Other than a couple of "quibbles," B.C. Civil Liberties Association executive director Dave Eby likes what he sees in the new independent body that will investigate allegations of police wrongdoing.
Due to be up and running on Sept. 10, the Independent Investigations Office will deal only with incidents that occurred after that date and are limited to cases resulting in death or serious harm.
Eby would like to see the office also take on past cases.
It's not clear if the office will take on old cases if new evidence comes to light. Officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Eby would also like to see investigators take on sexual assault complaints, noting male police in rural RCMP detachments can conduct physical searches of female suspects when there is not another female officer on duty.
However, Eby added the office is likely concerned it would be overwhelmed with search-related allegations if sexual assaults were added to its scope of investigation.
He also said those are minor worries.
"They're pretty clear about starting slowly and it's not enough for us to be seriously concerned at this stage," Eby said.
Eby applauded the decision to make the independent investigators civilan led and likes the person chosen to be its director, Richard Rosenthal, who previously oversaw complaints about police and sheriff conduct in Denver, Colorado.
In B.C. such investigations have been conducted by the police themselves, raising concerns of bias.
Investigators, both civilians and former police officers, have been hired and are in training at the Justice Institute of B.C. and the Canadian Police College. The office has moved into a new facility in Surrey and is expected to have 60 full-time staff.
In April, the civil liberties group opened a branch office at Hadih House, at 2105 Pine St. in the VLA.