Interview : Éric Breton
Why did you choose to be a Superviseur de circulation (Traffic Supervisor)?
In December 2005, when the Service announced that it was going to form a new unit dedicated to traffic for January of 2006, I was an instructor at the École nationale de police du Québec (ENPQ). The idea to belong to a new section, where everything had to be started from scratch (the operating system as well as its establishment in Montréal), thrilled me.
In addition, this section contains one my fields of interest as a police officer, the application of the Highway Safety Code. Being trained in both Doppler radar and Lidar, this facet of the trade and all that is attached to it (traffic control) was exactly what I wanted to do.
What do you like the most about your daily patrol?
The moments when I feel most useful are when there are troubled traffic situations. Our group must go to the location of major traffic problems and, in collaboration with the commander on scene, ensure a strategy is put in place to ease traffic flow.
In these situations, it is easy to note the effectiveness of the techniques deployed by the SPVM and I note with great pride how much every member of my group makes a difference.
And what do you find most difficult?
The routine - because it can cost you your life. Let's be honest: sometimes, when we are in charge of the application of road safety regulations, an officer can carry out 3000 interventions without a hitch, which can become routine.
To avoid being caught in a routine, it is important to diversify operations (pedestrians, speeders, stops, safety belts, etc) and always remain alert. Between the members of the team, remembering the safety regulations is vital: routine inquiry, arrest methods, wearing safety equipment, etc
What are you most proud of?
My promotion to the ENPQ.
I have the impression that I was able to give young people a passion for the job. I met extraordinary people, police candidates and instructors coming from all police organizations. It is there that I understood that the police force is a big family. What pleases me the most is to see several of those who I taught have now become my present colleagues!
Can you tell us a story that would illustrate the characteristics of your work?
There is something that always surprises me. We regularly carry out curb side operations in yellow jackets, caps and in vehicles with our emergency lights flashing. In spite of this great visibility, several citizens commit offenses right in front of us and are surprised when we intercept them!
It's like when a car passed close by, the driver with a cell phone in hand and speaking loudly. I asked him to roll down his window, which he did while saying to me: "What? What is it? I'm busy, it's important..." Guess what happened next...
What would you tell a young person who would like to do your job?
I would say to not hesitate: it is the most wonderful career in the world. Then I would remind them to attempt to respect the Highway Safety Code in order to be an exemplary driver. When we see a police officer at the scene of an accident, respect of the Code comes quite naturally...!
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