Montreal police declare state of emergency amid coronavirus pandemic

Montreal police have declared a state of emergency until further notice to allow “operational flexibility in the use of resources” amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to Insp. André Durocher.

The state of emergency, which is in effect as of Monday, will allow the police force to reassign staff to different areas and modify work schedules if necessary.

“Inspectors, or even police officers who carry out administrative tasks, could be called to patrol the streets,” Durocher said.

READ MORE: Quebec cases climb to 219, schools to remain closed until May

The police force is currently establishing a plan to offload certain activities, in particular administrative tasks.

“If you end up with a large number of quarantined police officers, you must be able to call on fresh forces,” said Durocher.

A number of police officers will have to work 12-hour shifts rather than 8.5 hours.

In an interview with the Canadian Press, Durocher noted the police department’s state of emergency “does not change anything for citizens.”

The last time Montreal police declared a state of emergency was during an ice storm in 1998, according to Durocher.

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