Informal Resolution can be attempted at any time during the investigation of a complaint, where the OIPRD approves and the complainant, respondent officer and the chief of police agree. It may also be recommended at the conclusion of a conduct complaint that is substantiated as less serious. Prior to an investigation commencing, the OIPRD may advise the police service that Informal Resolution may be an option to explore.
The decision to recommend Informal Resolution depends on the circumstances of each case. Some examples of conduct that may be suitable for Informal Resolution include:
- discreditable conduct that does not involve a breach of trust
- incivility, including allegations of unfair or biased treatment or rude or profane language
- damage to clothing or property
- unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority
- excessive use of force that does not result in serious injury
Some examples of conduct that may not be suitable for Informal Resolution include:
- breach of confidence
- unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority that results in serious injury
- incidents involving firearms or conducted energy weapons (Tasers) in a manner that is inconsistent with the Police Services Act
- conduct that would support a criminal charge
Participation in Informal Resolution
Where a complaint is investigated by the police service, the Informal Resolution is facilitated by a member of a police service’s professional standards branch or a senior officer designated by the police chief. Where a complaint is investigated by the OIPRD, the OIPRD investigator facilitates the Informal Resolution.
If a complainant or respondent officer agrees to participate in an Informal Resolution, but changes their mind, they may withdraw from the process at any time, provided no resolution has been agreed to. Informal Resolution via Mediation
may be requested after a failed attempt or after the parties withdraw from the Informal Resolution process.
Once a complainant and respondent officer have agreed to a proposed Informal Resolution, they have 12 days to change their minds. The party wishing to revoke must notify the IPRD and the chief of the affected police service, in writing, within the 12 days.
When an Informal Resolution is signed and accepted by the IPRD, the file is considered closed for case management purposes. For an Informal Resolution to be considered complete, the agreed-upon resolution must have been carried out. For example, if training is part of the resolution, the training must have been completed for the Informal Resolution to be satisfied. The OIPRD requires the respondent officer to commit to a timeline and report any non-compliance of terms. The OIPRD also monitors Informal Resolutions to ensure all resolutions are carried out.
Informal Resolution via Mediation
Informal Resolution without mediation will continue to be the first kind of Informal Resolution that will be attempted. However, in situations where informal resolution without mediation would likely be unsuccessful, or where the complainant is reluctant to accept a process being led by the police service, or where there may be concern about power imbalance, but the complainant is still willing to resolve the matter, Informal Resolution via Mediation may be proposed. A decision not to participate in mediation will have no impact on a complainant’s or respondent officer’s rights in the complaints process.
If the OIPRD approves mediation, a mediation service will be engaged to determine whether the case can be mediated. If it is determined the case cannot be mediated, the case will be returned to the police service or the OIPRD for investigation.
If it is determined that the case can be mediated, the mediation service will conduct the mediation. If the mediation is successfully resolved, the parties will sign an agreement. The mediation service will assess the outcome of the mediation and send a follow-up report to the OIPRD. The mediation case will then be closed as "Informal Resolution via Mediation."