Service de police
de la Ville de Montréal
Annual Report

Toward the police
of the future

Philippe Pichet

Director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal

Message from the Director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal

When I started my mandate, I followed the major orientations of the SPVM, but I also wanted to bring my own vision: looking to the future. I therefore present my first annual report, which includes this vision.

Cooperation from citizens and all of our partners from various walks of life is essential to achieving our public safety mission. All teams of our neighbourhood police stations developed their local action plans based on concerns pertaining to safety, crime and specific local problems raised by residents and other local players. Partnerships and sharing a common goal are key to successfully facing new challenges together, and as such, I will be creating a public safety network in the coming year.

As a modern police organization, we need to optimize the use of our resources, adapting them to the emerging crimes, vulnerable clients and citizens’ needs. This is how we will develop the “police of the future” and continue to ensure their sense of safety and tranquillity in their neighbourhood.

The SPVM counts on the trust of Montréal citizens to ensure the legitimate nature of its actions and I will do everything I can to make sure this trust is earned every day.

I would like to thank all SPVM officers and civilian staff for their ongoing commitment to making a difference.

I also want to sincerely thank our partners, who help us pursue our mission and make Montréal a great place to live.

Anie Samson

Chair of the Commission de la sécurité publique

Message from the Chair of the Commission de la sécurité publique

Dear citizens:

To me, public safety is much more than a professional commitment—it is a passion. It is constantly on my mind and in my heart. All citizens—each and every single one of us—have the right to feel safe, wherever we are on the island of Montréal. And it is in this spirit that the members of the Commission de la sécurité publique (CSP) approach different public safety issues.

We can count on our police officers day and night to watch over Montréal’s population, fight the diverse crime issues and work on prevention with various clienteles. Furthermore, like the CSP, the SPVM works with a large network of partners and citizens to benefit from a maximum of expertise and experience to meet the public’s needs and concerns.

In today’s society, public safety issues are increasingly complex. It is therefore crucial that we work together, regardless of our background or sector, to find optimal, innovative solutions. The SPVM plans to formalize the public safety network to promote discussions and develop better approaches for protecting the public.

Finally, I would like to highlight the remarkable ability our police officers and civilian staff have in adjusting to Montréal’s different realities and keeping safety and citizens’ sense of safety at the centre of their actions. The work they do every day is not easy and they take it on fully and thoroughly.

Safety is everybody’s business, and together, we can achieve it.

In the field

Integrating citizens to investigations

In 2012, the SPVM adopted the Citizen-Based Approach, which focuses on community relations, building partnerships and greater openness toward communities.

This approach is used in patrol activities, investigation management, processing of requests for information, complaints and community relations.

In 2015 the SPVM began reviewing the different stages of investigation in order to improve its processes and conduct investigations more effectively and efficiently. The appropriation of the Citizen-Based Approach has also been put forward. In fact, the SPVM feels that it should be omnipresent for this as well, and in this sense, several workshops on the quality of public service intended for investigators were held.

In the end, citizens will benefit from a more effective, respectful, courteous service that better meets their needs.

Local action plans

Police officers continued in the same vein for their local action plans as the previous year, and added activities for sharing with all citizen groups—business people, citizens, school principals, elected officials, etc—in order to develop the action plans.

Organized Crime

Over the course of the year, the SPVM continued its fight against organized crime with the help of various police forces, including the SQ and the RCMP, along with other partners.


  • ACCALMIE Operation: Coordination between local, regional and specialized units, set up in September following a series of violent events, in order to prioritize violent crime cases involving street gangs: 283 arrests, 117 searches, 247 investigation cases processed and 83 weapons seized.
  • ARBUSTE Project: Dismantling of a major cannabis growing and distribution ring in Greater Montréal: 37 arrests and 38 searches. Major seizure: 36 kg of marijuana, about 24,000 cannabis plants and $246,000.
  • ASSOCIÉS Project: Dismantling of a major cocaine distribution ring in the city, composed of various criminal groups: 12 arrests and 9 searches.
  • ALCHIMIE Project: Dismantling of one of the biggest clandestine synthetic drug laboratories (fentanyl) ever in Québec—and Canada—and unprecedented seizure of products used for its manufacturing.


