There is a growing realization in Canada that the police should not investigate themselves when they kill or seriously injure civilians. Ontario pioneered this concept when it created the Special Investigations Unit in 1990 - a completely independent body that conducts criminal investigations of police whenever they are involved in the death or serious injury of a civilian.
In an editorial from its December 15, 2008 edition, the Law Times Ontario weekly named Ontario Ombudsman André Marin as one of their top three newsmakers of 2008 for tackling "both the province’s legal aid system and the Special Investigations Unit."
Making investigative reports about police public will go a long way in improving the reputation of the Special Investigations Unit, said former North Bay Police Service chief George Berrigan.
Mr James Rosado, Senior Investigating Officer at the Office of the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman, recently returned from an Advanced Training Seminar in Toronto, Canada, run by the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman. The Advanced Investigative Training Seminar entitled "Sharpening Your Teeth" is one of if not the top training seminar of its kind in the world.
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, a civilian police watchdog, is so biased in favour of the police officers it is supposed to probe and hold to account that SIU investigators, themselves former cops, actually wear police rings attesting to their fondness for, and continuing connection and loyalty to, the men and women in blue.
The Ontario ombud's report on the Special Investigations Unit, the civilian police watchdog, makes hair-raising reading. As a former director of the SIU himself, ombud AndrÄ Marin has a certain credibility when he slams the investigative body as a "toothless tiger" that has withered and lost its way.
TORONTO - Civilian oversight of police in Ontario was yesterday portayed as "toothless," "timid" and biased in practice by the provincial ombudsman. André Marin described the Special Investigations Unit as ineffectual, and steeped in "police culture" even though it is supposed to investigate officers.
TORONTO -- The oversight of police in Ontario has hit rock bottom, says the province's Ombudsman in calling for sweeping changes to ensure that the men and women in blue are held to the same standard as every other citizen when under investigation.
The thin blue line is strangling the Special Investigations Unit, provincial Ombudsman Andre Marin said yesterday in a scathing report that says the civilian agency routinely ignores violations of its own rules and the law.
Rob Maltar didn't believe it when the province's Special Investigations Unit ruled his brother had killed himself with a police officer's gun. But he didn't know where to turn. Early last year, Maltar took the case to the Ontario Ombudsman, complaining the SIU was biased in favour of the police.