Following Quebec Metropolis’s Halloween evening sword assault, police have spoken out about failures in two main communications programs, saying they’re nervous these technical glitches will put police and the general public’s security in danger in the event that they aren’t mounted.
Martine Fortier, president of the union representing cops in Quebec Metropolis, says there are two communications programs that are inflicting issues for officers on the job: a computer-aided dispatch system (CAD) put in on police automobile dashboards, and a radio community referred to as SERAQ.
The CAD system permits police to see 911 name knowledge — together with the place the decision is coming from and the description of a suspect — as the decision is occurring. The decision knowledge helps coordinate their response and permits them to name for help from different officers, paramedics or firefighters.
Fortier stated the pc system has been in use for 18 months and points with it nonetheless have not been resolved, and when it crashed on Oct. 31, cops could not entry “essential data”.
“Each minute, each second is necessary after we are on operation,” stated Fortier, who was herself engaged on Halloween evening and witnessed the expertise failure. “If we want assist and we will not name backup, what is going to occur?”
Nevertheless, throughout a information convention on Friday, Quebec Metropolis Police Chief Robert Pigeon denied that there have been any outages.
He stated the communications community is “dependable” and recommended as an alternative that officers weren’t skilled effectively sufficient on the best way to use the radio system, which was revamped in July 2019.
Pigeon admitted that there are zones with worse protection the place alerts aren’t getting by. Nevertheless, he stated that is regular and exists in different jurisdictions.
The issue, in accordance with him, is that officers had memorized the areas of no-signal zones underneath their outdated radio system, and now these areas have modified.
Pigeon met with officers and tried out the brand new radios this week, admitting that they may very well be extra “user-friendly.”
He added that issues are doubtless arising from situations the place officers aren’t skilled to make use of the radios.
Due to the pandemic, the three-hour coaching module for the radio system was provided on-line. Pigeon stated he imagined many officers did not discover the digital coaching seminar “attention-grabbing” or “interesting.”
“I take accountability for the coaching which was not ample sufficient for everybody. We’ll come again with new coaching. It isn’t the police’s fault. It’s as much as us to hold out this mission,” he stated.