The investigation is an exceptional provision. The decision to hold an investigation falls under the responsibility of the Commissaire :
- when he considers a complaint to be of public interest;
- when the ministre de la Sécurité publique requests it;
- when conciliation fails.
A complaint is of public interest when, for example, it involves :
- death or serious injuries inflicted to a person;
- a situation in which the public’s confidence could be seriously compromised;
- a criminal or a repeat offence.
According to law, everyone must cooperate in the investigation of the Commissaire, except the police officer, the wildlife protection officer, the special constable, the highway controller or the UPAC investigator who is the subject of the complaint.
The investigator has 6 months to submit his report. This period may be extended by the Commissaire due to exceptional circumstances.
At the end of an investigation, the Commissaire may decide to :
- propose conciliation to the parties;
- cite the police officer, the wildlife protection officer, the special constable the highway controller or the UPAC investigator to appear before the Comité de déontologie policière when he considers that the evidence warrants it;
- dismiss the complaint.
In addition, the Commissaire can submit the investigative file to the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales.
However, at the end of an investigation into a complaint involving the conduct of a police officer from another province or territory of Canada, the Commissaire sends his report to the authority that would normally deal with the complaint in the police officer's home province or territory and to the authorizing official in charge of this police officer's file. Once the report has been sent, the Commissaire no longer has jurisdiction over this complaint.
Decision to dismiss the complaint
The Commissaire may dismiss the complaint if he feels there is insufficient evidence to cite a police officer to appear before the Comité de déontologie policière.
In this case, the complainant receives a written decision from the Commissaire explaining why the complaint was dismissed, along with a summary of the investigative report. The Commissaire notifies the complainant of his or her right to have the decision reviewed by the Comité. The complainant then has 30 days to submit an application for review to the Comité. When the Commissaire continue his investigation, conduct another investigation, or cite the police officer, the wildlife protection officer, the special constable, the highway controller or the UPAC investigator.