This statement briefly sets out the procedures that will be followed upon receipt of your complaint against a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service and your rights in regards process. For clarity’s sake the term “member” includes both police and dispatch members. Civilian administrative support members follow the Mohawk Council Service Complaint policy and procedures.
Police officers are expected to act with honesty and integrity and not abuse the extraordinary powers and authority they are granted. Police officers are also expected to treat people with respect and to act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service. The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Code of Conduct identifies 10 acts as potential matters for investigation and possible discipline:
- Discreditable conduct
- Neglect of duty
- Breach of confidence
- Corrupt practice
- Unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority
- Damage to (police) clothing or equipment
- Consumption of drugs or alcohol in a manner prejudicial to duty
- Conspiring, abetting or being an accessory to misconduct
You may file a complaint about a police officer if you:
- Have a concern or were offended by something a police officer(s) said or did to you and were directly affected by the incident;
- Were a witness to an incident involving a police officer(s) that concerned or offended you;
- Are acting on behalf of an individual personally known/related to you; for example, a member of an organization who has been given written permission to make a complaint on another’s behalf (this person is known as an agent);
- Have a complaint that the police service has not provided proper service;
- Have a complaint about a policy of the police service;
As you are aware, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service has jurisdiction in both Ontario and Quebec, therefore there are two different complaint processes that may apply. Therefore, the location in which the incident took place is extremely important as it will determine which process your complaint will follow and determines what process you must follow in order to file your complaint.
It is best to make your complaint within six months of the incident. Complaints received after six months may be screened out. The Chief of Police/Designate may choose to accept a complaint after the six-month period if:
- The complainant is a youth (18 and younger);
- The complainant has a disability;
- A criminal case in relation to the incident is pending or ongoing;
- It is in the public interest to deal with the complaint;
The formal complaint process is as follows:
Step 1: COMPLAINT FILED
You may attend the station in person and request a Public Compliant Form to complete by hand and submit to the Chief of Police;
You may go online to our website at www.akwesasnepolice.ca and download the “Public Complaint” form, complete and submit via email, fax or by regular mail.
Step 2: (Optional) INFORMAL RESOLUTION:
Attempts to resolve your complaint can be made informally before a full investigation is conducted by the Chief of Police/Designate. No complaint can be resolved informally unless both you and the member(s) involved are in agreement, in writing, to the resolution in the presence of the investigator/mediator. This meeting allows you to discuss the events that occurred together, in a safe environment and in the presence of a neutral mediator. This meeting requires the full cooperation of both the complaint and the officer (s) involved, either party may refuse this offer.
Step 3: INVESTIGATION AND REPORTS:
Upon receipt of your complaint and if an informal resolution has not been offered and/or reached and the Chief of Police deems your complaint valid or is of such a serious nature that it demands a full investigation, then such investigation will commence immediately.
You will receive a letter acknowledging your complaint and a report on a monthly and/or bi-monthly basis thereafter, unless the investigation of the complaint might be prejudiced by doing so.
An officer may contact you and any other person(s) you mentioned for further information and details.
If, at any time you are not satisfied with the manner in which your complaint is being handled, you may contact the Chief of Police informing him/her of your concern.
When the investigation has been completed, a final report will be sent to you, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Commission and the member(s) involved.
Step 4: DECISION OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE/DESIGNATE:
After reviewing all investigative report completed by the investigating officers, the Chief of Police or his/her designee shall recommend, in writing to the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Commission that:
- No further action is necessary, setting out the reason for his/her decision;
- The member be admonished in regards to the matter;
- The member be charged under the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service Code of Conduct;
- An information be laid against the member and refer the matter to the Crown Attorney for criminal prosecution. In which case, the file shall be transferred to an outside police agency such as the Ontario Provincial Police.
You will be advised, in writing as to the decision of the Chief of Police/Designate.
Step 5: (Optional) REVIEW BY THE AKWESASNE MOHAWK POLICE COMMISSION:
If you not satisfied with the decision, you may within thirty (30) days of notification that the investigation has been concluded or resolved, request that the Akwesasne Mohawk Police commission to review the decision. You must send this request in writing to the attention of the Police Commission Chairperson. Updates on board members and their positions may be found on our website. www.akwesasnepolice.ca
Upon receipt of your request, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Commission will review the matter and have the complaint further investigated if deemed necessary.
Upon final decision by the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Commission, you the Chief of Police/designate and the member will be advised of their finding and their reasons for such findings.
END OF PROCESS
If the incident took place within the province of Quebec involving an officer, you have two choices; you may file your complaint in the process previously stated;
You may file your complaint with the Police Commission of Quebec (Commissaire à la déontologie policière) online at: https://deontologie-policiere.gouv.qc.ca/en/le-commissaire/nos-services/deposer-une-plainte.html
You may also download the “Police Ethics Complaint” form found on their website and mail it to the Police Commission of Quebec at:
Commissaire à la déontologie policière
2535, boul. Laurier, Suite 1.06
Québec (Québec) G1V 4M3
No matter where your complaint is lodged a copy of your complaint will be sent to the Chief of Police/designate of the Akwesasne Mohawk Service for review.
The member (s) involved will also be informed of the general substance of the complaint unless to do so would prejudice the investigation.
Should your complaint be against the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief it shall be composed using our “Public Complaint” form and forwarded by mail or in person to the Chairperson of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Commission. This information may be found on our website or by calling our front desk administration at (613) 575-2340.
If at any time you have a question regarding the process, please feel free to contact our Human Resource and Training Officer Constable Kenneth (Kuy) Chaussi.