Calgary, AB,

Calgary Police Service Statement on Arkinstall Inquiry Report

The Law Enforcement Review Board of Alberta today released its Arkinstall Inquiry Report, which outlines the board’s findings on how the Calgary Police Service addressed allegations, since disproved, that two officers assaulted a man during an arrest in 2008 and then provided false testimony during the subsequent trial.

The review found there was no evidence of a deliberate attempt to avoid, impede, frustrate or interfere with the disciplinary process. The subsequent report, however, identifies numerous ways that the Service failed to properly investigate and address these allegations when they were raised in 2011. While this was not intentional, we clearly fell short of the public’s expectations of us with how we investigated and addressed our members’ conduct in this case. This was a failure of the Service as a whole, and for that, we are sorry.

Accountability is one of our core values and we know that a thorough and transparent process for addressing citizen complaints is critical to maintaining public trust. The Service takes the findings of the Arkinstall Inquiry very seriously and accepts all the recommendations made by the Law Enforcement Review Board of Alberta relating to the Calgary Police Service.

The Service has already taken many steps to improve the policies and procedures that led to the mishandling of the investigation into the Arkinstall case. However, there is still work to be done and we are committed to continuing this work until all the issues identified in this report are addressed.

To date, the Service has done the following to already address some of the concerns raised in the Arkinstall Inquiry Report:

  • The policies and procedures for administrative reviews have been reviewed and updated to create more rigor around documentation, note-taking and chain of command. The Service is also creating policy for when these reviews are, and are not, appropriate.
  • The policy around 46.1 notifications has been clarified to ensure the province is being notified of sensitive matters whether there is a complaint or not.
  • The processes around initiating Service investigations are being reviewed. More clarity is being added around what constitutes a “complaint” under the Police Act and what the Service will do when a court or Crown Prosecutor expresses concerns about officer conduct.
  • The Service has re-written the online information provided to explain the complaints process in clear, easy-to-understand terms. Annual reports are also published to improve transparency.
  • The Service is working closely with other agencies and the province to reform the Police Act to provide stronger oversight and a more effective process for investigations into police conduct.

The Calgary Police is closely reviewing the other recommendations in the report and will be working to address the issues raised in each one and will be reporting progress to the Calgary Police Commission.