Informal Resolution is a way to resolve less serious complaints and can be attempted at any time during the OIPRD complaint process. The complainant, the respondent officer and the police chief or OPP Commissioner must all agree.
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
The OIPRD will advise the police service that Informal Resolution may be an option to explore prior to launching a complaint investigation. Informal Resolution may also be recommended at the conclusion of a conduct complaint that is substantiated as less serious.
Informal Resolution may not be a suitable way to resolve conduct complaints of a more serious nature, such as:
- 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
The Informal Resolution may be facilitated by a senior officer designated by the police chief or OPP Commissioner. The complainant or respondent officer may withdraw from the process at any time, provided no agreement has been reached.
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 Director and the chief of the affected police service, in writing, within the 12 days.
When an Informal Resolution agreement is signed and accepted by the Director, the file is considered closed. 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, coordinated by the OIPRD, may be requested if the regular Informal Resolution process in unsuccessful.