The Honorable Justice Michael H. Tulloch was appointed by the Ontario Government on April 29th to lead an independent review of the three agencies that oversee police conduct in the province. Justice Tulloch grew up in Brampton and attended Central Peel Secondary School. He was appointed in 2003 as a judge with the Ontario Superior Court in the Central Western Region of Ontario. He has been a sitting judge with the Ontario Court of Appeal since 2012. He is also the first black judge named to Ontario’s highest court.
The review is being held at a time when social media is shining a bright light on police conduct in Canada and the United States. As part of the review, Justice Tulloch is collecting public input across Ontario until December. His final report and recommendations are expected in early Spring 2017.
At a public meeting at Loafers Lake Recreation Centre on October 4th, the public was given questions to discuss within groups. Questions covered Ontario’s police oversight agencies, transparency and accountability, collection of data and suggestions for recommendations.
Attendees were generally aware of the role of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). However, the Office of the Independence Police Review Director (OIPRD) and Ontario Civilian Police Commission brought blank stares. OIPRD independently reviews all public complaints about police officers in Ontario, while the Ontario Civilian Police Commission conducts hearings related to police disciplinary decisions.
One common complaint from the public was that SIU should not hire former police officers to conduct investigations. There was general discontent in having police officers policing themselves.
Justice Tulloch pointed out that even though he was chosen by the government to lead the Police Oversight Review, it is completely independent of the government.