Over the course of the year, the efforts deployed by the Division des crimes économiques investigators (Economic Crimes Division) led to the arrest of several fraudsters with increasingly sophisticated methods.

  • BOGUS Project: Investigators successfully caught three individuals who were using cloned debit cards to commit fraud on cab rides. These arrests helped solve close to 70 fraud cases—and recover more than $230,000. Their efforts were conclusive, and the quality of their work was recognized in various cases.
  • FAUSSETÉ Project: Investigators were targeting an organized crime group that was conducting email fraud—or phishing—by posing as a trusted Canadian bank to steal victims’ personal information. Economic crimes investigators successfully identified and arrested the group of fraudsters behind these crimes—the ringleader and five accomplices. This was a first in Canada.

Sexual exploitation

This year, the SPVM united all of its driving forces and expertise to more effectively fight sexual exploitation, creating a new unified team under the Section des crimes majeurs (Major Crimes Unit), consisting of police officers specializing in human trafficking who intervene in cases of violent procurers, sexual exploitation of minors for commercial purposes, prevention with potential victims and police officer training.

The book Pour lamour de mon pimp, in which six survivors from prostitution tell their story, was also released in March 2015. The book is a logical follow-up to the SPVM’s Les Survivantes project. Created in 2010, its goal is to change police officers’ and social workers’ mentality. It is intended for victims looking for a way out, as well as their families, potential victims, exploitation witnesses and the general public. It is thought-provoking and offers potential solutions.


In 2015, several actions were implemented in the fight against terror. On October 24, the SPVM’s Section antiterrorisme et mesures d’urgence (Anti-Terrorism and Emergency Measures Unit), along with members of the Comité aviseur antiterrorisme de Montréal (CAAM), held the biggest terrorism simulation (Montréal 360) in Montréal in the last ten years. More than 350 people were mobilized for the event, which included a CBRNE* attack, active shooters and the deployment of the Counter-Terrorism Police Management Structure—a structure that is unique to Québec.

The SPVM also continued to train its police officers. Some 975 police officers took the training on anti-terrorism and emergency measures. In addition to the 130 officers trained in 2014, 60 more police officers followed the RCMP’s and SQ’s Counter Terrorism Information Officer program. Finally, 11 police officers from specialized units received CBRNE intervention training, and 100 community relations officers were trained on violent radicalization.

The creation of the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence is an additional prevention method in the fight against terror in Montréal. The Centre operates independently from the SPVM. 

*CBRNE: Chemical, biologial, radiological, nuclear or explosive event.

Notorious suspect finally caught after 9 years

On February 25, 2015, following a nine-year-long investigation by the SPVM’s Section des crimes majeurs (major crime unit) in cooperation with the Sûreté du Québec and the Service de police de Laval, Septimus Neverson was identified as the perpetrator of several violent crimes. Arrested in Trinidad and Tobago, Neverson is allegedly behind two waves of home invasions that occurred in 2006 and 2009, including 10 in Montréal and 3 in Laval. His actions made 39 victims and he faces 54 charges, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery.

The suspect is being detained in Trinidad and extradition orders are underway in order for him to be tried in Montréal.

The investigation was conducted as part of the provincial coordination of the Gestion des enquêtes des crimes en série (Management of Serial Crimes Investigations). The team of investigators also worked in cooperation with the Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago, in order to catch the notorious criminal.

Road safety

Since 2012, thanks to the financial support of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec, the SPVM and the City of Montréal conducted the 100% safety campaign to reduce the number of collisions and raise users’ awareness of sharing the road. Pedestrians and cyclist are far more vulnerable during collisions. That is why SPVM police officers are continuing to work to improve the safety of these active transportation users.

In 2015, 100% safety was especially successful. According to an SOM survey, this campaign had a real impact: one quarter (25%) of people who remembered it said they are more vigilant. 

