Report On Police Oversight Makes 129 Recommendations

A 263 page report on the oversight bodies that look at police services in Ontario has been released.

In it, Justice Michael Tulloch makes 129 recommendations about the operations and rules for the 3 agencies. (SIU, OCPC, OIPRD)

Justice Tulloch travelled across the province to many communities, including Windsor, to gather input for the report.

He says the current status of most Special Investigations Unit teams being made up of former police officers should change, and that civilian investigators should be included.

Tulloch recommends the SIU teams should have no more than 50% investigators from a police background.

He says it is important for the Special Investigations Unit to act in a more open way than it does: "the public accountability aspect of the SIU needs to be greatly improved.  The public should receive as much information as possible when an SIU investigation is commenced, followed by updates to the investigation and eventually through release of the final report.  Lack of information leads to speculation and suspicion that is often unwarranted"

He says the current practice of not releasing names of police officers where an investigation clears the officer should continue, adding that many police officers live in small communities and releasing their names after they have been cleared of charges by the SIU could lead to stigmatization and further stress.

Justice Tulloch adds that naming either the officer in such an investigation or any witness or victim could lead to retribution against them.

Among the other recommendations are to make it a criminal offence to refuse co-operating with any of the 3 agencies, calling an inquest any time a person dies as the result of a police Use Of Force and notifying the SIU anytime an officer fires at a person.