The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) receives, investigates, and reviews complaints against municipal police.

The PCC is a five-person, non-police body appointed by the government. It is responsible for ensuring that both the public and police receive a fair and thorough investigation of a complaint against the municipal police or an investigation of a possible criminal offence by a municipal police officer.

The PCC will determine whether investigations should be conducted by:

  • the PCC itself, through its investigative arm;
  • the police service against whose member the complaint was made;
  • the police service with an outside observer; or
  • a separate police service.

If serious injury or death has occurred while a person was in police custody or as a result of a police action, the municipal police service or RCMP detachment concerned must request that the Deputy Minister of Justice appoint an investigation observer from another police service or RCMP detachment. This investigation observer will monitor the investigation and report back to the Deputy Minister of Justice.

The PCC process can take anywhere from a few weeks to 180 days, depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of witnesses.