100% safety – “I make sure I’m seen and that I can hear and see” is taking a new route and evolving with Vigilance 360°- Je regarde tout autour de moi avant de traverser (360° SafetyI check before crossing). This campaign attempts to raise the awareness of drivers turning left and pedestrians stepping into a pedestrian zone when the light is green for both of them.

Security and integrity

The implementation of the Division de la sécurité et de l’intégrité (DSI, security and integrity division) is a concrete step that essentially targets accountability for the entire organization with regard to security as a whole.

One year after its creation, its achievements included enhancing the security accreditation process. All new employees are subject to security investigations at regular intervals in the course of their career. Moreover, employees aspiring to work on more sensitive duties are subject to a security investigation, and this investigation will be repeated in tighter time lines so as to ensure a higher level of security and integrity for the organization. External suppliers are also subject to a security accreditation process.

In order to prevent situations that may jeopardize the security and integrity of both the organization and its employees, the Division also helps managers set up support plans for employees presenting a risk.

The DSI is also responsible for reinforcing the control and protection mechanisms for information, knowledge, buildings and property.

Two decades of international missions at the SPVM

Over 20 years, more than 500 SPVM officers volunteered to take part in one or more missions abroad. Since the first contingent of Montréal officers left for Haiti in 1995, some 93 contingents have been deployed to 13 countries thus far. In 2015, 22 police officers were deployed for a mission—21 in Haiti and one in the Ukraine.

For missionary police officers, it’s unanimous: Missions abroad are extraordinary, unforgettable experiences. They return to Montréal with a wealth of experiences. As part of their mission, they help strengthen security in certain regions of the world, train foreign police officers and share intervention strategies. Their involvement, leadership and efforts help the SPVM shine and maintain its excellent reputation worldwide.


Several robbery cases were closed in 2015. One of them—the MASTARD Project—was a major operation this year, with the arrest of five individuals allegedly forming an important organization robbing valuable carriers in Canada.

The investigation, led by the SPVM’s team specializing in robberies with the help of Sûreté du Québec officers, linked the group of robbers to seven incidents that occurred in Greater Montréal between 1999 and 2015, as well as disrupted two plots.

The SPVM had launched the investigation following a string of robberies committed on valuables carriers in Montréal in the last two years. Following a year-long investigation, the SPVM officers and their colleagues at the Sûreté du Québec, Peel Regional Police and Ottawa Police Service led a series of simultaneous searches which allowed them to seize money, weapons and disguises.

Montréal reality

Public spaces and homelessness

A new structure for managing public spaces was created in 2015 in order to target reprehensible behaviours and surface crime so as to ensure peaceful cohabitation between different users of public spaces.

This structure consists of the Brigade des espaces publics (BEP, public spaces brigade) and the Équipe mobile de référence et d’intervention en itinérance (ÉMRII, Mobile Reference and Intervention Team for the Homeless), who work very closely with the various partners.

Brigade des espaces publics

The BEP’s cycling officers—with the help of cadets during the summer—carried out some 3,500 interventions, thus contributing to promoting the use and reappropriation of downtown public spaces by all users.


The assistance approach deployed by the ÉMRII as a second line allows for specific interventions with the homeless. On average, the ÉMRII closely monitors around fifty people at all times. In 2015, it had more than 200 requests for support and referral from police officers and partners who deal with the homeless.

The effectiveness of the BEP and ÉMRII together is obvious, given the reduced number of calls for disturbances, assault and robberies.

Psychosocial emergency intervention

The Équipe de soutien en urgences psychosociales (ÉSUP, psychosocial emergency support team) helps patrollers who respond to calls from people who are mentally disturbed or in crisis situations. Like the ÉMRII, this is a multidisciplinary team made up of police officers and social workers from the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux / Centre-Sud-de-Île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS).

Despite a crying need for round-the-clock service, back in 2014, the service was only available evenings and nights. This year, with the help of our partners, we were able to offer the service day and night, every day of the year.

Part of the ÉSUP’s mission consists of defusing crisis situations or reducing their impact, supporting the work of front-line patrollers, and avoiding judicializing/criminalizing individuals who are mentally disturbed or in crisis.

