Mr. Ron MacDonald
Chief Civilian Director
Independent Investigations Office (IIO)
Re: Vancouver Sun Comments – September 27, 2019 - Surrey RCMP Const. Elizabeth Cucheran
Dear Mr. MacDonald,
As you may be aware, the National Police Federation (NPF) was certified in July 2019 as the sole bargaining agent to represent all members and reservists of the RCMP below the rank of Inspector. We write to you today in that capacity to express some grave concerns over your comments to the media regarding this case.
The membership of the RCMP, specifically in BC, embrace civilian oversight and appreciate the value that truly independent, unbiased, fair and transparent external investigations into police use of force can bring to ensure best practices and policy compliance. We also appreciate that independent and unbiased review and decision-making helps maintain and even improve the trust the Canadian public have in the excellent and important service our members provide daily.
However, for the Chief Civilian Director of the Independent Investigations Office to publicly disagree with a decision by Crown Counsel on a criminal matter is surprising, biased and quite simply out of line. Not unlike the Police, the mandate of the IIO is to investigate and gather evidence which it provides to Crown to make a determination on proceeding with prosecution. As a Chief of police in BC, expressing your "opinion" publicly and challenging Crown decisions impugns the integrity of your mandated independence and calls into question the ability of your office to continue being trusted to provide fair, unbiased, objective and independent oversight of the women and men of law enforcement serving the citizens of British Columbia.
We agree that this situation was tragic for all involved, including both families. To allow for your comments to go unchallenged would put the entire system of independent, fair and transparent civilian oversight into question.
We respectfully request an apology to the member involved as well as a public retraction of your statements.
Brian Sauve Eddie MacDonald Peter Merrifield
Co-Chairs of the National Police Federation
Cc: Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan, Commanding Officer BC RCMP
Cc: Tom Stamatakis, President - British Columbia Police Association.