A police officer fires a projectile towards protesters battling against rising tuition rate in Montreal April 20, 2012.
Credits: PHILIPPE-OLIVIER CONTANT/AGENCE QMI
The force set up the 12-member team following the smoke bombings that paralyzed the city's subway system on May 10.
Investigators are combing through thousands of images captured by surveillance cameras and cellphones to identify suspects. The team also conducts searches, recommends charges and makes arrests.
QMI Agency spotted a member of the special squad last week during a court appearance by students arrested during one of the nightly protests that have dogged Montreal for the past month.
"All the mischief and crimes committed since the beginning of the conflict were given to these investigators for better co-ordination and a global vision," said police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere.
Police have made 2,500 arrests across Quebec over the course of the student strike that has spanned more than 100 days now, and that has often turned violent.
Colleges have been ransacked, businesses have been vandalized and citizens, journalists and police officers have been attacked as students voice anger at a seven-year, $1,800 tuition hike.