During the course of the year, the ÉSUP team conducted 1,570 interventions in Montréal.

Critical incident response

Since 2013, the SPVM has been training patrollers on responding to crisis incidents (RIC). The training enables police officers to intervene directly with a person in serious or acute crisis and quickly diffuse the situations where the level of violence or risk is high.

One year prior, we had committed to have a RIC-trained police officer on every squad in all neighbourhood police stations. By the end of 2015, we were in a position to say mission accomplished. Some 169 officers have been trained, making it possible to always have a RIC-trained police officer to lend a hand to other colleagues on emergency calls involving people in serious or acute crisis.

Agreement with the Aboriginal community

In June 2015, in the wake of its efforts to build relationships, the SPVM signed a collaboration agreement with the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network to consolidate the ties that were forged over the years.

The Service has already set up a monitoring committee and created an Aboriginal liaison agent position to forge stronger ties with the community.

The agreement also targets the optimization of the SPVM’s skills, particularly through information sessions on Aboriginal realities, developed by the Network. Sessions will also be held to raise awareness of the services SPVM police officers can give to the Aboriginal community.

Aboriginals represent approximately 26,000 people in Montréal.

Senior clientele

In 2015, seven neighbourhood police stations and four investigation centres have joined the Intervention policière auprès des aînés maltraités project (IPAM, police intervention to counter elder abuse). By June 2016, all units will apply this police practice model to counter elder abuse, working in partnership with representatives from the public, community, health and social services network. Police officers and partners will therefore offer services that are more in line with the needs of seniors.

The IPAM project aims to equip police officers to prevent or detect cases of abuse, intervene with the victims and follow up, refer victims to the appropriate resources and help them through the legal process. With this approach, police officers treat all cases of elder abuse, regardless of whether or not they are criminal in nature.

The IPAM project has been conducted jointly by the Section de la recherche et de la planification (research and planning unit) of the SPVM and the Université de Sherbrooke Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults. This project is funded in part by the federal government as part of its New Horizons for Seniors program, for a period of three years (2013-2016).

Unit project dedicated to hate crimes and incidents

In 2015, the City of Montréal voiced its desire to fight hate crimes and incidents. In this respect, the SPVM created a work group who will set up a unit in 2016 to identify and investigate hate crimes and incidents, both for prevention and intervention purposes.

Despite ongoing efforts, hate crimes and incidents occur in Montréal each year. Hateful behaviours range from insults to violent crimes against a person or group of people. Regardless of whether it is a hate crime or incident, victims’ and communities’ sense of security is largely affected, and there is an impact on police officers’ work. Unfortunately, hateful behaviours can be precursors to serious crimes.

Through its commitment to promote “Living Together,” the SPVM has always encouraged all initiatives conducive to openness, inclusion and equality.


Shooting ranges

In 2015, the SPVM opened the East division shooting range, facilitating firing training and certification of police officers. The West division’s range opened its doors the year before.

These ranges play a key role in training and certifying police officers with the Glock 19—the new service weapon. The transition to this weapon began in November 2015 and will continue to the end of 2016.

The facilities allow the SPVM to maintain its officers’ qualifications using all types of weapons. The SPVM therefore has duly trained police officers who are up-to-date in handling the new service weapon.

New service weapon

In order to provide its officers with a reliable, safe tool that has all the latest technical and technological improvements to meet their current needs, the SPVM acquired a new service weapon in 2015: the Glock 19. The SPVM decided to acquire a new service weapon rather than investing significant resources and amounts of money to upgrade the old firearm for the sake of sound management of public funds.

In compliance with the SPVM standard and with permission from the École nationale de police du Québec (national police school), police officers get two days of training to help transition to the new firearm. Training began in the fall and should continue throughout 2016.

M-IRIS Project

The M-IRIS Project was completed in 2015, with the deployment of its final three modules: detention, bertillonnage and picture gallery.

At the very beginning, the management of goods in a warehouse, events (computer entry of event reports) and investigation modules were launched. The criminal analysis, online reporting for citizens and mandate followed.

