Q. What is Local Resolution?
A. Local Resolution involves complaints that are made directly to a police service, where the complainant and the police officer agree to resolve the complaint informally, instead of filing a formal complaint. Before agreeing to participate in Local Resolution, a complainant must be told about the OIPRD and the process to file a formal complaint with the OIPRD.
Q. What are the benefits of Local Resolution
A. Local Resolution is an effective way to resolve many complaints. This process can help open the lines of communication between community members and the police. It can offer an opportunity for the officer to explain police policies and procedures directly to community members, while providing community members with the opportunity to express how the police officer’s actions affected them.
Q. Is the OIPRD involved with Local Resolution?
A. The OIPRD does not participate in Local Resolution. Complainants can address their concerns about police conduct directly with the police service by agreeing to participate in the Local Resolution process. Complainants choose not to file a complaint with the OIPRD. Police services will notify the OIPRD about any resolution that is reached through the Local Resolution.
Q. Who can settle matters in the Local Resolution process?
A. Anyone designated by the chief can resolve matters by way of Local Resolution.
Q. If I file a formal complaint at a police station can the officer in charge attempt a Local Resolution?
A. Yes, however, the complainant must first be provided with the options that exist to resolve a complaint along with the OIPRD brochures. Then, provided there is clear indication from the complainant of their willingness to attempt to locally resolve the complaint, Local Resolution can be attempted. If the complainant does not agree to Local Resolution, the officer in charge must send the complaint to the OIPRD within three business days.
Q. What can be resolved through Local Resolution?
A. Less serious complaints can be resolved through Local Resolution. Some conduct complaints are too serious to be resolved locally. The OIPRD has issued guidelines to determine whether a complaint is suitable for Local Resolution. If the police are unable to resolve the complaint within 30 days, they may request an extension from the OIPRD. If it is still unresolved after the extended time, it must be forwarded to the OIPRD to be dealt with as a formal complaint.
Q. Can I bring someone with me to a meeting with the police?
A. You may have someone accompany you to a meeting with police as part of the Local Resolution process, however, this person may not speak on your behalf. The person who accompanies you to a Local Resolution meeting is present only to provide moral support.
Q. What are some possible outcomes of Local Resolution?
A. a) having the respondent officer make an apology or attend a training course
b) creating an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting between the officer, the complaint and the person facilitating the resolution process
c) providing the parties with advice or support on how best to deal with the complaint and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future
Q. Can I still file a complaint with the OIPRD?
A. If you decide to participate in Local Resolution, but you are unable to agree to a proposed resolution within 30 days, you may file your complaint with the OIPRD. If you decide to participate in Local Resolution, but you are unable to agree to a resolution, you may also file your complaint with the OIPRD.
Q. What happens if my complaint is not resolved?
A. Complaints that are not resolved through Local Resolution can be filed with the OIPRD.
Q. What happens if we agree on a resolution but it's never carried out?
A. Once the complainant and respondent officer have agreed to a resolution, the police must follow through with the process and provide proof of the final resolution. If the resolution that was agreed to is not carried out, the Local Resolution will be deemed to have failed. Complainants may then file their complaint with the OIPRD.
Q. Will a Local Resolution decision appear in the officer's disciplinary record?
A. Complaints that are resolved through Local Resolution may not result in disciplinary proceedings against the respondent officer(s) and there may be no entry made on the disciplinary files of the officer(s). The OIPRD and the chief of police will receive notice of the resolution of your complaint and keep track of it for statistical purposes, however, there may not be a record of the resolution in the officer's disciplinary file.
Q. I'm not comfortable going to a police station to make my complaint. Do I have to use Local Resolution?
A. If you do not feel comfortable going to a police station to make your complaint, you are free to contact the OIPRD to make your complaint. As a complainant, you should not feel pressured to use Local Resolution. Complaints made to the OIPRD can be e-filed, mailed, faxed or made in person. Complaint forms are also available at all Service Ontario locations and in many community centres and legal clinics.
Q. I agreed to a Local Resolution, but I changed my mind. What happens now?
A. If you have agreed to participate in Local Resolution, but have changed your mind, you may revoke your consent, provided that the resolution has not taken place. You may then file your complaint with the OIPRD.