The Laval Police Department has announced the impending start of operations of the Azimut Squad, a new and independent detachment that will be providing proactive support to respond to residents’ complaints.
Created during the police department reform announced by Mayor Marc Demers, the squad is gradually being put into place and is expected to be fully up and running by 2023.
Azimut’s role is expected to be to provide operational support for information gathering about criminal activities, public disorder, disorderly conduct, as well as issues concerning road safety.
The unit will be composed of 10 police officers and a sergeant, with 21 members eventually. In the next nine months, nine officers and a sergeant will become active.
“Azimut will be there to maintain a feeling of security in the population and to be in direct contact with it,” said Serge Gaignard, assistant director of the LPD and its administration department. “We will be taking on all the problems and issues involved in public security which affect citizens.”
The new unit is being created following the implementation of the LPD’s Prévention squad, which was launched at the beginning of this year to investigate crimes of a sexual nature.
Major crackdown by the LPD on COVID-19 rule breakers
Last week, officers with the Laval Police handed out more than $200,000 worth of tickets mostly to young car drivers who gathered in the parking lot of the mall off Autoroute 13 in Sainte-Dorothée in violation of COVID-19 restrictions.
On the evening of March 21 around 8 pm, around 200 youths gathered in around 100 vehicles which were souped-up or modified, even though the police had been tipped and were there waiting.
In all, according to the LPD, 130 tickets were handed out, each averaging $1550. When it was all over, the city stood to take in a total of $201,500. At least one person was also arrested.
“We wanted to send a strong message, but mostly to remind everyone that Laval is still in a red zone,” said LPD communications officers Julie Marois, noting the COVID-19 regulation, while adding that just because the curfew was shortened didn’t mean it was time to ignore all other responsibilities.
“With the coronavirus variants now among us, we must double up on being careful while respecting the recommended preventive measures from public health, so long as the majority of the population is still not vaccinated,” said Mayor Marc Demers. “Having gatherings like this is not a good idea at all,” he added. “Outdoor activities must take place while respecting all the sanitary rules.”