The implementation of such a system is a complex process with multiple challenges. It enhances all police data, which can be collected by all police officers and used for investigations.

The M-IRIS system offers all police officers a high-tech system for entering, analyzing and exploitation police intelligence.

Although all modules of the M-IRIS system have been deployed, improvements will continue to be made in order to help the system evolve.

Online police report

In 2013, the SPVM set up a system allowing the public to write their own police reports online for minor offences, without having to go to a neighbourhood police station. When the system was launched, citizens could report non-violent petty larceny, mischief and lost items. In 2015, to ensure good customer services, the SPVM extended the list of events citizens could report, including graffiti, hit-and-run and graffiti on vehicle. For these events, photos can now be included as evidence electronically.

Furthermore, the SPVM continues to serve citizens at police stations—they can always go there to have an officer file a report.

Radio-communications system

The Système évolué de radiocommunication de l’agglomération de Montréal (SÉRAM, advanced voice radio-communications system) now extends to all four SPVM divisions (North, South, East and West). It provides clearer, more effective communication, and information sharing that makes it possible to harmonize the processes between the emergency units and the various City of Montréal services.

The City of Montréal oversees the coordination and operation of the SÉRAM and ensures quality assurance, improvement follow-ups, equipment management, supplier relations and project supervision.

More than 6,000 municipal service employees therefore have access to this network, which translates into improved service for the population.

Portable cameras

In a report by a Ministère de la Sécurité publique (MSP) work group in which the SPVM participated, it was recommended that a portable cameras pilot project be set up before implementing its use wide scale.

Upon reading the report and taking into consideration the SPVM’s guiding principles—particularly optimizing the use of existing resources—the Service volunteered to carry out this pilot project in 2016 in order to guide the committee on the best practices for this type of technology.

The project aims to:

  • Ensure transparency in police interventions
  • Promote cooperation between police officers and citizens
  • Ensure the safety of citizens and police officers during interventions.

The City of Montréal’s IT, procurement and legal affairs departments, as well as the Municipal Court, are taking part in the implementation of this project with the SPVM.

Launch of the Bureau de service aux citoyens (service to citizens office)

Maintaining—or growing—citizens’ trust with a view to ensuring the legitimate nature of its police interventions, along with respect from the community, are constant concerns for the SPVM. The Bureau de service aux citoyens (BSC) was launched for these purposes.

The BSC’s main objective is to increase citizens’ satisfaction. As such, it coordinates the process for processing and following up complaints, requests for information and comments received by the SPVM. It also assists citizens in filing a complaint or comment.

In 2015, it has received no less than 3,645 complaints, requests for information or comments.

Citizen appreciation module

The SPVM now measures citizens’ appreciation of police officers’ knowledge and know-how as part of a pilot project in the Southern region. As such, close to 200 citizens per week are called upon to respond to a survey in order to get their level of satisfaction with the police intervention they solicited.

When appreciation is low, a follow-up telephone call or meeting is planned with them.

This follow-up structure aims to improve citizens’ experience when they call on police officers. Based on the results, successes are highlighted and areas for improvement are raised so as to work on the practices. If necessary, the manager or supervisor offers coaching to the police officers who need to work on their citizen-based approach.

An analysis will be conducted at the end of the project. Depending on the results, this new follow-up structure may be extended to other regions.

Committing to the future

“Committing to the future: That is the new vision I wanted to bring to the SPVM to take it farther. To achieve this: four new guiding principles and a new organizational structure to maximize our efficiency and effectiveness.” — Philippe Pichet


With the 2015 arrival of new Director Philippe Pichet, the SPVM has a new vision: Committing to the future.

It is a vision to modernize its police service, adapt it to the reality of its citizens and meet their needs through effective use of its resources. The police of the future also means police officers who are close to citizens, work with them and community organizations, health and social services, and justice and education partners, among others. Committing to the future also means mobilizing all players in the field so that they all contribute to public safety, crime prevention, quality of life and neighbourhood tranquillity in their own way. Like the City of Montréal, the SPVM also works to promote better community living and highlight the City of Montréal as one of the safest cities in North America.

