38 complaints lodged against city police officers
Thirty-eight formal complaints were lodged against members of the Fredericton Police Force last year.Under the city's quality management system, the police force has its own internal Office of Professional Standards responsible for conducting internal investigations.
In 2009, eight of the 38 formal complaints against police officers were determined to be unfounded. Five complaints were resolved through a settlement conference and four were informally resolved. Four were dismissed and 22, or 67 per cent, remain under investigation. Of the 38 complaints, 32 were generated externally and six complaints were generated internally, said the report handed to the city's public safety committee this week.
External complaints range from discourteous behaviour to excessive force. Internal complaints mostly pertain to minor disciplinary matters such as members missing court appearances.
Thirty-six of the complaints related to police conduct under the New Brunswick Police Act and 11 of the 36 complaints were initially investigated as possible criminal offences.
The number of internal investigations conducted by the Fredericton Police Force in 2009 is on par with figures for the past five years. The majority of external complaints about officers were reported to the department, while 15 per cent came through the New Brunswick Police Commission.
The police force received 24,459 calls for service and issued more than 14,071 tickets in 2009, for a total of 38,530 contacts with the public. Roughly 0.1 per cent of calls for service resulted in a complaint.
"I think the numbers speak for themselves. That's pretty low," said Coun. Mike O'Brien. The councillor is asking the police force to obtain figures from the New Brunswick Police Commission to see where Fredericton stacks up against other New Brunswick cities in terms of complaints.
Following is the link to the Daily Gleaner article posted May 06/10: