Some things just need to be said...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Coleman playing tough again

The number one story on CKNW today was the BC Police Complaint Commissioner's report on the City of Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the unexpected downplaying of the commisioner's call for an independent audit by BC's Solicitor General, Rich Coleman.

BC's Police Complaint Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld released his report today, highly critical of the VPD. The Commissioner states that the VPD and the Chief of Police ignored or refused to cooperate with an RCMP investigation into complaints against the VPD.

Ryneveld goes onto say this is not the only such case his office has run into an uncooperative response from the VPD. The Commissioner has called on BC solicitor-general to order an independent audit of the department's compliance with the complaint process.

Rich Coleman, a former member of the RCMP dismissed Ryneveld's key recommendation for an independent audit of the department's compliance with the complaint process, telling CBC his department has people doing this work and sees no need to audit the VPD.

The top cop in BC has told the Independent watchdog that his advice is not worth much. It seems to me that when you have someone that is there to oversee the Police complaint process, the number one watchdog of the police saying we need an audit, the solicitor-general ought to listen and heed his advice.

Not Coleman, like the complaints that got this all started, Vancouver Police Chief wrote them off before the investigation started, our top cop has done the same with BC's Police Complaint Commissioner's report.

I hope he had the courtesy to tell the Commissioner he was whitewashing his report before he did it in the media.

The recommendations are on page 30 of the report, here is the first recommendation, tossed aside by the Liberal government's top cop...


1. That the Director of Police Services of the Ministry of the Solicitor General and Public Safety, appoint a retired Judge or Justice, or other highly-regarded professional who is familiar with policing issues to preside over an independent and comprehensive audit of the Vancouver Police Department’s handling of Police Act complaints, including external complaints.

Such audit should address all aspects of the VPD’s processing of public complaints against their members, including the diligence and resources committed to such investigations, the VPD’s compliance with Police Act requirements, the role of the Vancouver Police Union in the complaints process and compliance by members with the duty to account. Furthermore, the audit should not be limited to the practices of the Internal Investigation Section, but should encompass the management practices of the Chief Constable in supervising, managing and ensuring a proper internal investigation process.

The audit in question would also helpfully examine various service or policy issues including the propriety of use of the VPD breaching policy; use of force; seizure of property, provision of Charter rights; use of police notebooks and especially all police officers’ duty to account.

When is the Legislature sitting again? Right not until September some time, lucky for Coleman.

CBC on report

CKNW News reports today ...
OPCC - Police Board
Stamatakis on Ryneveld
Cooperation from VPD needed in complaint process

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