All courtrooms at the Québec City Courthouse have been equipped with a “panic button” that will allow the clerk or judge to call for reinforcements in the event of a squabble.
Most days sit quietly in a courtroom, with boredom as the main threat.
But it is enough for an accused who is ulcerated by the punishment imposed upon him, by another who wants to take his life, or by a third who makes a heart attack so that everything changes. And in those moments, the only special constable present in a courtroom may need the help of his colleagues. Quickly.
And since it can be difficult for the Special Constable to call for reinforcements, the Registrar and the Judge will now be able to do so with the new buttons, which have been functioning since Monday in all courtrooms, to the criminal In the civil sphere. A green button for assistance cases and a red button for emergencies.
The signal is immediately transmitted by pager to all special constables on the floor with the courtroom number and the alert level.
Technology in Montreal
At the Montreal courthouse, the technology was introduced some years ago and generally works well, “says Frank Perales, president of the Union of Special Constables of the Government of Quebec.
In Montreal, special constables receive an average of one or two alerts per week thanks to “panic buttons”. Their response time varies between 30 and 45 seconds.
Constable Perales sees primarily the relevance of “panic buttons” in courtrooms where civil and matrimonial cases are heard, often resulting in severe tensions. “Since there are no special constables in these rooms, that’s where the buttons should be put first,” he said.
The Union of Special Constables is also concerned that with the addition of the panic buttons, the government will come to remove the peace officers from the courtrooms.
Up to now, the judiciary has always strongly opposed the withdrawal of special constables and even their replacement by security agents.
In addition to providing security, the Special Constable is responsible for ensuring that decorum is respected in the courtroom .
The MSP Mute
At the Ministry of Public Security, responsible for security in the courthouses, they refused to disclose any iota of information concerning the addition of assistance buttons in Quebec City.
For the moment, therefore, it is impossible to know how much this technology cost the taxpayers, who originally applied for it, and whether other provincial courthouses will be equipped with it.