VIVA MÉDIA had the privilege of accompanying the police officers of the Service de Police de Châteauguay (SPC) on Thursday, February 4th , as part of a roadblock operation aimed at ensuring that the health guidelines in effect in Quebec are respected, particularly the curfew.
At 9:15 p.m., officers from the Service de police de Châteauguay positioned themselves on Saint-Francis Boulevard in Chateauguay to stop and check motorists and walkers.
The patrol officer, Jean-François Meloche, explains that the police conduct full checks on motorists and walkers. “When a motorist passes through the checkpoint, we advise them of the procedure and we ask them to show us the letter provided by their employer which allows them to justify their presence outside their residence during the curfew, said Agent Meloche. In addition, we can check with the Quebec Police Intelligence Center (QPIC). It may happen that the stopped motorist has a letter from his employer, but his driver’s license or registration is not valid.”
No, the police officers are not just standing still during the operation. In fact, they must always remain vigilant. As proof, VIVA MÉDIA witnessed a situation that could have had dramatic consequences. A motorist who was waiting in line failed to stop, so he passed at a good speed a few feet from the officers. The driver was stopped a few meters away by a patrol car. The driver explained that he momentarily loss focus. After verification, he was able to leave without consequence.
Police officers are no exception to sanitary measures. During the operation, wearing a mask is mandatory. Constable Meloche specifies that it is possible for a police officer to do his job well while respecting the guidelines. “Even the distance of two meters is respected, underlines Jean-François Meloche. We can simply illuminate the citizen’s document to read it. It is possible to do our job well and to respect the sanitary measures.”
Of the 36 vehicles intercepted, only one ticket was issued by the police. “The ticket is given on the spot, said Agent Meloche. Obviously, sometimes citizens can get angry, but that’s part of our job. This is nothing new for the police.”
Finally, Jean-François Meloche explains that the tickets are given under the violation of public health rules.