Montreal police under fire for removing staff from social media duties

Social media users blasted the Montreal police force Sunday for its decision to shift resources away from Twitter, to its new website.

The force’s Twitter account (@SPVM) garnered great popularity during the maple spring, some calling it one of the city’s “most influential accounts.”

The account allowed police to communicate with citizens in real-time during major operations, like protests. Citizens could also ask questions, and would often getting a response.

“That’s why the SPVM isn’t answering anymore,” wrote one user critical of the change in response to the news. 

Others criticized the decision as “backwards” and “useless,” in a world where corporations and organizations are moving from the traditional website to social media. 

La Presse reported the city is faced with hiring freezes and Commander Ian Lafrenière said the new website needs the staff.

The full-time staff member who has been running the Twitter account, Melissa Carroll, is now reassigned to work on the new website.

The Twitter account set a new precedent for how police forces communicate with the public and manages a crisis.

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