Polyglot police video goes viral

By Robert Frank


Members of the Laval police service posted a video on YouTube in which they used their mother tongues to offer Laval citizens their best wishes for the holidays.

In addition to French, uniformed and civilian police staff greeted viewers in a dozen different spoken languages.

Holiday salutations were conveyed in Arabic, Cambodian, Créole, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

In addition, the video features festive well-wishes in sign language.

“We know that, in our community, there are some 10,000 people in Laval whose means to communicate is sign language,” Lt. Daniel Guérin told The Suburban in an interview.

Promotes better policing

“This is the first time that we’ve done this,” enthused the head of the Laval police service’s public affairs department. “We’ve been working on it since June.”

Besides reflecting a cross section of Quebec’s third-largest city’s demographics, Guérin asserted that the police service’s inclusiveness “makes us a better police force.”

“Employing people from such diverse backgrounds is reflected in how we respond to the public on a day-to-day basis,” he explained.

“For example, if you have a colleague working on your team whose family originated in Lebanon, every member of the team becomes better-acquainted with people from Lebanon.”

“Through their interactions with their partner, when they meet people of Lebanese origin on the street, it brings them closer to those people.”

5,000 hits in 24 hrs

Guérin encouraged citizens to share the video with their friends.

“More than 5,000 people viewed it in the first 24 hours after we released it on YouTube,” he grinned.

“We’re planning to increase our use of social media platforms in order to serve the people of Laval better,” Guérin promised. “We intend to do more on our Twitter (@policelaval) and on Facebook (policelaval) accounts.”

“Though Laval police have only just started to offer social media service, we have had a tremendous response from the people who have linked with us with through these channels,” he concluded. “That has inspired us to continue these initiatives.”

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