Ontario Police Complaints System Forum

The Ontario Police Complaints System Forum
Monday, November 26 & Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Metro Hall, Toronto

 

Message from Forum Co-chairs:

On behalf of the Forum Steering Committee and partners, the Co-Chairs Dr. Jennifer Schulenberg, Lisa Druchok and Kevin Lee would like to express our gratitude to everyone who participated and contributed to the Ontario Police Complaints System Forum: Perspectives from the community, police and policy-makers held on November 26-27, 2012.

Over the course of the two day Forum, 150 delegates representing 60 organizations and 9 police services from across Ontario participated in a collaborative discussion to enhance the police complaints system but also to foster relationships between community members, police officers, government,  community organizations, and services.

Your participation and constructive suggestions for improving the Ontario police complaints system are invaluable. Without your dedication, personal and professional investment in fostering change, the recommendations generated could not be representative of the voices from all stakeholders. The Forum would not have been successful without you, and for this we thank you!


Here is what delegates have to say about the Forum:


"A HUGE congrats and thank you for an amazing forum!! I too have heard wonderful feedback from my staff and others in attendance. This was not an easy thing to pull off and you did incredibly."

"Thank you for this, as matter of fact for everything. Everyone on your team and you did a great job both those days."

"This is to say thanks for the invitation on the Ontario Police Complaints System Forum. It was extremely useful to know how this system works. I was highly impressed of the high level of "house-keeping" management as well as of the activity of the community members."

"Just a quick thank you for inviting me to what was a really interesting and informative 2 days!!!"

"You put on a great two day forum! Thank you!"

"I wanted to say thank you for inviting me to the Ontario Police Complaints System Forum. Both days I met some really interesting community, police, and policy-making representative, and heard a lot of interesting and diverse perspectives. My Breakout Session was very thought provoking. We had some really engaging conversations about the OIPRD, standardization of process, and how the community can learn their rights and overcome structural and individual barriers. I really enjoyed myself. Please keep me in the loop about this interesting project. Again, I welcome any opportunity to talk about how I can become involved."


What's next:
Please CLICK HERE to participate in a short survey gauging Ontario resident’s knowledge of the Ontario police complaints system and OIPRD.

To learn more about the Forum and the continuing work SCCC is doing around issues of police complaints and community-police relations, please contact Alina at alina@scaddingcourt.org or (416) 392-0335.

 

The Ontario Police Complaints System Forum: Perspectives from the community, police and policy-makers is a two day event that will take place at Metro Hall in Toronto on Monday, November 26 and Tuesday, November 27, 2012. This Forum will engage stakeholders and diverse community groups from across Ontario to examine the 3-year-old police complaints system through the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) and to generate feedback and suggestions to ensure it is accountable, accessible and transparent.

This forum builds on the work of Community Education and Access to Police Complaints (CEAPC),  led by Scadding Court Community Centre. In 2008, CEAPC organized and hosted the Summit on defining a new police complaints process under Bill 103 to create recommendations for the newly forming OIPRD. To date a convergence of public opinion, law enforcement and policy makers has not been conducted to examine current OIPRD processes, and to discuss best practices for further advancing the system.

The Ontario Police Complaints System Forum
The 2012 Forum will commence with the sharing of lived experience accessing the Ontario police complaints system from the perspective of community members and police officers, followed by a panel discussion on the successes and challenges of the system.

The focus for discussions and recommendations will centre on breakout session themes. Delegates will be assigned to breakout sessions to ensure diversity in perspectives. For each theme, delegates will examine the topic through the guiding principles of accountability, transparency and accessibly; assess the current state of the police complaints system; and collectively articulate specific recommendations based on best practice to continue to advance the system in a report back from each group prior to closing remarks. A final report of recommendations will be submitted to the Ontario Attorney General and the Director, Gerry McNeilly, of the OIPRD. 

Speakers
Forum speakers include a diverse panel of experts asked to provide delegates with evidence based information, which will form the delegates’ working knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing the Ontario police complaints system and the Office of the Independent Review Director.

