Conduct Case MPCC‑2018‑022 Summary

The complainant alleged that, in the course of a routine traffic stop involving his daughter, a member of the Military Police gave no consideration to a course of action other than impounding the vehicle she was driving because its registration had expired. He also alleged that this Military Police member did not give due consideration to his daughter’s well-being, did not concern himself with how she could safely return to her home, and was rude and dismissive of everything she had to say. This rude and dismissive behaviour continued when his daughter later contacted the member at the military base where he worked. Another allegation was that when the complainant contacted the military base to attempt to resolve the matter informally, he was treated rudely and dismissively by the Military Police Detachment Warrant Officer with whom he spoke.

The conduct complaint was dealt with in the first instance by the Professional Standards Branch of the Office of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) as per subsection 250.26(1) of the National Defence Act. Professional Standards found the complaint to be unsubstantiated and so the complainant referred it to the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC) for review.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the MPCC requested disclosure of all relevant Military Police file materials from the CFPM. The MPCC conducted a detailed review of the materials received from the CFPM, in order to assess whether it needed to take additional investigative steps. The MPCC determined that further investigation was necessary, including interviews of the complainant and some witnesses.

The MPCC identified two subjects of the conduct complaint. At the time the complaint was submitted they were both Military Police members, serving in the Gagetown Detachment.

The MPCC found that the Military Police member at the traffic stop had the legal authority to impound the vehicle the complainant’s daughter was driving and there was no evidence that this was done improperly. The vehicle’s registration had expired and both a provincial traffic statute and Base Orders for Canadian Forces Base Gagetown required that the vehicle be removed from the road. The MPCC also found that the complainant’s daughter was not put in an unsafe position by the Military Police, was able to return to her home safely, and was not treated in a rude and dismissive manner. It was determined that the complainant’s daughter waited for a short period of time in a well-lit area near to some Military Police members before she was given a ride home by a work colleague. The MPCC further found that the complainant was not treated in a rude and dismissive manner when he contacted the Military Police Detachment Warrant Officer. All the allegations made by the complainant, therefore, were found to be unsubstantiated.

The MPCC also made four recommendations. The first was that Military Police members become familiar with the vehicle registration procedures in their respective jurisdictions. The second was that the forms used when a vehicle is seized clearly show the legal authority under which a vehicle has been impounded. The third was that these forms also clearly indicate the location of a vehicle that has been impounded. The fourth was that Military Police members be reminded of the possibility that issues raised about the conduct of Military Police members can be resolved informally.

In response to the Commission’s Report, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal accepted the MPCC’s findings and recommendations in this matter. The CFPM also accepted one of the MPCC’s observations and partially accepted another.

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