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Montreal Cable channel maintains ‘the pillar of hope’

by P.A.Sévigny

Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of the waking man. Pliny the Elder 23-79

Ten years after the ADR (Avis De Recherche) signal first went out over the city’s cable network, Canadian police officials and other public security executives still can’t understand why the nation’s CRTC (Canadian Radio & Television Commission) still refuses to provide Canadian police and public security forces with the foundations for a public security information channel similar to what Montreal’s ADR is doing for public security forces in Québec.

“ADR gives us a voice,” said SPVM Police Commander Ian Lafrenière. “These guys know what police work is all about and they’re willing to keep working on the story long after the rest of the media have moved onto something else.”


May 30, 2013
By Corrie Sloot

by P.A.Sévigny

Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of the waking man. Pliny the Elder 23-79

Ten years after the ADR (Avis De Recherche) signal first went out over the city’s cable network, Canadian police officials and other public security executives still can’t understand why the nation’s CRTC (Canadian Radio & Television Commission) still refuses to provide Canadian police and public security forces with the foundations for a public security information channel similar to what Montreal’s ADR is doing for public security forces in Québec.

“ADR gives us a voice,” said SPVM Police Commander Ian Lafrenière. “These guys know what police work is all about and they’re willing to keep working on the story long after the rest of the media have moved onto something else.”

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Following its humble beginnings when the cable carried little more than 30 second video clips of the usual inner city mayhem defined by a blurry images made up of young men wearing ‘hoodies’ while they’re holding up a corner store at gunpoint, Montreal’s SPVM (Service de la Police de Montréal) now considers the cable channel to be an invaluable resource by which the police can add their voice to the tsunami of media information that can often derail a police investigation.

While it’s obvious that the channel is an effective resource especially when police are forced to post quickly and efficiently as in the case of ‘amber alerts’ following the abduction of a child, Lafrenière believes ADR has become an invaluable education resource for both the public and the city’s assorted public security sectors. After reaching into a file below his desk in the corner office of the SPVM’s massive St. Urbain Street headquarters, he handed over a DVD which contained a number of episodes produced by an ADR camera team who covered the SPVM’s mission in Haiti following the earthquake that shattered its capital city.

“Montreal may have its problems,” said Lafrenière,”…but once you spend a few weeks working on the streets of Port-Au-Prince, it doesn’t take much to realize how lucky we are to live in this country.”

As the president of Montreal’s Missing Children network, Pina Arcamone repeated what Commander Lafrenière had to say about ADR’s efforts to keep working on a story long after the rest of the media have folded up their gear and moved on to their next stop.

“Vince (ADR President Vincent Géracitano) is fantastic,” said Arcamone. “He’s stubborn and he’s determined and he never gives up on a story-especially when it’s all about a missing child.”

According to Arcamone, ADR is one of the main reasons people are still looking for Québec’s young Cédrika Provencher who was only a child when she was abducted by a white man who was driving a truck when he told other children that he needed help to find his dog. Although the abduction happened five years ago, Arcamone said Géracitano insists that his reporters keep working on the story “ …and he won’t stop until they find out what happened to that little girl.”

Aside from what Géracitano is doing to help recover missing children and teens who have fallen into the hands of Montreal’s street gangs, Arcamone also mentioned how Géracitano’s reporters often set the record straight after false and usually salacious information sometimes manages to compromise a working police investigation.

Citing the sad and (relatively) recent case of David Fortier, a missing 14 year old who police believe was abducted on his way to school, Arcamone did say that the boy had to put up with serious bullying at school but that there was no evidence that he was gay and that there was no evidence that he was having trouble with his parents at home.

“Can you imagine what these people are going through,” said the veteran activist. “Can you imagine how they feel when they read about schoolyard gossip about their son in the newspapers?”

Following a cursory investigation, ADR put the brakes on the rumor mill but the child is still missing and Arcamone is pleased to see that ADR is still working on the story. Aside from all the work being done to recover missing children, Arcamone is also grateful for the work ADR reporters did on the city’s ‘Enfants Avertis’ production-an educational program aimed at children in order to promote what she described as ‘street sense for kids’ which is making its way through Montreal’s inner-city primary schools courtesy of the SPVM’s well developed social-community network. We’re grateful for everything Vince is doing for us,” said Arcamone. “….very grateful!”

As far as American television producer Bill Glasser is concerned, Canadians are lucky to have a working public security network like ADR that’s continually available on the cable networks.

“It’s like calling the firemen when your house is on fire,” he said. “It’s an emergency and you’re glad they’re there when you need them.”

As the producer of the wildly successful “America’s Most Wanted’, Glasser said he had only a couple of hours per week while ADR has all the time in the world to research, develop and produce their content along with the immediate information that public security forces sometimes need to get out to the public.

While Glasser’s television work led to a surprising number of arrests and assorted rescues due to the instant popularity of his program, this was one producer who had more than a few kind words to say about both a colleague and a friend.

“Vince [Géracitano] is one of the most determined guys I know,” said Glasser during a long telephone interview in which he described how difficult it was to manage the legal hurdles that can derail a media investigation into criminal incidents. “As far as I can see, this is a guy who understands that a lot of routine police work can be compared to chipping away at a mountain with a teaspoon.”

Aside from describing how difficult it is to produce a decent reality show about public security without getting sued, Glasser also repeated what both Lafrenière and Arcamone said about Géracitano’s work.

“He doesn’t give up on the story,” said Glasser as he referred to the three Cleveland women who were recently rescued from their suburban prison following a decade of assorted rape and abuse after all three were kidnapped by the same suspect who simply snatched them off the street as they were making their way home. “Sometimes guys like Vince [Géracitano] reflect the thin wedge of hope for the parents of a missing child who must contemplate the possible and probable truth that their child is dead and buried in a shallow, unmarked grave where no one will ever find her.”

Following the recent CRTC hearings that were held a month ago in Ottawa, Glasser, Arcamone and Lafrenière all believe that Canadian and American television producers should take the time to visit Géracitano’s office in order to learn how to produce top quality programming with little more than a shoestring budget combined with lots of hope and a few prayers. Following a cursory check on the internet, Glasser was amazed to see how Canada’s Weather Network gets over $23 million dollars per year in order to tell the Canadian public not to forget to put on their raincoat while Géracitano’s ADR gets little more than $1.7 million in order to produce programs that teach kids how to be street smart and why it’s a good idea not to get involved with the local street gang.

“Once the Canadian people begin to understand what this guy is doing,” said Glasser, “they’re going to give him a medal.”

(Blue Line Magazine)