Service de police de la Ville de Montréal

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Service de police
de la Ville de Montréal
Agency overview
FormedMarch 15, 1843
Annual budgetC$587 million (2014)
Jurisdictional structure
Size430.5 square kilometres (166.2 sq mi)
Operational structure
Headquarters1441 Saint Urbain Street
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sworn members4,562 (2019)[1]
Unsworn members1,356 (2019)[1]
Elected officer responsible
Agency executive
  • Sophie Roy, interim Director[2]
Road vehicles1,687 (2015)
Water vehicles23 (2015)
Dogs35 German Shepherds
7 Labradors

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM; French for 'City of Montreal Police Service') is the municipal police agency for the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the neighbouring communities in the urban agglomeration of Montreal. With over 4,500 officers and more than 1,300 civilian staff, it is the second-largest municipal police agency in Canada after the Toronto Police Service.


The Montreal Police Service was created on March 15, 1843. At that time, there were 51 police officers in Montreal. The first officers did not wear uniforms. In order to be recognizable as police officers by civilians, the first uniforms were created in 1848. In 1853, they won the right to carry firearms in the performance of their duties.

In the early twentieth century, the Montreal Police Service counted 467 constables, inspectors and managers. The force was subdivided, as squads of morality and local departments were created.

The size of the police force remained roughly the same from the beginning of the century until 1930, when it hired more staff in the context of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. During the Great Depression, tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs and there was an increase in crime. In the late 1930s, the Montreal Police Service had about 1,500 employees.

Following the progress of scientific analysis, a mobile laboratory was created in 1957. It evolved and changed in the 1980s to become the technical section.

The Museum of the Montreal Police (French: Musée de la police de Montréal) was established in 1992 to preserve the history of the Montreal Police Service.[3]


Moses Judah Hayes, Chief from 1854 to 1861
Guillaume Lamothe, Chief from 1861 to 1865
David Legault, Chief from 1901 to 1904
Pierre Bélanger, Chief from 1921 to 1928

The following is a list of Chiefs and Directors of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal.[4]

No. Name Term start Term end
1. Alexandre Comeau [fr] 1843 1844
2. Thomas Wiley 1844 1849
3. Hippolyte Jérémie 1849 1850
4. Thomas McGrath 1850 1853
5. Charles O. Ermatinger [Wikidata] 1853 1854
6. Moses Judah Hayes 1854 1861
7. Guillaume Lamothe [Wikidata] 1861 1865
8. Fred A. Penton 1865 1879
9. Hercule Paradis 1879 1888
10. George A. Hughes 1888 1900
11. David Legault 1901 1904
12. Olivier Campeau 1904 1918
13. Joseph Tremblay (interim) 1918 1918
14. Pierre Bélanger 1919 1928
15. Hulbrit Langevin 1928 1931
16. Fernand Dufresne 1931 1946
17. Charles Barnes (interim) 1947 1947
18. Albert Langlois 1947 1954
19. T.O. Leggett (interim) 1954 1956
20. Pacifique Plante (interim) 1956 1956
21. Albert Langlois 1957 1961
22. Ernest Pleau (interim) 1961 1961
23. Adrien J. Robert 1961 1965
24. Jean-Paul Gilbert 1965 1970
25. Marcel Saint-Aubin [fr] 1970 1971
26. Jean-Jacques Saulnier 1971 1971
27. Maurice Saint-Pierre (interim) 1972 1972
28. René Daigneault 1972 1977
29. Henri-Paul Vignola 1977 1981
30. André De Luca 1982 1985[5]
31. Roland Bourget 1985 1989[6]
32. Alain Saint-Germain 1989 1994
33. Jacques Duchesneau 1994 1998
34. Claude Rochon (interim) 1998 1998
35. Michel Sarrazin 1998 2005
36. Yvan Delorme 2005 2010
37. Marc Parent 2010 2015
38. Philippe Pichet 2015 2017
39. Martin Prud'homme (interim)[7] 2017 2018
40. Sylvain Caron[8][9] 2018 2022
41. Sophie Roy (interim)[2] 2022 Incumbent


Police officer patrolling on René-Lévesque Boulevard

The SPVM is led by Sophie Roy, interim Director (chief of police), who took over in May 2022 from Sylvain Caron after he retired.[2]

The rank structure and strength of the SPVM as of 2019 was:

Some of the police functions carried out by the service include:

  • Patrol police officers
  • Intervention officers (GI, Riot police) (now called SSIS Section Support et Intervention Spécialisé)
  • Tactical response officers (SWAT)
  • Motorcycle officers
  • Community relations officers
  • Physical surveillance officers (shadowing)
  • Section chiefs
  • Investigators
  • K-9 unit officers
  • Mounted patrol officers
  • Marine patrol officers
  • Patrol supervisors
  • Parking enforcement officers

The SPVM also has over 1,000 civilian employees, and around 200 police cadets.


