Premier Doug Ford’s government is overhauling the police services act creating major changes to the special investigations unit.
Last July in the chaos on Danforth ave two Toronto police officers exchanged gunfire with Faisal Hussein who then shot and killed himself.
“For their heroism they spent 6 months, 6 months under investigation by the SIU for doing their job.” Sylie Jones, minister of community safety.
New legislation will require the SIU to complete a report within 120 days or provide a reason for delay if that timeline is not met.
Some critics say this could rush police oversight.
“I wish the whole criminal justice system worked that way, where after 120 days the police have to report the state of an investigation because it’s common place for investigations to take some time.” Michael Bryant, Canadian civil liberties association.
But police say a faster resolution brings closure to all involved.
In the Niagara region there are 9 SIU cases that have yet to close, 2 of those cases took place almost a year ago in March last year.
In Hamilton there are 7 that remain open the oldest dating back to April 3rd.
In Halton there are 2 ongoing investigations, one occurred in March last year and the SIU is still conducting interviews.
Under the old rules, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit would look into any incidents involving police that resulted in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. But Attorney General Caroline Mulroney says cases that are not criminal should be dropped. New legislation would see the SIU’s focus limited to incidents only involving police use of force.
For years police were not compelled to speak to the SIU, that changed under the Liberals who implemented a fine of up to $50 000 and jail time if officers didn’t cooperate. The PC’s have lowered that to $5000 for a first offence.