STM announces customer-focused shift with new strategic approach for security and control inspectors

Press release

Our new vision aims to build a rapport between our inspectors and our customers and allow inspectors to do more to improve the quality of customers’ trips - From left to right: Pénélope Toupin, Inspector, Anick Lavoie, Inspector, Jocelyn Latulippe, Director, Security and Control, Philippe Schnobb, Chair of the STM Board of Directors, and Francis Turmel, Inspector. Crédit photos : Mission Old Brewery, Christian Blais

Montréal, March 25, 2021 – With its 2025 Strategic Organizational Plan, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is resolutely making a customer-focused shift. For its security and control officers, that means participating more actively in improving the customer experience.

“The STM Board of Directors is very proud to announce this shift. Our new vision aims to build a rapport between our inspectors and our customers and allow inspectors to do more to improve the quality of customers’ trips. To make it all happen, the STM will emphasize the gradual rollout of two measures: employing a new outreach strategy and taking steps to obtain the designation of special constable for our inspectors,” says Philippe Schnobb, Chair of the STM Board of Directors.

The STM will begin by employing a new outreach strategy, aiming to build a rapport with its customers and their communities. The strategy consists in creating two new customer service areas to promote a social and community approach and to build connections between inspectors and customers in the community. This will also involve bringing together the bus and métro networks so that inspectors can cover all STM facilities, which will strengthen the community-focused approach.

“This outreach strategy aims to encourage a safe, harmonious co-existence between all Montrealers who use STM networks. We believe in a social and community approach, as we have demonstrated in many ways in recent years, for example by implementing mixed STM-SPVM-SDS patrols and by providing the Solidaribus to the Old Brewery Mission. These initiatives were made possible by our many partnerships with the Old Brewery Mission, the Société de développement social (SDS), the City of Montréal, the SPVM and the Government of Québec. These actions illustrate the values that guide our daily operations and show how seriously we are taking this process,” says Luc Tremblay, FCPA, FCA, CEO.

Additionally, the STM is taking steps to have its inspectors awarded the designation of special constable by July 2021. Recently, the STM was proud of the decision made by the Ministère de la Sécurité publique (MSP) to grant STM inspectors the special constable designation. This status will allow inspectors to take concrete actions to improve customer experience, both by providing a sense of safety and by ensuring smooth travel for customers. Inspectors will also receive additional training, and their new responsibilities will be coordinated with the police duties currently performed by the SPVM. It should also be stressed that at no time will inspectors be equipped with firearms.

“Obtaining the designation of special constable will give inspectors the tools they need to participate more actively in improving customer experience. For example, they will be able to respond in situations where reserved lanes or terminals are blocked by illegally parked vehicles, which they cannot do currently. The constables will also be subject to the Police Act and, consequently, the authority of the Commissaire à la déontologie policière. The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes will be able to take over investigations in accordance with the Act. This is something that various civil society representatives have been requesting for a long time, and we listened. We would also like to mention that this change in status will be done progressively, and the process will include public information sessions with community stakeholders,” said Marie-Claude Léonard, Executive Director, Métro.

New inspector status

Filed last summer with the MSP, the application for obtaining the designation of special constable has recently been granted by the authorities. This process follows the mandate that the STM Board of Directors gave to the leadership team in 2019 and is the result of the vision for changing the role of inspectors, which was presented today. The 2019 mandate was also associated with the accomplishments of three commitments, all of which have been achieved and are as follows:

  • Nomination of an external expert to assist the STM in the process: Rémi Boivin, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, School of Criminology, Université de Montréal, has been working with the STM since 2019.
  • Preparation of an independant report on the process: The report is now complete and can be viewed on the STM website.
  • Creation of a committee to help improve relations between its inspectors and the community (the CRIC), chaired by Boivin: The committee was created and has been holding regular meetings since early 2020.

Improvements enabled by the new inspector status:

  • Traffic flow in reserved lanes and drop-off areas: In keeping with the provisions of the Highway Safety Code, inspectors will be allowed to issue tickets and tow vehicles obstructing these lanes and areas.
  • Public transit network safety: Inspectors will be able to proceed with the arrest, on reasonable grounds, of a person who has committed a crime and hand him or her over to the police, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code, and intervene in the case of a person suspected of harassment.
  • Inspectors will be able to intervene in support of youth and people in vulnerable situations requiring care.

As with other Canadian transit agencies, this new special constable designation will allow our inspectors to be recognized as public transit safety professionals in order to enhance customers’ and employees’ sense of safety and ensure the security of the STM’s revenues and infrastructure.

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