Speakers will highlight aspects of the police complaints system that work well or have improved with the introduction of the OIPRD and talk about some of the complications encountered that the Forum needs to address, as well as introduce their ideas to address the challenges currently facing the OIPRD.

Monday, November 26, 2012
Moderator:
Catherine Porter, Columnist, Toronto Star

Panel Experts
Anna Willats, Toronto Police Accountability Coalition 
Dr. David Webb, Associate Executive Director, Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas
Elgin Barrett, Member, Schizophrenia Society of Ontario Speaker’s Bureau
Gerry McNeilly, Director, Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Inspector Jeff Vibert, Professional Standards, Ontario Provincial Police
John Sewell, Co-ordinator, Toronto Police Accountability Coalition

Inspector Reuben Stroble,
Professional Standards, Toronto Police Service

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Moderator: Ceta Ramkhalawansingh

Panel Experts
Dr. David Webb, Associate Executive Director, Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas
Debbie Hansen, Director, Office of Student Conflict Resolution, York University
Detective Staff Sergeant Faron Whiteye, Major Criminal Investigations, Anishinabek Police Service
Peter Bruer, Manager, Conflict Resolution & Training, St. Stephen's Community House

Breakout Sessions

Forum delegates will be assigned to one of four concurrent breakout sessions to ensure diverse representation from across the province. During each breakout session delegates will explore one of the four Forum themes: (1) public education and support; (2) accountability, transparency and accessibility; (3) the investigative complaint process under the OIPRD; and (4) the OIPRD complaint decision making process.

Breakout sessions will allow for in-depth discussion of each theme and the identification of suggestions for improving the current system. Recommendations developed over the two days will form the content of a final report that will be submitted to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director and Ontario Attorney General’s office.

Goals of the breakout sessions are:
- For everyone in the room to have a voice and be included in group discussions.
- To generate comments and recommendations around the existing system and what can be done to improve the police complaints system.
- To identify the barriers associated with the breakout group theme, how did they develop, and what ideas have come forward to overcome these challenges.
- To generate recommendations that will be shared with all forum participants at the conclusion of Day 2 and will form the content of a final report that will be submitted to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director and Ontario Attorney General’s office.


Themes
Public Education and Support
Delegates will discuss the underlying principles of public education and support about filing a police complaint, how it works and current gaps in outreach and support services. Participants will share their ideas on how information can be shared and services provided in an effective way to strengthen the current system.

Investigative Complaint Process
During this breakout session delegates will look at current Office of the Independent Police Review Director processes during an investigative complaint, such as the screening process, types of complaints,  types of investigations (police managed vs. independent), and reviews and appeals.

Complaint Decision-making Process
Delegates in this breakout session will discuss the complaint decision making process under the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, topics will include: the withdrawal of complaints, use of Informal resolution and Local resolution, as well as penalties and disciplinary hearings.

Accountability, Accessibility, and Transparency
Delegates will discuss the role of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director in ensuring accountability for the police complaints system, satisfaction for citizens and officers about the complaints system process, and accountability to the general public. Issues of system accessibility pertaining to citizens lodging complaints, process for keeping complainants and officers apprised on the progress of the investigation, and ability to voice concerns about the process. Issues of transparency and the availability of information to complainants and officers about the investigative and decision-making process will be discussed.

Facilitators
Forum breakout session facilitators are highly skilled and have extensive experience working with diverse groups around issues of: race relations, human rights, community-police relations, policing, and policy making.

Lead Facilitators
Johanna McDonald, Lawyer, Justice for Children and Youth
Dr. Karen Mock, Human Rights Consultant
Dr. Margaret E. Beare, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
Raja G. Khouri, The Knowledge Centre

To learn more about the Forum and the continuing work SCCC is doing around issues of police complaints and community-police relations, please contact Alina at alina@scaddingcourt.org or (416) 392-0335.

Funders
Scadding Court Community Centre and all 2012 Forum partners would like to acknowledge the generous financial contribution of our funders, for without their generous support this forum would not be possible.