MONTREAL - A Montreal man who snapped photos of two police officers snoozing in their police cruiser Tuesday said one of the officers didn’t appear to be bothered that he had been caught napping on the job.
The man, who identified himself only as Alan, said both police officers were sound asleep when he knocked on the window to wake them up.
“One of them jumped and pulled up his hat,” Alan said. “When I asked him whether it was nap time, he just shrugged.”
Alan said he was slightly amused by the scene, but also a little bit angry that officers in uniform, whose salaries are paid by taxpayers, would be catching 40 winks while on duty.
“If I am on a break at work, I can’t kick my feet up and take a nap,” he said. “There were two of them there; surely their breaks could be staggered.”
The pictures were taken about 11 a.m. as the officers were parked at the intersection of Décarie Blvd. and Royalmount Ave. Police officers had been directing traffic at the intersection over the past few days, Alan said.
Commander Ian Lafrenière, a spokesperson with the Montreal police, said the department does not tolerate officers sleeping in their police cruisers. He said the officers will meet with their commander on Wednesday and “sanctions will be taken.”
Lafrenière acknowledged that the photo is bad for the force’s image.
“You are not serving the citizens when you are doing that,” he said, adding that it is unsafe for officers to sleep in the vehicles because it puts them at risk of being harmed.
He said both officers worked late Monday night, but said that was no excuse.
Police officers are entitled to a 45 minute break during their 9 1/2 hour shift, said Martin Desrochers, a spokesperson for the Montreal Police Brotherhood.
He said it was difficult for him to comment on the photo because he wasn’t aware of the circumstances under which it was taken.
But he did say that: “It is not forbidden to close your eyes in a car during your lunch break.”
Last month, a Gazette photographer spotted a number of police officers snoozing inside a Société de transport de Montréal bus, the main means of transportation for the hundreds of men and women on the force who work during the nightly student protests.
There is no limit to the number of hours that a Montreal police officer can work in a given week, and officers do not have the option of refusing overtime shifts, Desrochers told The Gazette last month.
However, officers must be provided with no fewer than seven hours off between work periods, he said.
It is not known whether the police officers in the pictures taken Monday had been working overtime.
Alan said he doesn’t have much sympathy for officers sleeping on the job, even if they had been working overtime.
“I am sure they’re getting paid sweet overtime money,” he saidMaybe they are tired from lack of sleep during the student protest time............lol - Les