What happens after I make my complaint?
The police officer appointed to investigate the complaint will contact you to discuss the matter and will try to resolve the complaint informally if you and the officer you complained about agree. If there is no informal resolution, the investigator will proceed with the investigation. The police department investigation must be completed 60 days from the day you filed the written complaint. In some circumstances, the Commissioner may grant an extension of time to complete the investigation. You will receive a notice when the investigation is complete.
Who decides the outcome of the case?
The Chief of Police or the Municipal Board of Police Commissioners (if the complaint is against the Chief of Police) will review the investigation and based on its findings will decide to: - Take no further action with respect to the complaint; or - Discipline the officer. You will be notified of the decision, as will the officer complained about and the Commissioner
What is the role of the Police Complaints Commissioner in the Police Department’s Investigation?
The Commissioner ensures that time limitations provided within the Police Act have been and are adhered to and may exercise his/her authority to extend the time to investigate complaints when additional time is requested by the authority.
What can I do if I am not satisfied with the decision of the Chief, or the Municipal Board of Police Commissioners?
You must file a Notice of Review (Form 13) with the Commissioner within 30 days of receipt of the decision. Once you file the Form 13, the Commissioner will attempt to mediate a resolution. Any resolution will require the consent of the officer(s) being complained about and the complainant. If there is no resolution the Commissioner may conduct an independent investigation of the complaint. Following the completion of this investigation, the Commissioner will decide whether the complaint has merit and if that is the case, the matter will be referred to the Police Review Board. If the complaint is not referred to the Police Review Board, you will be notified that no further action will be taken with respect to your complaint.
What can I do if my complaint is not referred to the Review Board?
The Commissioner’s decision is final. If you are unhappy with it, you should contact a lawyer.
What happens when my complaint is referred to the Review Board?
A panel of three members will conduct a public hearing into your complaint. You will be notified of the hearing date and you may be represented by a lawyer if you wish. If you are not represented by a lawyer, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will provide assistance in preparation of subpoenas for witnesses and information on hearing procedures.
Is my complaint kept confidential?
Complaints are considered confidential. However, if your complaint is referred to the Police Review Board, the hearing is open to the public, unless the Review Board orders otherwise.
Who sits on the Police Review Board?
Lay persons are appointed to the Police Review Board.
What can the Review Board do?
The Review Board may: - Find the complaint valid and recommend to the body responsible for the member what should be done; - Dismiss the matter; - Affirm or change any penalty which has been imposed or substitute a finding; - Award or fix costs where appropriate. It cannot award you compensation.
Can a police officer appeal?
The police officer may appeal disciplinary action imposed by the Chief of Police or the Authority.
What if I am dissatisfied with the Review Board’s decision?
The Review Board’s decision is final. If you are unhappy with it, you should contact a lawyer.
Where can I get more information about filing a public complaint?
You may contact the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner.