The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigates incidents involving Alberta's police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct. Pursuant to Section 46.1(2)(d) of the Police Act, all ASIRT investigations are assigned by the Director of Law Enforcement (DLE). ASIRT can be assigned one of the following roles by the DLE in relation to an investigation:
- The DLE can direct the head of an integrated investigative unit (i.e., ASIRT) to conduct an investigation into the incident or complaint.
- The DLE may request or direct a police service other than the one involved in the incident or complaint to conduct an investigation. The DLE may at any time direct the head of an integrated investigative unit (i.e., ASIRT) to take over the ongoing investigation.
- The DLE may request or direct that another police service (i.e., ASIRT) provide a police officer (i.e., ASIRT investigator) to assist and advise the police service investigating the incident or complaint.
ASIRT's mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta's police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.
ASIRT investigates incidents across Alberta and has jurisdiction over all municipal and provincial police officers. This represents all of Alberta's police services, including the RCMP, consisting of approximately 6,800 police officers.
ASIRT has also entered into Memorandums of Understanding with the Yukon Territories to provide independent investigative services when serious or sensitive incidents occur there, and with the Department of National Defence to investigate serious or sensitive incidents involving the Military Police in Alberta.
The Team's investigative jurisdiction is limited to incidents in which a serious injury or death has occurred, as well as serious and sensitive allegations of police misconduct. ASIRT will only investigate incidents involving police officers that meet these criteria.
The legislative framework for ASIRT is outlined in the Police Act and the Police Service Regulation. Prior to the creation of ASIRT, police agencies investigated themselves, or in some instances, other police agencies were assigned to investigate incidents. This practice raised concerns within the general public regarding the independence and objectivity of these investigations. ASIRT was created to address this issue and to increase public confidence in Alberta's police.
ASIRT has jurisdiction over all Alberta police officers, whether they are on or off duty.
What ASIRT Cannot Investigate
ASIRT's mandate is to investigate incidents resulting in serious injury or death to any person, or where there are serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct. ASIRT cannot investigate matters that do not meet these criteria. Incidents that fall outside ASIRT's mandate are the responsibility of the police service that has jurisdiction over the location where the incident occurred.