Police Watchdogs

A new body will investigate officer-related deaths or harms to see if officers have committed an offence

A representative from the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) talked about the newly-created organization at the Regional District of Mount Waddington board meeting April 21.

The (IIO) is mandated to conduct investigations into officer-related incidents of death or serious harm in order to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence.

The IIO was established in the Ministry of Justice and is under the command and direction of the Chief Civilian Director.

The Chief Civilian Director cannot ever have served as a police officer.

Ralph Krenz, senior investigator, explained IIO opened its doors in September of 2012 and has a $7 million budget funded by the provincial government.

It has 50 office staff and 32 investigators.

Krenz explained the IIO’s mandate is to ensure there is police accountability in the province.

“We basically come and take over the investigation and issue a public report or forward a report to Crown Counsel,” Krenz said.

Since 2012, the IIO has conducted 70 investigations resulting in eight charges which indicates the majority of “officers out there are doing the right thing.”