Military Police Unit Public Interest Investigation (MPCC‑2021‑012, MPCC‑2021‑017, MPCC‑2021‑026, MPCC‑2022‑001) - Homepage
Public Interest Investigation into Military Police Unit’s handling of an investigation involving one of its own members
The Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC) is conducting a Public Interest Investigation into the handling of an investigation by a Military Police Unit (MPU) into one of its own officers.
On March 10, 2021, a Military Police Officer (MPO) who appeared to be intoxicated, attempted to drive home with the MPO's children after leaving a restaurant. The MP officer put the children in the car, however bystanders believing the MPO to be intoxicated intervened and prevented the MPO from getting in the car.
The local Police soon arrived on scene. When they learned that the person involved was an MP member, the local MPU was advised and one of their members attended the scene. The local Police elected to waive jurisdiction over the incident in favour of the MPs.
Members of the MP Unit soon became concerned over the way the case was handled by the unit commander and the sergeant-major for the following reasons:
- Alterations were made to the MP investigator’s electronic investigation report without the investigator's knowledge or agreement.
- The MP Unit commander and the sergeant-major repeatedly advised the investigator that charges would not be laid regarding the incident.
- Failure to report the incident to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), who have jurisdiction to investigate offences by MPs.
- Failure to report the incident to the Office of Professional Standards of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM).
- Subordinate MP Unit members were directed to not report the incident and threatened those who did so with reprimands and/or being posted to an MP Unit in another region of the country.
On the basis of these concerns, members of the MP Unit filed interference and conduct complaints with the MPCC in late April 2021.
A further, related interference complaint was filed with the MPCC on July 15, 2021. This complaint alleges interference with a child welfare investigation which implicated the same MP officer who is the subject of the investigation of the original incident.
These complaints allege that the MP Unit’s leadership attempted to cover up the alleged misconduct of an officer of that Unit and improperly giving special treatment to the MP officer involved.
It is also alleged in the complaint that details of this incident and the way it was handled by the MP Unit have become widely known within the local law enforcement community.
The allegations in these complaints go to the very core of police values and ethics. They have the potential to undermine public confidence in the Military Police and their adherence to basic precepts of the rule of law: namely, the principle of equality before the law.
Under the default MP complaints process, the MPCC is responsible for investigating interference complaints. The CFPM deals with conduct complaints in the first instance, subject to review by MPCC.
Given the seriousness of these complaints, and the desire to address them in a timely and coherent manner, MPCC Chairperson Hilary McCormack decided on August 3, 2021, that the public interest would best be served by having the MPCC address them together and at the same time. The Chairperson has therefore invoked her discretionary authority to conduct or take over the investigation of a complaint, pursuant to section 250.38 of the National Defence Act.
Further details on the complaint are available in the Decision to Conduct a Public Interest Investigation.
On January 7, 2022, the MPCC received a further related complaint (2022‑001) from a third party also alleging that the MP Detachment leadership were "covering up" for the MPO in their handling of the MPO's conduct issues. On March 23, 2022, this complaint was designated as a Public Interest Investigation, and joined with the existing Public Interest Investigation regarding the three earlier complaints.
Updates on the progress of the investigation will be posted in the "Timeline".
For further information, please contact:Michael Tansey
Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada
|September 6, 2022||MPCC interviews concluded|
|April 20, 2022||Disclosure substantially received|
|March 23, 2022||Decision to Conduct a Public Interest Investigation|
|January 20, 2022||MPCC interview commenced|
|August 3, 2021||Decision to Conduct a Public Interest Investigation|
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