Montreal’s public transit authority is poised to equip its security officers with cayenne pepper aerosol gel, pending approval from its board at a meeting this evening.
The officers, known as special constables, already carry telescopic batons, but the authority says the gel would be a better de-escalation tool during interventions involving people in crisis.
The transit authority — Société de transport de Montréal, or STM — says the gel is less volatile than traditional pepper sprays, and would reduce the risk of injury from baton strikes.
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The STM further points to the existing use of pepper aerosols by transit security agents in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, among other Canadian cities.
Transit security officers in Montreal would have to undergo 10 hours of training on gel use, including what the STM calls mandatory personal experimentation.
The company plans to deploy the gel in December.
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