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Professional Standards Investigations

The Professional Standards Section of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) is responsible for addressing public and internal concerns and complaints about the conduct of police officers, the policies of CPS or the service provided by CPS. Internal human resource complaints are not typically investigated by this section except in rare instances.

Investigation Process

A professional standards file can be opened in five different ways:
  • A citizen contacts the Professional Standards Section with a concern
  • A citizen files a formal complaint they may want investigated
  • The Chief Constable or his designate orders an investigation
  • A person makes criminal allegations against an officer
  • An incident occurs that requires a review to determine if any further action is required
Citizens that contact us with a concern or complaint first speak with an intake investigator who will gather more information on the incident, explain the police officer’s actions if possible, and ask the citizen how they would like the incident to be resolved.
The intake investigators are able to resolve many of the concerns at this stage, typically through an explanation of police procedures, through an informal conversation between involved parties, or through the officer’s supervisor addressing the concern. These informal resolutions allow for citizens to learn about police processes and provide officers with feedback on their performance.
If the intake investigator determines that something meets the complaint criteria under the Police Act and it cannot be resolved informally, then it is formally investigated.
Formal investigations have statutory procedures and processes that we are legally required to follow. They end with the Chief Constable determining whether the conduct of the officer(s) was appropriate, or if further action is required. The further action can include a Professional Conduct Hearing (commonly known as a disciplinary hearing) or any of the lesser forms of discipline allowed under the Police Act.
In all formal investigations, the Professional Standard Section investigates officer conduct to determine if any misconduct occurred under the Police Act, Police Service Regulation or any provincial or federal statute. Complaints outside of this mandate are handled informally as a Citizen Contact.
Cases where police actions have resulted in serious injury or death, as well as any serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct, are turned over to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) for an independent investigation.