POLICE SERVICES

Mandate of First Nation Policing Agreement

 

  1. Under Clause 4(a)(IV) the agreement provides for a First Nation to police its community with First Nation Constables supported by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP);
  2. Also under Clause 33 (c) of the Agreement provides that where a community chooses to police with First Nation Constables, supported by the OPP, the First Nation will be the employer of the First Nation Constables;
  3. It also provides that the First Nation Governments and the OPP shall jointly administer the police service;
  4. The OPP performs a variety of administrative functions in support of the community’s police service including management of pay and benefits for the First Nation Constables;
  5. The OPP uses its existing procurement arrangements to acquire necessary policing equipment for use in the First Nation;
  6. The OPP does not provide these services in the capacity of an employer;
  7. First Nation communities have not been given the authority to appoint First Nation Constables.  There is no provision for this in the Police Services Act;
  8. The Commissioner of the OPP exercises this statutory discretion independently of the Ontario First Nations Policing Agreement;
    1. The First Nations Constables are required under the authority of the Commissioner to enforce and uphold the laws of the Province of Ontario and the Criminal Code;
  9. The purpose of the appointment is to provide the First Nations Constables with the policing authority he/she requires to perform his/her employment responsibilities for the First Nation Community;
  10. An appointment as a First Nations Constable confers significant authority and responsibility to an individual;
  11. The Commissioner must be satisfied that the individual is an appropriate person to exercise this authority;
  12. Section 54 of the Police Services Act authorizes the Commissioner and/or terminate the appointment of a First Nations Constable;
  13. This decision relates to the continued suitability/need of the person to exercise the authority of a police officer;
  14. It is not a disciplinary process in which the Commissioner has a range of options to exercise;
  15. Only the First Nations Constable’s employer can impose discipline;*
  16. Before the Commissioner suspends and/or terminates an appointment he must consult with the Chief and Council of the community where the First Nations Constable is policing;
  17. The policing needs of the community will be impacted by a decision to suspend and/or terminate the appointment and the consultation process is intended to address these impacts;
  18. As the employer the community will be impacted by any decision to remove the First Nations Constable’s policing authority;
  19. A decision by the Commissioner to terminate a First Nation Constable’s appointment is not a decision to terminate his/her employment;
  20. The community, as the employer, must address employment issues;
  21. In R. v. Stephens the Ontario Court of Appeals found that the policing authority of First Nations Constable’s was not limited to the reserve territory they were appointed to police;
    1. The Court of Appeal determined that it was the Police Services Act and the Commissioner’s appointment under Section 54 that created the legal authority to act in the capacity of a police officer and the OFNPA could not have the effect of limiting the policing authority of First Nations Constables;
    2. The Supreme Court of Canada came to similar conclusion in the case of R. v. Decorte;
    3. In this decision the First Nations Constables were authorized to conduct a RIDE program off-reserve the court found that they were appointed for the Province of Ontario, they had the authority and duties of a police officer and they satisfied the definition of peace officer in the Criminal Code, their policing authority was not limited to the reserve territory they were hired to police;
  22. First Nations Constables are not subject to the disciplinary process in the Police Services Act, which is applicable to police officers in Ontario;
  23. The Professional Standards Bureau of the OPP conducts disciplinary investigations of police officers under the Police Services Act;
  24. Where the community, as the employer, undertakes a disciplinary process in regards to a First Nations Constable, it is involved in a purely employment law process;
  25. Where the behaviour of concern to the community impacts on the suitability of the continued appointment of the individual as a First Nations Constable the Professional Standards Bureau could conduct an investigation on behalf of the Commissioner pursuant to Section 54 of the Police Services Act;
  26. As part of the consultation process the results of the Professional Standards Bureau investigation could be shared with the community and used to address the issue of employment discipline.
    1. Excerpt from the Ontario First Nations Policing Program – April 20, 2009

 

*Mississauga First Nation will be notified and a consultation will take place with the local detachment management of any disciplinary action deemed necessary.

 

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Mississauga First Nation

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