especially on social networks.

Through online platforms, the general management of the SQ therefore wants to address police recruits directly. They come from Generation Z who, for the first time in several years, are spoiled for choice where to pursue a career in the police.

What we offer them at the SQ is a career perspective. We offer them a range of opportunities that set us apart from other organizations. […] We want to tell them that we are an environment, a proactive organization, to enable us to develop them, and to take care of them, he specifies.

The number of candidates is very limit. And we try to have our lion's share of that.

A quote from Pascal Rheault, captain and head of the Recruitment Department at the SQ

Open in full screen mode

Captain Pascal Rheault, responsible for recruitment at the SQ, welcomes a new cohort who have recently graduated from the National Police Academy of Quebec in Nicolet.

The provincial police are therefore engaged in a race against time.

The expression is really good. I do not have a bank of candidates who are not currently serving. I don't have a list from which I can draw endlessly whenever I need to, says Pascal Rheault.

Quebec has approximately 15,000 officers in 31 police forces. The Sûreté du Québec represents 36% of agents, the municipal bodies, approximately 35%, while 29% of police officers work at the SPVM, on the island of Montreal.

The SPVM management has a hiring target of 438 police officers, higher than that of the SQ in the region. This target for the Montreal police is a hiring minimum which only allows it to maintain its workforce in place, depending on departures and early retirements.

Open in full screen mode

The director of the SPVM, Fady Dagher, made recruitment his priority when he took office. Like the SQ, the Montreal police are engaged in a race against time to replenish their ranks which are affected by mass retirements.

It must therefore hire 295 new police officers by December 31, in addition to the 143 already recruited so that the number of police officers does not decrease in the Quebec metropolis.

According to data as of March 18, the SPVM had 4,629 permanent police officers in its employ.

Recall that director Fady Dagher has the ambition of not only maintaining his police force, but of increasing them by 225 agents by 2028.

  • Pascal Robidas (View profile)Pascal RobidasFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116