Thérèse-de Blainville PD PIVOT agents in training

Traditionally, the police are called upon to intervene during events of a criminal nature. However, an increase in police interventions with so-called vulnerable people is upsetting this reality. To deal with this, the RIPTB has decided to invest in the training of “PIVOT agents” concerning intervention in mental health and with the most vulnerable citizens.

Phenomena associated with disturbed mental states affect more than 20% of the population. These have contributed to the increase in police interventions with vulnerable people. Each year, the RIPTB receives a high number of calls concerning situations of crisis, homelessness, ageism, substance dependence, behavioral problems, or family conflicts. In 2015, the organization implemented several measures to equip front-line workers and ensure quality service, adapted to the needs of the vulnerable clientele encountered.


Take a look at the
featured Local Savings
at the bottom of this page!

Thanks to their expertise, “Pivot” patrollers, present on each of the work teams, are designated as a reference during calls involving vulnerable clients. As part of their interventions, the latter promote active listening, analysis of the situation and the establishment of a safety net around the person. The development of strategies aimed at raising awareness of a dysfunction is favored in order, ultimately, to engage the person in a resolving process adapted to their reality.

“As part of our mission to protect life, ensure safety and maintain social peace, our police officers must intervene quickly and effectively when a vulnerable person requests an intervention in times of crisis or instability.  We must also be able to provide effective intervention and adequate support to all citizens or relatives of a vulnerable person when they witness a person’s disorganization and are concerned for their safety or that of others. With the implementation of our “Pivot agents” and the training of our staff, we are improving our social intervention, and by the same token, we are enabling an effective transition between insecurity and balance for these people” said Inspector Martin Charron of the Operations Support Division.

PIVOT agents

Two patrol officers per team have been assigned the role of Pivot agent, perfected in intervention with vulnerable people.

Their intervention strategies take the form, among other things, of active listening, analyzing the situation and setting up a safety net around the person. Through their actions, the police aim to raise awareness of a dysfunction in order, ultimately, to engage the person in a resolving process adapted to their reality. The pivot agent also informs the patrol officers of the other teams of the situation and the means put in place to help the person in need. If necessary, police officers apply the laws if an offense has been committed as well as if there is a serious and immediate danger for the person or for others. Finally, the Pivot agent writes a report of all of his actions which will then be forwarded to the Prevention and Community Relations section so that a medium-term follow-up can be carried out with the client and the stakeholders involved.

Effective partnership with community organizations and institutions

“We no longer have to convince people of the need for partnership and collaboration. The police alone cannot fight new types of crime and solve public safety problems. This is why the establishment of strategic partnerships and training is one of the key elements. Our objective is for the Pivot agent to have the mandate to concretely carry out on the ground the existing collaboration agreements between the RIPTB and the partners of the various regional consultation fora. As a front-line worker, he will be able to reach agreements and subsequently, exchange directly with his team, our psychosocial worker, the CISSS social worker assigned to the RIPTB and the agents of the Prevention section who sit on the working committees and who participate in clinical meetings, proposing and implementing agreed solutions.” concluded Martin Charron