Interference Case MPCC‑2011‑011, MPCC‑2011‑013, MPCC‑2011‑018, MPCC‑2011‑021 Summary

This report deals with allegations of interference in respect of four separate military police (MP) investigations in which the same complainant MP was directly involved.

The complainant MP alleged that various members of his MP chain of command improperly interfered in four of his investigations (two domestic violence incidents in on–base housing and two off-base suspected impaired drivers) by: calling him into a meeting after his shift was over; challenging his actions; accusing him of violating suspects’ rights by exceeding his jurisdiction; and imposing a remedial measure (recorded warning) on him.

The Commission’s investigation revealed that all the perceived acts of interference were, in fact, legitimate supervisory guidance from the complainant’s MP superiors. While the Commission recognizes the importance of MP independence in the exercise of policing discretion, it also recognizes that MP superiors have a right, and a duty, to supervise and control that discretion.

Absent bad faith or an improper purpose, MP supervisory intervention does not constitute improper interference. It is not enough for the supervisor to be wrong on a question of law or policy.

In this case, the MP chain of command concerns with the complainant’s actions in the four investigations in question were found to be genuine and reasonable and, as such, the complaints could not be substantiated.

There was a noted lack of supervisory input recorded on the MP investigation files. In the course of the investigation, it was determined that this was at least partially due to a practice on the part of the main subject of the complaints of sending separate emails which were not put in the MP investigation file. As a result, the Commission has recommended that the CF Provost Marshal ensure that the need for transparency through the recording of substantive supervisory direction is adequately emphasized to MP supervisors.

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