A Saint-Eustache police officer could indeed be fired for having maintained links with individuals associated with the Hells Angels on social networks, the arbitration tribunal ruled.
“[She] showed a real recklessness amounting to a flagrant lack of judgment. The most elementary prudence should have led her to sort through her Facebook contacts and no longer feed those who were obviously compromising, from the moment she became a police officer, ”said referee Andrée St-Georges, in a recent decision.
Police officer Tanya Larivée was fired in October 2019 because of the “breaking of the bond of trust necessary for the function of police officer” with her employer, for several reasons, including the fact that she was friends on Facebook with the spouse of a Hells Angels.
The fall of the policewoman began in April 2019, when she was on loan for two months to the Service de police de la Ville de Laval for “Project X”, an operation to collect information on the places frequented by people who revolve around organized crime.
On April 4, then accompanied by colleagues, she meets an acquaintance with whom she had already worked in a bar. She tells the other police officers that the woman is in a relationship with a “big bandit”. It is then the spouse of Michel Lamontagne, today a member in good standing of the Hells of the Montreal chapter.
The Hells Angels Michel Lamontagne at the wedding of the influential Hells Angels Martin Robert and Annie Arbic, on December 1, 2018.
“She even knew her well enough to have remained her Facebook friend […], to the point of being able to use this tool to carry out an investigation on her. Also to the point of “liker” of his contemporary photos displaying in particular Michel Lamontagne, his spouse, then “hang around” at the Hells Angels, like other people linked to the criminal environment. Let's not forget that during all this time, she is a police officer at the SPVSE”, the referee wondered.
The woman in question was one of the ten women of honor at the very wedding. ran from Annie Arbic, in December 2018, daughter of a drug trafficker from Kanesatake, Sharon Simon. She then married Martin Robert, a “full patch” member and one of the most influential Hells Angels in Quebec.
This photo was published on Facebook by the spouse of the Hells Angels Michel Lamontagne, the day after the wedding of Annie Arbic and Martin Robert.
A photo of the event was prominently displayed on the officer's friend's Facebook profile, when the latter “liked” a family photo, featuring Lamontagne, whose face was masked by an emoji. Concerned, the Laval police no longer wanted policewoman Larivée in their Project X squad and an investigation began.
The Saint-Eustache police then put their officer on paid leave, the time to carry out an investigation, which led to disturbing findings.
The service learned in particular that she had tried to “procure with masking products in order to be able to be admitted into police techniques in order to camouflage [his] drug use”, can we read in the decision.
Indeed, as part of one of its investigations, the Sûreté du Québec had intercepted a communication from the former police officer with a trafficker in order to buy speed and clenbuterol, a type steroids and products to mask drug use.
Also, during the hearings at the arbitration tribunal, it was revealed that in the past, the candidacy of Tanya Larivée had been refused to the police of Montreal as well as that of Laval, “for security reasons […] either the fact that she has ties with criminalized people even though she failed to declare it in her job application,” we read.
Also, she had omitted to declare that she obtained an income by being a physical trainer. “The employer had serious grounds for terminating the complainant’s employment. He succeeded in proving this as well as in demonstrating that the faults revealed had the effect of causing an irremediable breach of the bond of trust, and this, with regard to a police officer from whom we must s expect exemplary probity at all times. Thus dictates the very nature of the function,” concluded arbitrator Andrée St-Georges.
The hiring criteria have since changed
< p>To avoid any unpleasant surprises, the way in which agents are hired at the Saint-Eustache police force has been modified since the dismissal of the police officer, in particular with much more exhaustive questionnaires.
“With a view to tightening the criteria in terms of security, the said form is now much more elaborate. It contains about twenty pages including questions on gambling habits, drug or alcohol consumption and questionable associates, in short, a series of very personal questions”, can we read in the decision of the arbitrator Andrée St. -Georges.
When the police officer was hired in 2017, the process consisted of sorting CVs, analyzing the forms completed by candidates, conducting selection interviews with psychometric and medical tests, as well as a security investigation carried out on the candidates and their families.
Since then, the Police Department of the City of Saint-Eustache has also added a polygraph test and a screening test.
Do you have a scoop for us?
Do you have something to tell us about this story?
Do you have a scoop that our readers might be interested in?
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128