It was a pleasure to sit down with newly installed Montreal Police Station 9 Commander Luis Oliveira at his office on Westminster Avenue.
Police Station 9 serves Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West. Unlike his predecessor Jean O’Malley, now the head of public security in Hampstead, Commander Oliviera does not have to split his time between Stations 9 and 11 (NDG).
Commander Oliveira has a truly interesting back story, one that goes back before he joined the police force 28 and a half years ago.Raised in the Petite Patrie/Rosemount area. His parents spoke French at home, but sent him to English schools: Francesca Cabrini Elementary School (now Pierre Elliott Trudeau) in Rosemount, John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel, Dawson College (Health Sciences) and then McGill University (Physical Education). While at McGill he played football for the Redmen as an offensive guard who wore number 54. His greatest memory: being part of the national champion Vanier Cup winning team in 1987. In 1984 he even earned a tryout with the CFL’s Montreal Concordes (a previous incarnation of the Alouettes coached by Joe Galat).
Commander Oliveira did not head directly to the police after graduation. First he actually served as a player-coach in a professional football league in France (Cannes). He then went on to become a physical education/geography/history teacher at Lindsay Place and Hudson High Schools on the West Island. At the age of 28 he switched gears and enrolled in CEGEP Maisonneuve for their Police Technology Program. His career as a cop began at the former Station 15 in NDG following that up with a stint downtown. Soon after he was promoted to Sergeant and with that came a special opportunity: to travel to the civil war in Bosnia to represent the United Nations as a liaison to chase down war criminals.
“It gave me a different perspective on life,’ said the Commander, who spent a year overseas and landed at Station 4 in Dollard des Ormeaux upon his return. But soon after he was off for another mission, this time to Jordan to teach and train new Iraqi police officers.
Seeking more of a 9 to 5 shift in order to spend quality time with his three children, Commander Oliveira landed an assignment at general police headquarters to coordinate the kind of missions he went on himself. “Over 10 years in that post I arranged for about 250 of our officers to serve overseas,” he explained.
Since arriving at Station 9 two months ago, the Commander has hit the ground running. When I was there he was working with Officer Marie-Christine Nobert, who does such a wonderful job in the area of outreach, and hosting representatives from different community organizations.
“I am thrilled to be here,” he said. “When I started, the tragic shooting occurred at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. This gave me an immediate opportunity to get to know the local community synagogue leadership as met with them and provided reassurance.
Commander Oliveira has also established a good relationship with his counterpart at Station 11, Anouk St. Onge.
Commander Oliveira has already made it a point to attend the start of our monthly council meetings. We look forward to working with him!
The Commander meets with community representatives.