Montréal, November 16, 2021 – In the interest of transparency, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) Board of Directors is presenting the conclusion of the independent investigation report by Marco Gaggino, a lawyer specializing in police ethics, who was called on to audit the preliminary conclusions of the internal investigation into the intervention on April 17, 2021, by STM inspectors at Jean-Talon métro station.
“The main conclusion of the independent investigation report indicates that our inspectors did follow the rules that apply in such circumstances. Prevention and de-escalation are always prioritized in the daily actions of our staff,” says Philippe Schnobb, Chair of the STM Board of Directors. “STM inspectors and special constables have a complex job, and it is essential that we maintain the trust of our customers, the people of Montréal, and the stakeholders involved.”
“We have taken note of the external report and will analyze its three recommendations, with regards to both our processes and the best practices in effect in the public transit security industry,” says Luc Tremblay, FCPA, FCA, CEO of the STM. “Additionally, in the interest of continuous improvement for the benefit of all, we will examine different processes in keeping with our operational realities, as well as our human and financial resources.”
A conclusive report
Mr. Gaggino’s independent investigation report states that it has “… come to the same conclusions as those contained in the STM’s internal investigation report, which were that the two inspectors were, under the circumstances, justified in using force with respect to the person involved, and that this force was reasonable, necessary and in compliance with the Modèle national d’emploi de la force [national model of the use of force]…”
In addition, “… the facts of the case do not allow me to conclude that ulterior motives, such as racial profiling, were the cause of the inspectors’ intervention, nor that such motives could have guided their decisions or their way of intervening.”
Recommendations of the external investigation report
Mr. Gaggino’s three main recommendations are, as follows, that the STM:
- “Review the coverage of its internal cameras in the métro to ensure that there are no blind spots in places where inspectors are likely to intervene, and that it consider providing inspectors with body cameras with audio capabilities”
- “Review, in concert with external security resources, the way in which it processes and transfers requests for external reinforcement”
- “Provide inspectors with training on the theory and practice of on-foot pursuit, adapted to the reality of the STM for underground interventions…”
“The STM introduced a change last March meant to build better rapport between its inspectors and customers, with the gradual deployment of the new proximity strategy and the transition from the status of inspector to that of special constable. This new status aims at improving accountability given that special constables are subject to the regulation on police ethics. It is also accompanied by an improvement in their training and is in line with the police functions currently performed by the SPVM," says M. Schnobb.
Due to the ongoing legal process, the STM will not comment further on this matter.