St. Lazare testing use of private security to bolster policing

The community of Saint-Lazare off the western tip of the island may become another municipality that has turned to private security firms to help bolster policing on their territory in the wake of budget cuts.

A summer pilot project saw a team of two private security employees patrol Saint-Lazare. There are only three SQ patrol cruisers for the entire Soulanges region and its 11 municipalities including Saint-Lazare.

"It's more eyes going around at night, it's like one more patrol car in the city of Saint-Lazare at night," said Saint-Lazare's director of public security Daniel Boyer.

Boyer said while the private security workers are not armed or have the power to arrest anyone, they can detain suspects for police. Boyer said they complement the work of the SQ.

"They're able to give parking tickets. They will enforce all the municipal bylaws like bylaws for the parks, hours visiting the parks, not drinking in parks, lawn watering restrictions," Boyer told CJAD 800 News.

Boyer said he's impressed with how efficient the private security patrollers have been in advising hundreds of people to clear the public parks after hours.

"I think it's good and people will know now that somebody's watching the parks, the watering restrictions, and for the grass. People will be a little bit more careful about how they use municipal (infrastructure)," Boyer said.

Boyer will make his recommendations to council towards the end of the year when they'll decide whether to keep this initiative.

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