Facts and complaint
A civilian and his wife were driving on National Defence property one evening after dark when a military police member stopped them for speeding. The military police member then called a second member to the scene as a witness to the incident. In his complaint regarding the conduct of the subject members, the complainant alleged that the first subject member did not identify himself or produce any identification, that the member concealed his identity using a combination of darkness and vehicle headlights, that he called a second person who was not identified to the couple onto the scene, and that he was rude, confrontational, used abusive language and attempted to intimidate the complainant and his spouse.
Decision of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal
The Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards investigation report did not support the allegations that the subject member had not identified himself, had attempted to conceal his identity and had introduced a second unidentified person on the scene. The investigator found that the subject member had provided his name, that the vehicles were marked and both members were dressed in accordance with established standards. Proper procedure, in accordance with Military Police Policies and Technical Procedures, had been followed throughout the vehicle stop.
With regards to the allegation that the subject member had been confrontational and used abusive language, the Professional Standards investigation found that the subject member may have been somewhat confrontational at the outset of the incident. However, the allegation regarding the attempted intimidation was not supported and the Professional Standards report found that what the complainant may have perceived as intimidation was, in fact, a concern for the safety of the complainant, his spouse and the military police members. Refresher training for the two military police members was directed.
The complainant, however, was not satisfied with the disposition of the matter and asked the Complaints Commission to review the file.
Findings and Recommendations of the Complaints Commission
The Commission Member generally agreed with the Professional Standards investigation findings that proper procedures had been followed in accordance with military police procedures and best police practices. The couple exited their vehicle on two occasions and both times the subject member requested that they return to the car. This is in accordance with procedure, which emphasizes that for the safety of all concerned, individuals should remain in their vehicle. The policy applies as well to procedures regarding the operation of a patrol vehicle's lights and emergency signals and the positioning of the subject members in order to have a clear view of the vehicle and its passengers.
The Commission Member agreed with the Professional Standards finding that a number of the complainant's allegations were due to the complainant not being familiar with police procedures. As well, the Commission Member noted that other problems with the conduct of the military police members were identified during the investigation and these were contained in a second report, which was not sent to the complainant. He found that had the complainant received a copy of the second report it would have provided assurance that his complaint had been thoroughly investigated and that appropriate action had been taken.
Reply of the Complaints Commission following the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal Notice of Action
The Commission Member noted that the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal accepted the findings of the Complaints Commission and had acted upon the recommendations. The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal agreed to forward all relevant information to complainants in future so that they may be satisfied that their allegations have been thoroughly examined.
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