EDMONTON — The Alberta government has passed new legislation designed to reduce the number of complaints against police officers. The changes, which include new restrictions on who can launch a complaint, more powers to dismiss frivolous complaints and provisions to shorten appeals, are Unacceptable.
“The Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association is particularly upset by a change that will stop “third parties” from making complaints. Only people directly affected by an officer’s behaviour, their loved ones or witnesses would be allowed to make submissions under the proposed rules. Association member Tom Engel, who has been an outspoken critic of the Edmonton Police Service in recent years, says the rule change will make it virtually impossible for his organization to pursue complaints against misbehaving officers on behalf of people unable or unwilling to step forward on their own. He gave the example of the case of homeless people who were picked up in a police van on Whyte Avenue and dropped off in the north end of the city.
Another contentious part of the legislation says that in cases involving “non-serious” incidents, the police chief’s decision will be considered final. Currently, such decisions can be appealed to the Law Enforcement Review Board. Taking away that appeal avenue is unfair to both complainants and officers and will allow chiefs to keep case details under wraps simply by declaring a case minor, Engel said.
Other proposed changes include:
— Provisions to allow the review board to get through appeals faster, including holding fewer trial-like oral hearings;
— Greater powers for cases to be dismissed when the complainant declines to participate in hearings or misbehaves; and
— Allowing alternative dispute resolutions in appropriate cases; and
— Giving some complainants a longer timeline to make their submission.
The new legislation falls short of the Edmonton Police Association’s call for all police complaints to be handled by a civilian oversight body. “
You know I get a kick out of those lying spin doctors, police officers, bad cops, union representatives, police lovers, bad PERSONS who STILL DO say that ALL OF bad people, INCLUDING the ALCOHOLICS, the bad cops and their bad supervisors too they can always be rehabilitated, retrained.. and how many millions of them now has this happened to them.. almost none.. a bad apple tends to get worse.. The RCMP maximum 10 days punishment is always absurd, permanent dismissal is what is always needed with the bad cops and their clearly bad superiors who had managed and hired them too.. Bad solicitor generals and bad Justice Ministers, bad Premiers, bad Prime Ministers as well should all be fired ASAP.