STM Presents First Officers With Police-Like Powers

The STM swore in its first-ever "Special Constables of Security and Control" unit on Wednesday. Thirty officers equipped with police-like powers will be deployed on Montreal's transit network "to take concrete actions to improve customer experience, both by providing a sense of safety and by ensuring smooth travel for customers," according to Philippe Schnobb, chair of the STM board of directors.

This new designation for STM officers gives them the ability to issue traffic and parking tickets, provide intervention for people in vulnerable situations, and "proceed with the arrest, on reasonable grounds, of a person who has committed a crime and hand him or her over to the police," according to a news release issued in March 2021.

Officers will not be equipped with weapons, however.

"The STM remains firm in its commitment not to equip the inspectors with firearms, tasers or pepper spray, and that this new approach will act as a complement to the police duties currently performed by the SPVM," Schnobb said.

Furthermore, STM inspectors will now be subject to the standards of the Quebec Police Act and be held accountable to a police ethics commissioner and the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI).

While the STM has received vocal opposition to this new special constable designation, it insists that the new status is in the interest of customer safety.