Quebec’s Minister of Public Security commits $250 million to combat gun violence and hires more police officers in Montreal

Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced that the province would commit $45 million over the next five years to increase police presence in Montreal.

Another $200 million will also be used to strengthen enforcement against the gun trade across the province.

Saturday’s announcement in response to growing gun violence in the city follows two broad daylight shootings last week and a vow by Quebec Premier Francois Legault on Wednesday to « restore order and protect the citizens ».

« I already said it when Operation CENTAUR was announced last September and I’ll say it again today. We’ve had enough of the violence in Montreal, » she said at a press conference shortly. after 1 p.m.

Over the next five years, the Montreal police will have access to enough funds to hire 450 new officers. Half of the funding, $45 million, will come from the province, with the rest coming from the city, Guilbault said.

« Here in Montreal, citizens are particularly nervous. Our citizens are afraid and do not feel safe, » she said. « I have always said that if we have to do more, we will do more. »

But a large portion of the funding, $200 million, will go to provincial gun crime enforcement, Guilbault said.

Guilbault spoke alongside interim police chief Sophie Roy, mayoress Valérie Plante and Chantal Rouleau, minister responsible for transport in the region.

There are over 750 graduates from the Quebec Police Academy each year. Its manager is also increasing enrollment by 72 starting this year to support the hiring drive, Guilbault said.

In the short term, a force of more than 60 officers – many of them criminal and intelligence investigators – will step up the force’s crackdown on organized crime, CBC reports. The team could touch down from September 12.

Officers from stations dealing with fewer crimes will be sent to more violent areas of the city to achieve this.

Daylight shots

The announcement comes as two men were killed in broad daylight shootings in two incidents less than an hour apart last Tuesday afternoon.

The first, a 44-year-old man, died after being shot in the parking lot of the Rockland shopping center in Ville Mont-Royal.

A section of St-Denis Street in Montreal has been closed as police investigate a shooting inside a restaurant on Tuesday afternoon last week. (Kolya H. Guilbault/Radio-Canada)

The second took place about 40 minutes later at a pizzeria on St-Denis Street in the central Latin Quarter neighborhood of Montreal, where a 50-year-old man was shot and killed.

Other shots also rang out in the Merchier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough of Montreal around 9 p.m. Friday.

No injuries were reported by the police, who said that several casings were found on the ground at the corner of Grosbois and Taillon streets.


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