In every investigation, ASIRT strives to strike the proper balance between disclosing as much information as possible to the public and protecting witness confidentiality, guarding the rights to privacy that are protected by law, and maintaining the integrity of the investigation.
ASIRT must consider a number of investigative protocols and legislative restrictions when determining whether to release information regarding an investigation:
- Sensitivity of evidentiary information
- Balancing fair trial interests
- Confidentiality assurances
- Youth Criminal Justice Act
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
During the course of an investigation, ASIRT is limited in the amount and type of information it can release, as it must preserve the integrity of the investigation. When a charge has been laid against an officer, ASIRT must balance the public's right to know with the accused's right to an impartial trial.
ASIRT's Communication Officer and Outreach Coordinator issues news releases when the Team is deployed and at the conclusion of investigations, making key facts and outcomes public.
ASIRT has an established protocol when responding to requests for information from third parties. In the case of affected persons, the families of deceased persons and/or their representatives, and subject and witness officers, ASIRT makes every effort to thoroughly communicate its role and explain the investigative process. The objective is to establish realistic expectations of the investigation while helping individuals deal with distress caused by the incident.
At the conclusion of the investigation, an ASIRT investigator advises all parties of the Executive Director's decision, and in some cases, the Executive Director will meet with the party or parties personally to provide a debriefing of the investigation.