Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Lippert, Randy


Civilian Oversight; OIPRD; Police Accountability; Precaution; Risk

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Drawing on Ericson’s (2007a) theory of precautionary logic, this thesis analyzes the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), a civilian oversight agency in Ontario. This thesis focuses on the rationalities that constitute and shape police accountability in OIPRD disciplinary hearing decisions. It is argued the public precaution and risk-adverse officer precaution rationalities shape hearing outcomes. The expansion of public fear of the police in the 21st century led to the formation of the OIPRD, which then implemented zero risk procedures to govern uncertainties about the police. This thesis examines how various components of the OIPRD complaints process are precautionary and contributes to Ericson’s (2007a) theory by displaying how counter-law concepts created a multi-agency approach to monitoring the public police in Ontario.