Executive Officers
  • Director (Directeur): three gold fleur-de-lis under crest over a crossed gold sword and baton; similar to the insignia of a lieutenant-general in the Canadian Army
  • Associate Director (Directeur-Adjoint): two gold fleur-de-lis under crest over a crossed gold sword and baton; similar to the insignia of a major-general in the Canadian Army
Staff Officers
  • Chief Inspector (Inspecteur-chef): four gold stripes; former insignia of a colonel in the Canadian Army
  • Inspector (Inspecteur): three gold stripes; former insignia of a lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian Army
  • Commander (Commandant): two and-a-half gold stripes; former insignia of a major in the Canadian Army
Superior Officers
  • Lieutenant (Lieutenant): one and a-half gold stripes; former insignia of a lieutenant in the Canadian Army
  • Senior Constable (Agent Sénior)
  • Constable (Agent)



The SPVM covers an area of about 496 square kilometres and 1,958,000 residents of the island of Montreal.

There are 33 police stations that operate within four geographical regions: East, West, North and South.

Other units of the SPVM include:


A Ford Taurus vehicle
A Dodge Charger vehicle
A Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle in the new SPVM vehicle scheme
A Dodge Charger in the new SPVM vehicle scheme.


The standard sidearm of the Montreal Police is the Glock 19.[11] Remington 870 shotguns and FN P90 sub-machine guns are also stocked by the SPVM and its Emergency Response Team armory, but these long guns are rarely used.

Prior to the Glock 19 officers carried the Walther P99 9mm as the sidearm which replaced the .357 Magnum revolvers in the early 2000s.


On 3 November 2005, the United Nations Human Rights Committee advised the Canadian government to allow an enquiry on the SPVM about its mass arrests tactic during political demonstrations.[12][13][14][15] The tactic is a rapid encirclement of as many protesters as possible regardless of how they may have conducted themselves during the demonstration, and is argued to be a violation of their fundamental rights.[16] According to Francis Dupuis-Déri, a political science professor at Université du Québec à Montréal, police officers employ this tactic because of a "deviance" radical political demonstrators pose to media, politicians and police officers themselves.[17] The SPVM was criticized in the aftermath of the August 10, 2008 riots, which started due to the shooting death of 18-year-old immigrant by an officer who alleged that the immigrant was attacking him and his partner while they were arresting immigrant's older brother. He argued that he was trying to save his partner and himself by firing his Walther P99 service gun on the 18-year-old.[18]

In 2012, the SPVM also came under criticism regarding their handling of the 2012 Quebec student protests.[19]

A former Montreal police officer was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 60 hours of community service for assaulting a man in October 2012. The officer was found guilty of assault in February 2016 for using excessive force.[20]

In June 2016, the Quebec Minister of Public Security introduced an independent agency, the "Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI)", to be responsible for investigating "shootings, serious injuries and deaths stemming from police interventions".[21] The selection of investigators was criticized for being composed of former members law enforcement.[22] Eleven out of the eighteen members are former police officers,[23] in addition to being "nearly 100 percent white and composed almost entirely of men".[23] The structure of the agency itself was criticized for lacking independent powers, since the BEI "acts only at the request of the Minister of Public Security".[23][24]

In January 2021, the SPVM evoked controversy when they mistakenly arrested a Polytechnique Montréal professor in the Park Extension neighbourhood. The man spent six days in prison, before being cleared on charges of disarming and assaulting a police officer, while the actual suspect remains at large. This led to renewed calls for universal police body cameras.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Demographic statistics about SPVM personnel" (PDF). SPVM. 25 September 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Quebec confirms appointment of Sophie Roy as interim chief of Montreal police". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2022-08-04.
  3. ^ "Musée de la police: About the Museum". Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Chefs/Directeurs de police de la Ville de Montréal" (PDF). Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  5. ^ Johnston, David (1985-02-02). "Strife between top Montreal cops as Bourget takes over as chief of force". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Roland Bourget est décédé". Agence QMI. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Interim Montreal police chief Martin Prud'homme ready to lead change". Global News. 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  8. ^ "Sylvain Caron chosen as new Montreal police chief". Montreal Gazette.
  9. ^ "Montreal chooses Sylvain Caron as new police chief". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  10. ^ "Insignes et grades." SPVM. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  11. ^ "De nouveaux pistolets pour le SPVM | La Presse".
  12. ^ "L'ONU interpelle le Canada, responsable de plusieurs violations des droits et libertés". Ligue des droits et libertés. 2005-11-03. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  13. ^ "L'ONU se penche sur les méthodes du SPVM". LCN. 2005-11-03. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  14. ^ "Montreal police reprimanded by UN". The Hour. 2005-11-10. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  15. ^ "Arrested victory". The Mirror. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  16. ^ "L'ONU blâme la police de Montréal". Le Couac. 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  17. ^ Dupuis-Déri, Francis. "Broyer du noir: manifestations et répression policière au Québec", Les ateliers de l'éthique vol. 1, num. 1, printemps 2006,. p. 59-80
  18. ^ "Family 'destroyed' by death of Montreal man shot by police". CBC News. 2008-08-15.
  19. ^ "I'm Not a Quebec Protester, But Police Assaulted Me Anyway". Huffington Post. 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Quebec's independent investigation unit called out for lack of diversity". Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  22. ^ "L'autonomie du BEI est remise en question". Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  23. ^ a b c "Ex-cops dominate new agency that investigates police shootings". 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  24. ^ "Mandate and Powers - Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes". Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  25. ^ "Un policier attaqué et desarmé". Montreal: Journal de Montréal. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2021. Article updated 3 February 2021

External links[edit]