Ian Lafrenière no longer head of Montreal police media team

In a shuffling of Montreal police's media relations department, Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière will be leaving his post as the head of the service's communications division.

Police commander to transfer to new division in SPVM communications restructuring

Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière became the head of the SPVM's communication department in 2012. (CBC)

In a shuffling of Montreal police's media relations department, Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière will be leaving his post as the head of the service's communications division.

The media relations department will now operate under the director's office, Montreal's police chief, Philippe Pichet, said in a news conference Monday afternoon

"I met Ian Lafrenière this morning, and I informed him that he was to progress in the organization. Of course it was hard because he spent 20 years in the communications section," Pichet said.

Lafrenière, who has been with SPVM since 1994, became the main public voice of the police force and a familiar name in the news when he took over as head of the communications division in 2012.

He will transfer to another department and will be replaced by a civilian division chief. The job posting goes up tomorrow.

Pichet acknowledged the changes would be "very hard" for Lafrenière, adding that it would take time for him to adjust.

The new department will be split into two sections: a media relations department headed by Cmdr. Marie-Claude Dandenault and a section chief, yet to be named, in charge of internal and strategic communications. 

Pichet said he had full confidence Lafrenière would serve his new functions in the SPVM well.

With files from Shaun Malley