ABOUT THE OIPRD
The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) is responsible for receiving, managing and overseeing all public complaints about the police in Ontario. The OIPRD accepts complaints about the conduct of a police officer or the policies and services of a police department. Conduct complaints are about how a police officer behaves. Policies of a police department are the rules and standards that guide an officer in delivering police services. Services are how effectively and efficiently a particular department performs its duties.
In addition to processing and investigating public complaints, the OIPRD is responsible for administering the public complaints system. This includes:
The OIPRD’s oversight role begins with the receipt of a public complaint and continues to the end of the investigation. The chiefs of police and Commissioner of the OPP are responsible for disciplining police officers and holding disciplinary hearings.
Systemic Reviews and Audits
The OIPRD works to identify and offer solutions to systemic or ongoing issues within police services and is responsible for performing audits to ensure the complaints system is being administered effectively.
Education and Outreach
Our office is responsible for teaching the public and the police about the complaints system. The OIPRD also seeks feedback from the public – both community members and police – who have been involved in the public complaints process.
The OIPRD has jurisdiction over municipal and regional police services and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The OIPRD may only investigate sworn police officers in Ontario. This does not include: RCMP officers, TTC special constables, GO Transit police, First Nations Police Officers, court officers, campus police, provincial offences officers or special constables.
Independent Civilian Oversight
The OIPRD was established under the Independent Police Review Act, 2007, and began work on October 19, 2009, as an independent, neutral, arm’s-length agency of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. The act requires that the Director must never have been a police officer and that staff of the OIPRD cannot be serving police officers. This means that all employees of the OIPRD are civilians.
As an independent civilian oversight agency, we make sure that public complaints about police are dealt with in a manner that is transparent, effective and fair to both the public and the police. We work cooperatively with both complainants and police to investigate and resolve complaints. We make our decisions independently of the government, the police and the public.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
The MOU is an administrative agreement between the Attorney General and the OIPRD that reflects the accountability framework and guides the mutual understanding of responsibilities of both the responsible minister and the Independent Police Review Director.
Goals and Guiding Principles
Our goal is to provide effective oversight of public complaints, promote accountability of police services across Ontario and increase public confidence in the complaints system.
We do this through:
- oversight of public complaints through to their conclusion
- investigation of complaints
- education and outreach to both police and the public
- audits of how the complaints system is administered
- systemic reviews
- encouraging resolution of complaints
Our vision is for an easily accessible public complaints system that upholds the public’s trust, investigates the complaints that require investigation in a fair, accountable, transparent and effective manner, and has respect for all stakeholders’ sensitivities.
In fulfilling our commitments we are guided by the principles of:
- accountability: improving the transparency and accountability of the public complaints system and maintaining accountability for our actions to our stakeholders
- integrity: providing professional, objective, timely services to all stakeholders; respecting the privacy and dignity of our stakeholders and treating them fairly
- independence: overseeing investigations by police services in a fair, transparent and effective manner and conducting independent investigations thoroughly and fairly
- accessibility: being accessible to the public to lodge complaints about police and building public awareness about the complaints system.