Investigative Process

All police services in the province of Alberta are responsible for reporting to the Director of Law Enforcement (DLE) any incident that may fall under ASIRT's investigative mandate.

Section 46.1(1) of the Police Act states:

The chief of police shall as soon as practicable notify the commission and the Minister where

  1. an incident occurs involving serious injury to or the death of any person that may have resulted from the actions of a police officer, or

  2. a complaint is made alleging that
    1. serious injury to or the death of any person may have resulted from the actions of a police officer, or
    2. there is any matter of a serious or sensitive nature related to the actions of a police officer.

ASIRT does not have the authority to accept complaints about police behaviour from the general public. Public complaints must be made directly to the involved police agency. If the incident falls within the guidelines to report to the DLE, the DLE determines whether ASIRT should be assigned to investigate the file.

ASIRT's investigation commences when the DLE assigns ASIRT the responsibility to investigate the incident. During the course of the investigation, the Team is deployed to the scene (where applicable); gathers and assesses evidence; and completes a thorough, independent, and objective investigation. A final report is prepared and submitted to the Executive Director for review and decision.

The Executive Director reviews the findings of the investigation to ensure completeness and fairness. The Executive Director may forward a copy of the investigation to the office of the Crown prosecutor requesting an opinion on whether charges should be laid. After taking into consideration the complete investigative file and the Crown's opinion, the Executive Director decides whether to lay charges. Should charges be laid, it is the Executive Director who determines what criminal charges apply.

The Executive Director may also engage one or more members of the affected community to act as liaisons between ASIRT and the community. Their role is to observe, monitor, or review the ASIRT investigation to ensure independence in the investigative process and to enhance confidence in its result.

© 2016 Alberta Serious Incident Response Team. All rights reserved.