Who governs the police?

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

All police services in Ontario are accountable to the public through the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD). The OIPRD is an independent agency that oversees complaints and investigates the conducts, services and policies 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.

Ontario Association of 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: February 26, 2024 4001553