Montréal’s police is the police of the future!

Guiding principles

The vision is based on four guiding principles that will lead to its achievement.

The Service’s sense of pride

The sense of pride associated with the work of both police officers and civilian staff comes to life every day, as all work for citizens. Listening and communicating with them, actively cooperating with our partners, taking concerted action, targeting excellence and working hard to give the people of Montréal services that meet their needs: these all contribute to our police officers’ and civilian staff’s sense of pride. Furthermore, this feeling must be shared, felt and expressed by all.

The SPVM’s values—respect, integrity and engagement—must continue to be advocated and embodied by all, as they are an integral part of this sense of pride.

Optimizing the use of existing resources

Crime complexity

With all the information technology available, crime is growing more complex. Terrorist threats, radicalization leading to violence and cybercrime, for example, force us to come up with new ways to fight crime, and we need to work closely with our partners to achieve this.

Road safety

Road safety remains a major challenge. We need to continue working to incite users to adopt safe behaviours on the road. By optimizing our resources, we can target our presence and set up initiatives that ensure the safety of users affected by road repairs and construction work.

Demonstrations and gatherings

The management of increasingly frequent demonstrations and gatherings is a significant concern in terms of cost and resources. As a police organization, regardless of the economic or social context, we need to ensure—without compromise—the safety of protesters and police officers, as well as citizens and merchants who find themselves in these places where social demands occur.

Two-way communication

From a smart city standpoint, continuous, quick and effective two-way communication between police officers, elected officials, partners and citizens is required to maintain the peace. The SPVM does its best to inform citizens and answer them while respecting their legal obligations.

Serving better together

The strength of partnerships

For several years, the SPVM has been advocating the importance of partnerships and joint efforts when it comes to public safety. Partnerships begin with inter-relationships and discussions within our own units. They then extend to the City’s different services, our employees union associations, fellow officers from other municipal, provincial and federal services, multiple community organizations, health, social services, education, justice, public safety and business representatives, not to mention Montreal merchants, our citizens and various ethno-cultural communities in Montréal. Several partnerships already exist and are consolidated, but others need to be reinforced or developed, and this is what the SPVM will do, among other things, to make a difference.

Consolidating a public safety network

In the coming years, the SPVM would like to formalize this network of partners into a public safety network with a flexible governance model. Together, we are helping make Montréal safe. We are able to explain and understand the different realities we face. We are able to provide greater support to vulnerable clienteles and discern places where interventions are needed and sometimes identify the best approaches or potential solutions to apply in order to intervene better. Our strength comes from each individual’s expertise. Through this network, the SPVM is the anchor point for public safety and protection in order to unite all partners in facing emerging challenges.

How can I make a difference?

This is the question everyone should be asking. It is by combining everyone’s strengths, varied expertise and talents that a difference can be made. Through this public safety network, the SPVM is looking to the future and encourages its partners to do the same. By mobilizing all the players, they can all make a difference.

Organizational structure

To support the vision, guiding principles, organizations objectives, operations, investigations and management, the SPVM proposed a new organizational structure at the end of 2015. It was endorsed by the City of Montréal and came into effect on January 1, 2016. This new structure essentially targets three objectives:

  • To increase the efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and consistency of its services
  • To implement a Strategic division for the police of the future
  • To balance staff in order to optimize existing resources

The SPVM therefore has three Directions: the Strategic Direction, the Corporate Services Direction and the Operations Direction.


Police personnel










Collisions since the creation of traffic units in 2006


Fatal collisions: 59% decrease


Collisions with major injuries: 51% decrease

Aggravated thefts and extortion

  • A decline of 38% since 2011 38%

Breaking and entering

  • A decline of 50% in the last 10 years 50%


Number of calls to 9-1-1


Number of calls regarding individuals who are mentally disturbed or in crisis


Number of offences reported online


Number of transportations by the SPVM for the Canadian Organ Donors Association (CODA)


Crowd controls


Permanent auxiliary constable hiring

Members of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal Executive Committee