Police watchdog may lose independence

Office of Police Complaints Commission boss Stan Lowe doesn’t advocate for better police accountability.

Re: Outgoing head of B.C.’s civilian-led police watchdog asks for more support.

Former Independent Investigations Office Director Richard Rosenthal suggests B.C. abolish the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) ban on hiring people who’ve been B.C. police officers within the last five years.

The strong bond of cop culture, however, might make that a risky proposition.

Rosenthal could have made a stronger pitch for resources to overcome the appalling delays in IIO investigations, which might result from uncooperative police forensics labs.

But Rosenthal deserves credit for publicizing detailed accounts of investigations.

That contrasts with B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which releases only brief, vague information about selected cases.

This shows an obvious lack of transparency.

Unlike Rosenthal, Office of Police Complaints Commission (OPCC) boss Stan Lowe doesn’t advocate for better police accountability.

Neither do Lowe’s supporters, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the Pivot Legal Society.

That makes Rosenthal B.C.’s most prominent advocate for police accountability.

The danger is that he’ll be replaced by a police lapdog, like those who’ve run the OPCC.

 

Greg Klein, Nanaimo

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