The members of the Professional Standards Unit, an Inspector, four Detective Sergeants and an administrative assistant, serve to protect both the integrity of the Niagara Regional Police Service and the reputation of the Office of Chief of Police. This mandate is met by conducting thorough and objective investigations into complaints that relate to organizational policies, services provided and/or allegations of member misconduct.

About Professional Standards and Complaints The Professional Standards Unit of the Niagara Regional Police Service is responsible for investigating public complaints, internal complaints, workplace harassment complaints, and conduct and service investigations related to incidents investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).

Public complaints are complaints made by members of the public, which generally involve a specific officer's conduct, the lack of service they received, or the policies of the Service.

Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)

  1. How to make a complaint against the police
  2. Dealing with your complaint by local resolution
  3. How to request a review

OIPRD Website

Who can make a complaint? You can make a complaint about a police officer if you:

  • Have a concern or were offended by something a police officer(s) said or did to you
  • Were a witness to an incident involving a police officer(s) that concerned or offended you
  • Are concerned or distressed as a result of the way a relative or friend has been treated by a police officer(s)
  • Are acting on behalf of an individual listed above, for example, a person who has been given written permission to make a complaint on another's behalf
  • Have a complaint that a police department has not provided proper service
  • Have a complaint about a policy of a police department

What can a person complain about?The police have a code of conduct to follow that includes:

  • To act with honesty and integrity
  • To treat people with respect
  • Not to abuse the extraordinary powers and authority police officers are granted
  • To act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service

The Niagara Regional Police Service has General Orders that guide how the members operate and conduct themselves. Complaints about policies and services of a police organization are screened by the OIPRD but are not generally investigated by the OIPRD. These complaints are sent to the appropriate police service for investigation and a final report, with oversight by the OIPRD.

How to make a complaint. There are many ways to file a complaint. The person may file their complaint in English or French:

  • With the OIPRD by fax, on our web site, in person, or by mailing in the form at the back of the booklet
  • At any municipal, regional or provincial police station in Ontario

If they require assistance in filling out this form:

  • Many local community organizations can give them assistance with filing their complaint and often provide translation services
  • They do not require a lawyer to file a complaint, but a lawyer or legal clinic may assist with the complaint

For more information, visit the OIPRD web site.

Internal complaints (or Chief's complaints, as they are referred to) must be forwarded, in writing, through the appropriate chain of command. They are then assigned to the Professional Standards Unit for investigation. Following the receipt of a public complaint or Chief's complaint, statements and duty book notes are usually requested from the involved officers. Failure to respond to a statement request may result in disciplinary action being taken against that officer.If there are any questions regarding the complaints procedure, do not hesitate to contact the Professional Standards Unit.

Additional Information Available to the Public on Public Complaints in addition to a responsibility to investigate public or internal complaints about member conduct, Investigators with the Professional Standards Unit are also entrusted to complete special investigations that may be directed by the Chief of Police.

The SIU is a civilian government agency that investigates incidents involving police officers and members of the public that have resulted in serious injury or death, or allegations of sexual assault. Their investigation determines whether police committed a criminal offence during the incident that resulted in serious injury or death, or during the interaction that caused the sexual assault allegation. In these circumstances, the Inspector in charge (or a designate) of the Professional Standards Unit fulfills the role of liaison between the Service and SIU.

Consistent with the provisions of the Police Services Act, members of the Professional Standards Unit conduct independent investigations (commonly known as "Section 11" investigations) into matters that have drawn the jurisdiction of the SIU. "Section 11" investigations are conducted for the purpose of reviewing the policies of or services provided by the police force and the conduct of its officers. Results of the "Section 11" investigation are to be shared with the Police Services Board after the results of the SIU investigation are reported to the Attorney General.

Special Investigations Unit

5090 Commerce Boulevard
Mississauga, Ontario L4W 5M4

Tel: 416-622-0748 or 1-800-787-8529
Fax: 416-622-2455

Web site: Special Investigations Unit