Public Complaints is a measure of the number of formal complaints, as defined by the Police Act S. 42.1, brought forward by the public. These complaints meet the threshold required by the Police Act, with respect to the conduct of a member that may contravene the regulations governing the discipline or performance of duty of police officers, or a complaint related to the policies of and services provided by a police service. A complaint may take the form of a written letter, email, or online submission to the EPS or Edmonton Police Commission website.
Investigations for Public Complaint files are undertaken by EPS's Professional Standard Branch. The amount of Public Complaints is an important indicator of the professionalism EPS members have in their interactions with the public. EPS targets that public complaints be concluded within 6 months of receiving the complaint, 50% or more of the time.
Public Complaint Rate
A growing population naturally results in EPS having more interactions with the public. With an increase in interactions, a proportionate rise in public complaints could be expected without suggesting that EPS's professionalism is being compromised. Measuring the exact number of EPS interactions with the public is difficult, but the number of EPS dispatch calls is a reasonable proxy. Hence, another way to consider the professionalism of EPS is by the rate of Public Complaints per 10,000 EPS dispatch calls.
Other statistics that relate to police conduct that EPS's Professional Standards Branch investigates or receives for information, including Internal Complaints, Citizen Contacts, and EPS Matters, are available here.