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Professional Standards Section

Compliment an Employee of the Abbotsford Police Department

If you've recently observed an employee of the Abbotsford Police Department going that extra kilometer, we'd like to hear from you! We're extremely proud of not only our Department, but also of our members and civilian staff. Your comments are appreciated. You can send comments via e-mail to pss@abbypd.ca or by telephone to 604.864.4871.  If you are sending an e-mail or leaving a voice mail message please leave your contact information. We'll be in touch and make sure that the deed does not go unacknowledged.

Overview of Police Act Authority

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) has civilian oversight authority of the British Columbia Police Act for complaints against municipal police officers. The Police Complaint Commissioner is an independent officer of the provincial legislature, with an office in Victoria. The Police Act gives the Police Complaint Commissioner extensive authority and powers related to complaints against municipal police officers.

Accountability for Police Act Complaints

Complaints are coordinated for investigation between the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and the Office of the Chief Constable. The Chief Constable or his delegate is the 'Discipline Authority' for municipal police departments. In accordance with the Police Act, the Police Complaint Commissioner has final authority over all police complaint investigations.

In most cases complaints are assigned to the host agency Professional Standards Section or, in some instances, the investigations will be directed to other police agencies. Police Complaint Commission staff monitor police complaint investigations concurrently through access to the investigative file and regular updates.

Once an investigation is completed, the file is submitted to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. Findings arrived at by the Discipline Authority must be supported in writing. Investigative reports are disclosed to the complainant and to the subject police officers. The investigative reports and findings are thoroughly examined and critically assessed by Police Complaint Commission staff. If any shortcomings are detected in the investigations, or with the findings, the Police Complaint Commissioner may direct a number of steps including: further investigation, order the matter to be re-investigated by another agency, order an independent review by an adjudicator with full authority, or direct the matter to a Public Hearing. As such, municipal police officers are held to the highest accountability by the Police Complaint Commissioner in complaint investigations.

The Professional Standards Section

The Professional Standards Section is an independent section within each municipal police department, established to investigate allegations of police misconduct. It is staffed by experienced officers and civilian support staff with specialized training in the handling of citizen issues, complaints and police discipline. Professional Standards Investigators conduct Police Act investigations with objectivity, fairness and openness.

Other duties and responsibilities of Professional Standards staff include:

  • Managing all aspects of Registered Complaints, Ordered Investigations or Questions and Concerns, in compliance with the Police Act
  • Reporting to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
  • Researching and reporting on police disciplinary issues
  • Producing statistics on Police Act complaints for Risk Management
  • Conducting risk management related to disciplinary trends and issues
  • Providing Police Act training to staff

Confidentiality of Police Act Investigations

Participation in Police Act investigations by all persons is protected by the confidentiality provision of the Police Act.

Contact the Professional Standards Section

It is anticipated that in the course of thousands of contacts made annually between citizens and members of the Abbotsford Police Department, some meetings may be unsatisfactory. Often, complaint resolution or mediation can address issues and lead to a satisfactory resolution. At other times, the Registered Complaint  process should be initiated to thoroughly investigate the allegations and determine the appropriate findings in accordance with the Police Act. The Abbotsford Police Department Professional Standards Section can assist you with complaint resolution, mediation and investigation of complaints related to Abbotsford Police Department officers.

Alternatively, a member of the public may wish to submit a Question or Concern regarding the conduct of a member, which process does not result in the making and registration of a Registered Complaint.  There is a separate Question and Concern form which may be completed and forwarded to the Abbotsford Police Department or the OPCC.

In addition, complaints about the policies or overall services of the Abbotsford Police Department are known as “Service or Policy Complaints” and are the responsibility of the Abbotsford Police Board.  The Board must notify the OPCC and the Complainant of how the complaint is handled, including any remedial measures taken.  The Professional Standards Section contact information is:

Phone: 604-864-4871
E-mail: pss@abbypd.ca

Make a Registered Complaint,  a Service & Policy Complaint or a Question & Concern submission:

Assistance with Registered Complaints, Service & Policy Complaints or Questions & Concerns  concerning police officers or the Police Department, can be obtained by contacting any on-duty Abbotsford Police Department Professional Standards Investigator. Assistance can also be obtained through contact with the on-duty patrol supervisor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The process for making a Registered Complaint, a Service & Policy Complaint or a Question & Concern is:

  1. Complete a “Complaint Form” to submit a Registered Complaint or a Service & Policy Complaint, marking the appropriate box as to the type of complaint you wish to make; or
  2. Complete a “Record of Question or Concern from the Public” form ; and
  3. Send the completed form via e-mail to pss@abbypd.ca, by mail, or personal delivery to: Abbotsford Police Department, 2838 Justice Way, Abbotsford, BC, V2T 3P5 (or to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner by email: info@opcc.bc.ca or by Fax:  250.356.6503; Tel: 1.877.999.8707).

For further information see the Interactive Complaint Process on the website of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPPC) at www.opcc.bc.ca.

Additional Resources

 

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