NEWS

Quebec crime-fighting mixed police squads to lose federal funding

03/23/2013 04:15 EDT | Updated 05/23/2013 05:12 EDT
Some police forces on Montreal's North Shore are concerned about how the province will fight organized crime once federal funding for mixed police squads runs out at the end of March.

The regional police squad on Montreal's North Shore was created in 2008 to help fight organized crime with the help of funds from the federal government.

Though Laval police lead the team, detectives from other municipalities like Terrebonne and Saint-Jérôme are also involved in several of the squad's investigations.

A total of 40 people were arrested last month during raids targeting a drug trafficking ring in the Laurentians and Lanaudière regions.

Quebec Public Security Minister Stéphane Bergeron issued a statement Friday night saying he is disappointed that the federal funding is coming to an end, but refuses to say whether the province will be picking up the tab to keep the mixed squads working across the province.

Concordia University professor and organized crime expert Marcel Danis said the squad brings together all of the best detectives from various police forces.

"One of the difficulties of police work around the world is information sharing because they never want the other body to get the credit," he said.

Antony Donato, a detective with Laval police, said the city is creating its own anti-gang unit to maintain its work once the federal funding runs out. This will most likely leave other towns to fend for themselves, he said.

"I don't know right now if these municipal police services from the North Shore, what they're going to do to keep the pressure on these gangs," he said.

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