Conduct Case MPCC‑2017‑013 Summary

This conduct complaint relates to the disclosure of Military Police (MP) information to a provincial child protection agency. The facts of the complaint stem from a 911 response to the complainant's residence, located in a military housing unit on a Canadian Forces Base. At the time of the incident, the complainant was the spouse of a Canadian Armed Forces member and the parent of three children, all of whom reside with her.

MP members responding to the emergency call found the complainant in a semi-conscious state attributed to an overdose of drugs and/or prescription medication. The complainant was transported by ambulance to the nearest civilian hospital for emergency treatment.

On the evening of the incident, one of the MP members involved in the intervention contacted the provincial child protection agency to report a possible case of parental neglect. The report was accepted and two days later, a Director of Youth Protection (DYP) caseworker contacted the MP detachment on base to obtain information about previous MP interventions at the complainant's home. The MP member who responded to the call from the DYP caseworker is the subject of the complaint; he is the Master Corporal in charge of the investigation section of the local MP detachment.

The complainant alleges that the subject of the complaint improperly shared inaccurate information with the DYP caseworker.

The conduct complaint was dealt with in the first instance by the Office of Professional Standards (PS) of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), pursuant to subsection 250.26(1) of the National Defence Act. The Office of PS concluded that the complaint was unfounded. Therefore, the complainant referred the complaint to the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) for review.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the MPCC requested from the CFPM all relevant documents from the MP file. After a detailed review of the evidence on file, the MPCC concluded that the sole allegation was partially substantiated.

The MPCC found that the information provided by the subject of the complaint to the DYP caseworker was inaccurate with respect to the number of MP interventions at the complainant's residence. The exact number of interventions was in fact higher than what had been communicated. However, the MPCC found that the conduct of the subject of the complaint on this particular aspect of the allegation did not constitute misconduct, but rather an error in the compilation of the data accessed from the computer databases.

With respect to the disclosure of MP information to a third party more generally, the MPCC found that the subject of the complaint was not authorized to disclose MP information directly to the DYP caseworker by virtue of, among other things, the MP order applicable to that situation. For this type of request from an external agency at the local detachment level, the Deputy Provost Marshal Police and Security, Access to Information and Privacy Section, located at the Canadian Forces Military Police Group headquarters in Ottawa, is the only authority authorized to disclose MP information. The MPCC also made an observation that the subject of the complaint failed to take personal notes about the telephone conversation with the caseworker.

The MPCC recommended that the CFPM implement a specific disclosure procedure for child protection agencies, including more timely access when warranted.

In response to the MPCC report, the CFPM accepted the MPCC's finding and recommendation. The CFPM also noted the MPCC's observation in this case.

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