The Police Services Act is the legislative framework which governs law enforcement and public safety in Ontario. It spells out clearly the responsibilities of the Board, the Chief, and Police Officers, in respect to their roles and functions in police organizations. It also outlines a variety of processes such as public complaints, collective bargaining, and disciplinary proceedings.
The Board is the civilian trustee of the public interest as it pertains to police services. Section 31(1) of the Police Services Act provides that a Police Board is responsible for the provision of adequate and effective police services in the municipality.
These responsibilities include:
While the Police Services Act grants Boards these duties, it also restricts Boards from directing the Chief of Police with respect to specific operational decisions or with respect to the day-to-day operations of the police service.