Quebec may ban cops from having second jobs after snowstorm debacle
This is a screen capture of a video taken by Kevin Desjardins-Jean of a multiple vehicle crash on Highway 10 on March 14, 2017.
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017 2:24PM EDT
Quebec's public security minister says he's ready to act to prevent high-ranking provincial police officers from having second jobs outside the force.
Martin Coiteux says he'll modify the law if the police force doesn't move to ban the practice.
Media have reported the officer in charge of operations on a highway near Montreal was dealing with a private business matter during a March 14 snowstorm that left 300 motorists stranded in their cars overnight.
La Presse reported earlier this week the officer was at the notary's office signing papers related to his work as a real-estate broker as the snow piled up on Highway 13.
The officer was removed from his duties as part of an investigation into the botched storm response, which caused some motorists to abandon their cars and leave on foot after waiting hours for help.
Coiteux says the incident raises questions about whether police who have two jobs are focused enough on their primary role as officers.
"High-ranking police have an extremely demanding job to do, and they need all their attention to do it," he said Wednesday.
Coiteux said the provincial force is currently reviewing the rules surrounding double employment, but he's willing to step in if he needs to.
"If it's a question of a police law that needs to be changed, we will do it," he said.