The SQ could not respond to over 2000 calls
Photo courtesy Sûreté du Québec
In the centres of emergency calls to the SQ, like the one below, dispatchers respond to calls placed to the *4141, coordinate the deployment of police numbers and ensure the link with the ministry of Transports and tugs.
Monday, 22 January 2018 01:00
Monday, 22 January 2018 01:00
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More than 2000 emergency calls are housed at the headquarters of the Sûreté du Québec, which serves the greater Montreal region have remained unanswered since the Holiday season following a reorganization of the work of the dispatchers.
“One time, there will be a death somewhere,” says one operator exasperated, demanding anonymity to protect his job.
The situation is especially problematic in the establishment of Mascouche, said Michel Girard, spokesperson of the trade Union of the public service and parastatal du Québec (SFPQ). This centre serves a vast territory of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), that is, the Laurentians, Montreal, Laval and highways of Lanaudière and Montérégie.
The work of the attendants is to respond to calls placed to the *4141 and to notify the department of Transportation and the tugs in an accident. They must also assist the patrol officers on the air and distribute all police officers on their territory.
“In other words, if I’m not there, there is no SQ police officer “, illustrates a dispatcher.
Since the cold weather of the Holiday season, the employees of the centre have missed, on average, 200 calls per day, according to an estimate by the union.
Jason Allard, Lieutenant SQ
Although she admits that improvements must be made, the SQ does not arrive at the same calculation. She admits that more than 2000 calls have been missed since the same period, but this corresponds rather to an average of about 80 calls per day.
“In there, there are people who hang up after a few seconds because they no longer matter to the police, and there are also days of storm where there are an exceptional number of calls,” said lieutenant Jason Allard, a spokesman for the SQ.
Anyway, the act requires that we respond to all emergency calls, those placed in the *4141 included. In that period, an employee is supposed to get the line in less than 10 seconds in at least 90% of the cases, which is far from being respected according to the attendants.
“There are calls really pressing enter at the *4141. People are more familiar with the service. I get of domestic violence and suicide are also on this line, indicates the operator anonymous. We will never know, if the calls lost were cases like that. “
The SQ says it received no complaint of citizens to this effect.
“Humanly impossible “
The problems are mainly due to a reorganization of the territory. There is a little less than a year, the MRC de Lanaudiere-served by the SQ became the responsibility of the facility personnel of Trois-Rivières.
To meet the demand, two work stations of the Mascouche have been transferred to Trois-Rivières. The problem, says the union, it is only a few months later, all the territory of the motorway of the Montérégie region has been redirected to the center of Mascouche, but no additional posts have been created.
“The workload is bigger than before and they take away resources, denounces Mr. Girard. Employees no longer provide, they are overwhelmed and they miss a lot of calls, it is just humanly impossible to respond to all calls. “
Valuable expertise which would be neglected
Michel Girard spokesperson for SFPQ
The knowledge of the territory by the employees of call centres is an invaluable asset, according to the union, which considers that the SQ is not taken into account.
The MRC of Joliette, we have just of their transfer are not familiar to the employees of Trois-Rivières, and the operators of Mascouche know little of the Montérégie region, said Michel Girard, spokesperson of the trade Union of the public service and parastatal du Québec (SFPQ).
In 2013, during the dramatic escape of Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, by helicopter, of the prison of Saint-Jerome, it is the experience of an agent at the call center of Mascouche, who had allowed the police to quickly track.
“He had recognized the name and he remembered that Hudon-Barbeau was already gone in a cottage in Lanaudière, explains the spokesperson. He sent the SQ is there and it is to this place that we had found the fugitive. “
The SQ justifies his decision to reorganize the territory by the desire to obtain a holistic view of the motorway connection of greater Montreal.
In other words, the provincial police wanted to that a single attendant can divide the cruisers throughout the region without having to face boundaries when an event occurs, for example, in the vicinity of the South Shore.
About the experience of the employees, the SQ indicates that, like any police officer transferred, the agent will get to know its territory in time and place.