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Ontario Police Teaches Citizens How to File Police Complaints

November 2, 2009

Have you ever noticed that many people are psychologically afraid of the police although they have not committed any crime? Perhaps it’s the way law enforcement is being protrayed in the media or entertainment, or perhaps the fear is rooted in their upbringing when their parents always half-jokingly warn them to behave otherwise the police will arrest them. Whatever the cause may be, that is the kind of attitude that creates a barrier for law enforcement to build a trusting and cooperative relationship with the general public. The Ontario Police is taking an initiative to improve their relations with the general public by launching a new police complaint system.

Traditionally, a citizen is required to enter a police station to obtain a complaint application form. Once the form has been submitted, it is left in the hands of the police force to decide whether it is worthwhile to proceed with an investigation. Many citizens feel uncomfortable knowing that their complaint is left in the hands of law enforcement, which is why the  Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) have recently been launched as a third-party organization that is responsible for investigating complaints against any provincial, regional or municipal police officer in Ontario.

Any citizen wanting to file a complaint against a police officer is still required to step foot into a police station to attain an application form, but the completed form will be submitted directly to OIPRD for further evaluation. The Ontario Police receives approximately 800 types of complaints from the public, and through the new establishment of OIPRD, they are expected to receive approximately 1400 types of complaints. Among these complaints, the 3 most common categories of complaints are police misconduct, racial profiling, and abuse. Despite the increase in the number of complaints the Ontario Police is expected to receive, they are taking a proactive approach towards educating the general public regarding this new police complaint system in attempt to better understand their problems and to build a better connection with the public.

Visit https://www.oiprd.on.ca/cms/ for more details about the OIPRD.

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