Report Calls on Province to Move to Police Body Cameras
Prince George, B.C.- The Special Committee that has been reviewing the Independent Investigations Office has made 7 recommendations to improve the operations.
Among the recommendations is a call for the Province to “aggressively pursue the steps necessary to implement the police use of body worn cameras.” The Committee says moving in this direction would be of great assistance to the police and the IIO should the Independent Investigations Office be called to examine an incident.
The other 6 recommendations focus on the make up and function of the IIO, calling for continued support towards the IIO being a civilian run office, although the report admits it will take longer to achieve that goal than first thought.
The committee also recommends that in “exceptional cases” the Chief Civilian Director have the discretion to appoint investigators who were former police officers in B.C. or other jurisdictions within the past five years in order to provide special expertise and that if such an appointment is made, that the Ministry of Justice be notified and given justification for such an appointment. As it stands now, investigators must have been out of the law enforcement business for at least 5 years if they want to join the IIO in order to reduce the possibility of police investigating police.
There are two recommendations dealing with human resources practices at the IIO following reports of tensions between administration and investigators. The first calls for the Ministry of Justice to ” continue to closely review human resources practices at the IIO in order to ensure the effectiveness of its operations and compositional mandate”. The second calls on the Ministry of Justice to publicly report within a year on actions that have been taken to address the human resources issues at the IIO.