What’s behind
Chief Jim Chu’s proposal?

An expanded IIO could improve police accountability
or do the opposite, depending on what happens
with the OPCC

Oct. 6, 2010


On the surface, today’s statement from VPD chief Jim Chu makes two perfectly sound points: Civilian investigation of police will improve public confidence in police, and B.C.’s new civilian investigation agency (the proposed Independent Investigation Office) should look into all complaints against police, not only those involving death or serious injury.

Then Chu says these expanded responsibilities will make B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner unnecessary.

Great proposal, on the surface. But what’s to become of the OPCC and its staff? Will Stan Lowe and his crew of ex-cops simply take over the new IIO, with its expanded responsibilities?

Following his inquiry into Robert Dziekanski’s death, Thomas Braidwood recommended the province create this new civilian investigation agency and emphasized it should answer to the provincial Ombudsperson. But the BC Liberals responded that they might instead put the agency under OPCC jurisdiction. That would completely thwart Braidwood’s intention because the OPCC is much too close to the police and it answers to absolutely no one.

Chu’s proposal, if implemented, could give the impression the OPCC is being scrapped, when in fact it’s being given a new name and greater opportunities to excuse, rationalize or cover up for police misconduct.

Lowe and his crew have proven themselves unsuitable for any aspect of police oversight. They should be fired and the IIO built from scratch.

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