A police officer paid $175,000 a year for her law studies
BET À DAY
Taxpayers paid more than half a million dollars to allow a senior officer of the Sûreté du Québec at the end of her career to study law, our Bureau of Investigation has discovered.
Since August 2020, Chief Inspector Dominique Lafrenière has been released full-time for her university training as a lawyer with an annual salary of approximately $175,000, confirmed the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) in response to our questions.
She notably received an annual salary increase of more than $4,000 while she was in school.
< p>According to our information, she even benefits from a company car at public expense during her studies.
The bill to date is over $500,000 and it is not known when the chief inspector will be back at work.
Employed by the provincial police for nearly 27 years, Ms. Lafrenière is the daughter of the former boss of the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC), Robert Lafrenière. She was the spouse of Martin Prud'homme while he was director general of the SQ, a position he left in August 2021 after more than two years of suspension with pay.
“I I can't remember seeing an SQ officer being completely relieved of his duties for three years to do a baccalaureate, while receiving his salary, “says the president of the Association of Provincial Policewomen and Policemen of Quebec (APPQ ), Jacques Painchaud.
The SQ's media relations supervisor, Benoit Richard, indicates that Ms. Lafrenière benefits from an advantage that all officers of the organization can benefit from.
“It is part of their working conditions. he said.
The spokesperson is unable to comment on whether other top brass have already been released for three years for study, with full pay.
“We had a few cases of officers who took training for a year or more, while being paid,” he says, without specifying.
After completing his courses at the University of Montreal, Dominique Lafrenière is currently at the École du Barreau du Québec. If she wishes to obtain the title of lawyer, she will then have to complete a six-month professional internship.
She did not respond to our invitation to comment.
< strong>Who will benefit?
Several SQ police officers who confided in our Bureau of Investigation on condition of anonymity – because they are not authorized to speak to the media – find the unreasonable situation.
They wonder if this investment by the Sûreté will really pay off.
“She will be 27 years old this summer. If she wants, she can leave the service tomorrow morning, because she has already reached the 25 years that make her eligible for retirement, ”says one of these police officers.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Lefebvre Patrick Lefebvre
Invited to comment, actuary Patrick Lefebvre, specializing in pension plans , wonders about the financial benefits that the State can derive from fully assuming the cost of studies. He observes that the working conditions at the SQ favor early departure and that there is no guarantee that these police officers will not then retire.
“She would have to stay employed for ten years for it to be financially advantageous. If his training allowed the SQ to save $100,000 a year in legal fees, the investment could become profitable,” he says.
Such savings would be surprising, however, according to him, because the SQ already has its lawyers and the police benefit from the opinions of Crown prosecutors in matters of investigation.
A hefty bill for taxpayers* < /p>
- Salary from August 24, 2020 to March 31, 2021 $109,788
- Salary from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023 $357,168
- Salary from April 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023 $14,882
- Tuition $11,734
- Book costs about $3,000
- Study costs at Law Society $3412
- Bar Book Fee $819
*Excluding vehicle fees
Sources: Sûreté du Québec, Université de Montréal and Librairie Wilson & Lafleur
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