By Robert Frank
Chief Pierre Brochet has hired seven new police officers form a new crimefighting team called Equinox. The aim, he said during an interview last week, is to send a message to Laval criminals.
“One of the objectives is to reduce violent acts in public places like bars,” Brochet told The Suburban.
“Organized crime is entrenched in a variety of locations, including various bars in Laval,” added Assistant Chief Serge Gaignard.
Brochet said that Laval has been successful in responding to crime and at teaming up with police elsewhere. He cited simultaneous drug busts in Chomedey and in the Laurentians, April 30, as an example of cross-jurisdictional collaboration by the intermunicipal Combined Regional Squad team (see accompanying report).
“We work very well at the higher and middle levels of crimefighting like this,” he observed. “The next level is to work the street.” Equinox, he continued, is a new, in-your-face message to criminals that will help to beef up crime prevention at the local level. “We want [our police officers] to be visible on the street where criminals are,” Brochet explained, “especially where there is violence and organized crime prevails.”
“It’s part of our plan to address growing incidence of big-city crime,” he said of Laval’s burgeoning population. “It’s a real issue for Laval. With a city of our size, you develop big-city problems. The population will continue to increase significantly and Laval’s downtown will keep on growing. So we have to focus on prevention.”
“Equinox is a specialized team that is definitely part of that plan,” Brochet said.
“If you’re involved in organized crime—especially if you’re violent—you can expect to see the Equinox squad,” he vowed. “We’ll be looking for you.”