TORONTO, April 6, 2017 /CNW/ - The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) would like to thank Justice Tulloch for his thorough review of Ontario's police oversight system.
The report's publication culminates the process begun by the Government of Ontario on April 29, 2016 to conduct an independent review of police oversight bodies in the province. The review process, led by Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Michael H. Tulloch, incorporated 130 private meetings, 17 public consultations and included more than 1,500 individuals across Ontario.
The PAO provided a number of recommendations to Justice Tulloch based on the experiences and knowledge of front line officers.
"Justice Tulloch's report confirms what police officers have known for a long time: Ontario has a rigorous police accountability system in place. No other jurisdiction in North America has more oversight than Ontario does, and we are pleased that we do – as it protects both the public and police officers." said Bruce Chapman, President of the PAO. "The PAO is committed to working with the Ontario Government as it considers the implementation of Justice Tulloch's recommendations in a fair manner."
Over the past two years, The PAO has worked with the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to modernize the Police Services Act. The PAO looks forward to continuing this work in order to ensure that police officers have all of the tools we need to maintain our safe communities.
"A complaint or investigation against a police officer is a serious matter. Ensuring the oversight process is fair and effective is essential to maintaining community safety," said Bruce Chapman. "The PAO and its members support a strong, effective system for police oversight in Ontario. But the system must continue to treat police officers fairly throughout the course of a complaint."
Even when actions of the police officers are found to be justified by the oversight bodies, the months and years of investigation leading up to that conclusion, and media coverage associated with it can be very stressful for the families of the person involved in an incident as well as the police officer. The PAO is pleased that the report adopts several of our recommendations when it comes to improving the investigation timelines and transparency.
Ontario's police officers put their lives on the line facing challenging circumstances every day. A fair, transparent and efficient accountability structure helps to keep both the public and their police officers safe.
About the Police Association of Ontario
The Police Association of Ontario (PAO) is the official voice and representative body for Ontario's front-line police personnel, and provides representation, resource and support for 53 police associations. PAO's membership is comprised of over 18,000 police and civilian members.
SOURCE Police Association of Ontario
For further information: Bruce Chapman, PAO President, Bruce.Chapman@pao.ca, 905-599-4813; Stephen Reid, PAO Executive Director, Stephen.Reid@pao.ca, 416-435-4455