Led by the Director, the SIU consists of over 80 members who bring with them a wide breadth of knowledge and experience in both investigative and support roles.
The SIU is supported by a Deputy Director, an Executive Officer, Business Operations Manager, Affected Persons Manager, Communications Coordinator, Outreach Coordinator, Training Coordinator, lawyers and an administrative staff composed of transcribers, central registry clerk, budget and inventory clerks, information technology analyst and administrative assistants.
The SIU’s civilian investigators are central to the work of the Unit. In compliance with Ontario’s Police Services Act and internal operating procedures, investigators conduct independent investigations into incidents under the SIU’s mandate.
The SIU has a complement of 15 lead investigators who are stationed at the SIU’s headquarters in Mississauga. Lead investigators have the largest impact on investigations. They are responsible for interviewing the key witnesses, developing and executing the investigative plan, and preparing the investigation report for the Director. Of the 13 lead investigators currently employed by the SIU (two spots are vacant at the moment), 12 have never worked as police officers in Ontario. Rather, their backgrounds include work with such organizations as:
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
- Ontario Ministry of Labour
- Canada Post
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
- Ministry of the Attorney General
- University campus security
- Canadian immigration
In addition to the lead investigators, the SIU currently has a roster of 24 as-required investigators who are based throughout the province and are called on to assist with investigations based on regional needs. SIU investigators canvass the area for video sources and for those who may have information about the incident. As well, the investigators interview involved police officers, injured parties and witnesses. In death cases, investigators notify next of kin and attend the autopsy.
Criminal investigations cannot be competently conducted without the application of the highest quality of forensic science. Forensic investigators complement the investigative process by providing technical advice and assistance to investigators about the potential significance of physical evidence.
The forensic team is responsible for gathering, evaluating and protecting the physical evidence at the scene of an incident. Leading-edge digital and video camera equipment and sophisticated surveying tools, such as Total Station, allow forensic investigators to record and objectively analyse all critical components of an incident scene. The investigators are also responsible for interpreting trace evidence and recording the autopsy process. Forensic investigators have expertise in collision reconstruction, blood stain spatter analysis, scene surveying and firearm analysis.
Here is the breakdown of the 47 investigators who currently work at the SIU (two lead investigator positions are currently vacant):
- Job type: 13 lead investigators, 24 as-required investigators, 10 forensic investigators
- Race: nine investigators are persons of colour (including three Black and two Indigenous investigators)
- Gender: 37 men and 10 women
- Investigative experience: Of the 13 lead investigators, 12 have no policing experience in Ontario. Of the 24 as-required investigators, four have civilian backgrounds and 20 come to the Unit with a police background. The 10 forensic investigators employed by the SIU have police backgrounds.
- Of the lead investigators with no “policing” backgrounds, one is a retired RCMP officer and another was a police officer outside of Canada.
- Please note, the race and gender statistics are not based on self-identification of the investigators and are instead based on perception.
- The numbers are accurate as of December 1, 2020.
I believe that in all investigations, I must keep an open mind, pursue all leads and be determined in the pursuit of the truth.
I believe that I must maintain the integrity of all investigations, ensure they are thorough, comprehensive, conducted sensitively and in a timely fashion.
I believe that all investigations must be independent and guided by established rules and policies, both internal and external.
I believe that I must set aside my personal biases during any investigation.
I believe that affected persons, their family members and involved officials must be treated with fairness, respect and sensitivity because they have been through a very trying experience.
I believe that whenever it is possible, I should keep the involved law enforcement agency, the involved officials and all others affected by my investigations informed about what I am doing and why, as long as it does not affect the integrity of my investigations or my oath as a peace officer and public servant.
I believe that it is part of my duty to do everything I can to improve the working relationship between the SIU, the law enforcement agencies of Ontario and the people of Ontario.
I believe that it is important for me to continue to develop my skill and expertise as a professional investigator and to strive to exceed the community standard of morals and ethics.
I believe that I am accountable to my colleagues, my leaders and to the diversified community of the Province of Ontario.
I believe that I should respect the ethnic, cultural and religious beliefs of all those affected by my investigations and honour those ethnic, cultural and religious beliefs to the extent that they do not adversely affect the integrity of my investigation.
I believe that it is important for me to advise the Director of law enforcement agencies and officials that are not cooperating with investigations and to provide the particulars of that to the Director. Similarly, I believe that it is important for me to advise the Director of law enforcement agencies and officials who are cooperating fully with my investigations.
I believe that it is my duty to do what is right, even when there is no law or rule saying that I should do the right thing.