Mandate, powers and attributions
The Commissaire à la déontologie policière receives and examines the complaints filed against police officers, wildlife protection officers, special constables, highway controllers and UPAC investigators who may have violated the Code of ethics of Québec police officers.
To be specific, the jurisdiction of the Commissaire applies to Québec police officers performing police duties in another province or territory of Canada and, according to certain modifications, to police officers of other provinces or territories authorized to perform police duties in Québec, in accordance with an authorization granted under the Police Act.
Powers and attributions
The Commissaire has a decisive mission within the police ethics system. In fact, after providing assistance to citizens to file their complaint, after a preliminary examination of the complaints, after conciliation has taken place between the parties, after the complainants' allegations have been investigated, and the evidence is considerated sufficient to cite a police officer before the Comité de déontologie policière, the Commissaire deals with over 90 % of the volume of complaints referred to the ethics system. Moreover, after a citation is issued, the Commissaire makes representations before the Comité de déontologie policière, and if an appeal is filed, before the Court of Quebec.
However, the Commissaire may not submit the case on his own. The Commissaire can only act when there is :
- a complaint from a person;
- a request for investigation from the ministre de la Sécurité publique;
- a final decision from a Canadian court declaring a police officer guilty of a criminal offence which also constitutes a breach of the Code of ethics.
The decisions of the Commissaire to close a file are rendered in writing, with reasons, at the complainant's request, and subject to a review procedure that is either internal (the Commissaire himself) or external (the Comité de déontologie policière), according to the stage of the decision.
Moreover, the Commissaire can make recommendations to remedy any detrimental situation observed or prevent its reoccurrence, and formulate observations to improve the conduct of a police officer, wildlife protection officer, special constable, highway controller or UPAC investigator.
Furthermore, if an offence appears to have been committed, the Commissaire can refer the case to the appropriate police force for a criminal investigation. Finally, when the ethics investigation has been completed, the Commissaire can also forward his file to the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales.