The SPVM intensifies its partnership with schools to counter armed violence

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The SPVM intensifies its partnership with schools to counter armed violence

A multidisciplinary team comprising SPVM police officers and civilians, including cybercrime experts, will provide support to schools and in the community sector in Montreal.

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and the City of Montreal will be deploying in the next few weeks, in secondary schools, a multidisciplinary intervention team with young people to counter violence and bullying. ;use of firearms.

This ten-person team, made up of both police and civilians (criminologists and cybercrime specialists), was set up with the collaboration of school principals and community groups. The Department of Youth Protection (DPJ) and the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centers (CIUSSS) will intervene as needed.

The school team, as we call it, will visit schools that request it after identifying a problem, explained Alain Vaillancourt, councilor in the Sud-Ouest borough and responsible for public security on the executive committee of the City.

If we see that young people seem to have an affiliation with a gang or that something is happening, they [school principals] will be able to call on this team, said Mr. Vaillancourt at Tout un matin, on ICIPremière. She will land in the area, diagnose the problem, make an action plan and perhaps set up a crisis unit […].

The SVPM already has memorandums of understanding with each of the schools. Its mixed teams and socio-community agents are already present in the establishments. This new intervention team comes to improve these actions, specifies Mr. Vaillancourt.

For the school team, the Ministry of Public Security of Quebec grants just over $4 million over three years to the SPVM, as part of Operation Centaur, aimed at countering firearm-related violence. The City of Montreal is spending $400,000 on it.

Montreal launches new initiative to fight against gun violence. A new squad, including police and civilians, will be deployed in secondary schools in the metropolis. Report by Jacques Bissonnet.

In the early morning of last Tuesday, the police had to intervene at the scene of three different shootings (which resulted in three wounded whose condition inspires no fear). In addition, in the morning, casings were found in the courtyard of a primary school in Anjou. The impact of a projectile was also visible in a window of this school.

In the past year, other shootings, some fatal, have rocked the metropolis . Asked about this on Tuesday, the mayor of Montreal Valérie Plante said she understood the concern of parents, especially when this violence occurs near schools.

Mayor Plante explained that a new reality has emerged in the wake of the health crisis caused by COVID-19: Criminal groups are recruiting younger and younger […].

Criminal groups are active everywhere, adds Alain Vaillancourt. They recruit their successors […] in parks, schools; where young people are.

We must therefore do everything possible to counter this, by all possible means, explains the municipal councilor.

In August 2022, a 26-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after being shot while was on the grounds of a secondary school in Montreal North.

Based in the Montréal-Nord borough, the Un itinerary pour tous organization wholeheartedly welcomes the school team: We will at least have new resources, says its general manager, Ousseynou Ndiaye.


Mr. Ndiaye calls the cybercrime expertise she will offer a huge advantage. We have speakers, but we don't have the resources to follow up on what's happening on social media.

Since its creation in 2004, the Un itinerary pour tous organization has been working with young people and doing prevention work in schools. But outside, in school corridors and in spaces that can be said to be “empty”, no intervention was made, explains Mr. Ndiaye. However, this is where, practically, everything starts, according to him.

The pandemic did not help anything: for two years, the school did not #x27;was able to accommodate neither teachers nor students. As a result, the young people have invented another communication technique, describes Ousseynou Ndiaye. Young people are much more advanced.

Previously, when battles were organized, the responders would literally hear about them on the ground. Now, information circulates through the Internet. We are all in reaction mode because no one expected it to happen, describes Mr. Ndiaye.

Like the community sector, school administrators do not always have the expertise to fight cybercrime, explains Valérie Biron, director of communications at the Center de services scolaire de la Pointe- de-l'Island. This is an issue, and this team will provide us with additional support to act on several levels.

When a violent event occurs, the parents must be reassured, explains- she. Our schools are safe environments, but we want to be able to guarantee that they will remain so.

But for Ted Ruthland, professor of geography, planning and environment at Concordia University, this new initiative has the disadvantage of relying once again on the police to solve a social problem.

According to him, violence has always manifested itself in schools. And when these establishments are not able to manage it, it is because they lack resources.

Here, we send more police, criminologists and other actors under the direction of the police to manage the symptoms of a social problem.

This approach, he says, will have the effect of putting students under surveillance and will increase the likelihood that some of them will end up in the prison system. According to him, it would be better to equip and finance the school community more to deal with these problems.

With information from Diana Gonzalez and Mélissa François

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With information from CBC

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