Who governs the police?

Police are accountable to the public and are governed by municipal, provincial, and federal government agencies.

Most police services in Ontario are accountable to the public through the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC). The OCPC conducts investigations into the conduct of police chiefs and officers.

The police have a code of conduct, including to:

  • Act with honesty and integrity;
  • Treat people with respect;
  • Not abuse their powers and authority; and
  • Act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service.

If you feel that the police have done something wrong, you have the right to make a complaint. Find out more in, How to Complain About a Police Officer or Police Policies in Ontario.

When police officers in Ontario are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has the power to conduct investigations. The SIU decides if a criminal offence took place.

Municipal police services boards govern police services at the local level through policy, hiring, and monitoring police performance in Ontario.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is a federal police force that operates in Ontario. The RCMP is held accountable through the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC).

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Last updated: October 28, 2015 4001553