Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC is being challenged by demanding workloads amid significant resourcing difficulties.
Between April 1 and 3, 2022, inclusive, the IIO was notified of six incidents, two of which were officer-involved shootings. A high number of new investigations being commenced in a short period of time highlights the significant challenges the IIO is facing from being short staffed. Dynamic and at times, complex files such as shootings require deployment of a considerable number of IIO investigators, usually six to eight. Each team of IIO investigators is comprised of 10 investigators when there are no vacancies, and one team is on call each week.
“Currently, the IIO has only 24 investigators out of the 30 we would have if fully staffed. In recent years, we have not been successful in reaching a full staffed unit. This is attributable to our inability to offer competitive wages and restrictions in the hiring and retention processes. For example, other law enforcement agencies such as police departments offer higher base salaries, and with overtime pay, this equates to tens of thousands of dollars more than the IIO can offer per year,” states Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald.
“This effectively ties our hands in terms of what we can offer to staff who, like this past weekend, step up to get the job done. I am tremendously proud of our team for how they conduct themselves and support each other during times of high workload, but more must be done to reflect their efforts.” As excluded employees of the BC Public Service, IIO investigators are not entitled to overtime pay per the terms of their employment.
The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.