Investigations


Overview

The Police Commission encourages early resolution of conduct complaints. As a first step, it urges the parties to resolve the complaint informally. If they cannot resolve the complaint through informal resolution, an investigation will be needed.

Once you file a complaint, the Commission confirms that it is a complaint about a police officer’s conduct. In most cases, the Commission then sends the complaint to the chief of the proper police force for processing.  The chief of police may dismiss a conduct complaint, in whole or in part if, in the opinion of the chief of police, the complaint or part of the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith.

The Commission sends complaints about a chief or deputy chief of police to the proper civic authority for processing.

A complaint may relate to a matter that demands protection of the public interest.  In those cases, the Police Commission can:

  • Investigate the complaint itself.
  • Order the chief of police to conduct an independent investigation.

Early Resolution

The chief of police can try to resolve the conduct complaint informally. In doing so, the chief shall give you and the police officer notice in writing of the decision to try to resolve the complaint informally. If the chief of police resolves the complaint, you and the Police Commission receive written notice of the results of the informal resolution. When you receive the notice, you have fourteen days to ask the Police Commission to review of the results.

Investigation

A chief of police shall proceed with an investigation into a conduct complaint if

(a) the chief of police and the police officer fail to achieve consensus on an informal resolution,
(b) the chief of police determines that an attempt to resolve the complaint informally is inappropriate, or
(c) the Commission orders an investigation.

Settlement Conference

If the chief of police decides that there is evidence the police officer committed a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct, the chief can hold a settlement conference.

As the complainant, you can attend the settlement conference and make representations. You can bring a support person; but the support person may not make representations on your behalf without the consent of the parties. 

At the settlement conference, the officer can respond to the alleged breach of the Code of Professional Conduct. It is a chance for the officer to come to agreement with the chief, civic authority, or the Commission about corrective and disciplinary measures. The purpose of the measures is to correct and educate the officer.

If the chief of police and the officer do not come to an agreement, or an agreement is not reached in a reasonable period of time, the chief of police will give the officer notice of an arbitration hearing.

Investigator Appointment

If the chief of police does not settle your complaint, the chief can appoint an investigator from within her/his police force, another police force, or the Police Commission’s list of investigators. The Chief will give written notice of the decision to begin an investigation, to you, the police officer, and the Police Commission


Investigator List

The Police Commission keeps a list of persons, who are willing to work as complaint investigators, under the Police Act. These individuals are skilled in investigative practices and procedures. Our list includes former chiefs of police, retired municipal and regional police officers, retired RCMP officers, and individuals who have experience in related fields. The Police Commission trusts in their knowledge and experience. We are confident that their ability and experience result in quality investigations and conclusions.


Duties of Investigator

The investigator can question witnesses, take statements, and gather any required documents and objects. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator provides the chief of police with a full report on the investigation.


Frequently Asked Questions

A. The reasons for appointing an investigator to investigate your complaint are:

  1. The chief of police and the officer did not agree on an informal resolution of your complaint.
  2. The Police Commission ordered an investigation into your complaint.

 

A. The chief of police can appoint:

  • An investigator from within the police force that s/he commands,
  • A member of another municipal or regional police force in New Brunswick, or
  • An investigator from the Police Commission’s list of investigators.

A. The Police Commission keeps a list of persons, who are willing to work as complaint investigators, under the Police Act.  These individuals are skilled in investigative practices and procedures.

Our list includes former chiefs of police, retired municipal and regional police officers, retired RCMP officers, and individuals who have experience in related fields.

The Police Commission trusts in their knowledge and experience. We are confident that their ability and experience result in quality investigations and conclusions.

A. Advise the Police Commission of your concerns. If the Commission agrees, it will order a new investigation.

A. The chief of police reviews the investigation report. If the investigation shows there was not sufficient evidence that the officer committed a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct, the chief will take no further action. If there was sufficient evidence the officer committed a breach of the Code, your complaint proceeds to a settlement conference

A.  A settlement conference is a meeting with an officer accused of breaching the Code of Professional Conduct. It gives the officer the chance to respond to the alleged breach. At the meeting, the officer and the chief of police, civic authority, or the Police Commission can agree on corrective and disciplinary measures. The purpose of the measures is to correct and educate the officer.

 

A. The police officer accused of breaching the Code of Professional Conduct and the chief of police, civic authority or the Police Commission. The police officer may choose to attend the settlement conference with a representative.  As the complainant, you can attend the settlement conference and make representations. You can bring a support person; but the support person may not make representations on your behalf without the consent of the parties.

A. The chief of police and the officer can agree to any of the following corrective and disciplinary measures:

  •  a verbal reprimand,
  •  a written reprimand,
  •  a direction to undertake professional counseling or a treatment program,
  •  a direction to undertake special training or retraining,
  •  a direction to work under close supervision,
  •  a suspension without pay for a specified period,
  • a reduction in rank; or 
  • dismissal.    

As a corrective and disciplinary measure, the chief of police could issue an apology or change a Force policy to prevent a repeat of the breach of the Code of Professional Conduct.

A. The chief of police will give the officer a notice of an arbitration hearing

A. The chief of police gives the officer notice of an arbitration hearing.

A. The chief of police gives you a copy of the settlement letter.

A. Within fourteen days of receiving the settlement letter, you can ask the Police Commission to review the settlement. Within thirty days, the Police Commission will either confirm or cancel the settlement. If the settlement is cancelled, the Police Commission will propose a settlement to the chief of police or will give notice of an arbitration hearing.