The Ottawa Police Services Board is required to establish policies for the effective management of the police service (s.31(1)c). In particular, the Board has the responsibility to establish guidelines for dealing with complaints made under Part V of the Police Services Act (the "Act"), to review the Chief of Police's administration of the complaints system under Part V, and to receive regular reports from the Chief of Police on his or her administration of the complaints system (s.31(1)(j)).
Office of the Independent Police Review Director
Part V of the Police Services Act as amended established a new Independent Police Review Director and created a new public complaints process. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) opened on October 19, 2009 and oversees all public complaints about police. The OIPRD's role is to make sure that public complaints against police in Ontario are dealt with fairly, efficiently and effectively.
To make a complaint to the OIPRD, a person may fill out a form online, fax or mail a complaint or submit a complaint in person at the OIPRD office. In addition, a person may also submit a completed complaint form to any regional, municipal or provincial police station in Ontario. The police will then forward the complaint to the OIPRD.
Complaints about conduct
If the complaint is about the conduct of a police officer, other than the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of Police, the Independent Police Review Director will refer it to the Chief of Police of the Ottawa Police Service, the Chief of Police of another police service or, retain it and deal with it.
Complaints about policies or services
If the complaint is about the policies of or services provided by the Ottawa Police Service, the Independent Police Review Director may decide not to deal further with the complaint or may refer it to the Chief of Police, who must review the complaint and take any action, or no action, in response to the complaint as he or she considers appropriate. His or her decision may be reviewed by the Board. In conducting a review, the Board or committee may hold a public meeting respecting the complaint.
Complaints against Chief of Police or Deputy Chief of Police
In the case of a complaint about the conduct of the Chief or Deputy Chief of Police, the OIPRD will refer the complaint to the Board. The Board will review the complaint and if, in the Board's opinion, the conduct complained of may constitute a specified offence, misconduct or unsatisfactory work performance, the Board will ask the Independent Police Review Director to investigate the complaint. Following the investigation, unless the Independent Police Review Director determines the complaint to be unsubstantiated, the Board may hold a hearing into the matter, refer the matter to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to hear the matter, or attempt to resolve the matter informally (in specified circumstances).