B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office (IIO) will be truly independent, contrary to Greg Klein’s assertions (Police will continue to investigate themselves, Tuesday, May 31 Tribune Viewpoints).
This is the opinion of Justice Thomas Braidwood, who said himself, “I encourage the people of British Columbia to support this legislation. It certainly conforms to my recommendations.”
In fact, my ministry worked with Justice Braidwood to ensure our IIO would be civilian led, monitored and reviewed.
Our approach will end the practice of police investigating police for an even greater range of serious incidents than he originally proposed.
Headed by a civilian director who has never been a police officer, the IIO will report to the Attorney General, as recommended by Justice Braidwood.
The IIO’s work itself will be subject to two more layers of civilian oversight. The director will be able to appoint a “civilian monitor,” a person of standing in the community who can monitor the integrity of an IIO investigation.
I believe other provinces will follow suit in adding this extra oversight to their models.
As well, in four years, an all-party legislative committee will review the IIO’s administration and operations — particularly its progress toward developing a fully civilian team of investigators.
To be clear, the IIO does not report to the police complaints commissioner.
This independent officer of the legislature’s role is simply to review any performance-of-duty or conduct complaints against IIO investigators should they arise.
The civilian monitor and committee go beyond Braidwood’s recommendations, leaving B.C. with the most independent, accountable civilian model in Canada.
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General