Section 31 of the Police Services Act defines the role of the Board.
The primary role of the Board is to establish, after consultation with the Chief of Police, overall objectives and priorities for the provision of police services.
The Chief of Police is responsible for administering the police service and overseeing its operation in accordance with the objectives, priorities and policies established by the Board.
Distinguishing an "operational" matter that falls outside the Board's jurisdiction from general management and policy matters that fall within the Board's jurisdiction lies at the heart of the relationship between the Board and the Service. Section 31(4) of the Police Services Act is intended to prevent direct Board interference in the actual policing function but not to prevent the Board from making decisions governing the structure and environment in which those policing functions occur.
The Chief is authorized to make all operational decisions which are consistent with the governing law and Board policy. The Board, by revising its policies, may alter the scope of the Chief's responsibilities.
The Chief of Police reports to the Board as a whole and is not accountable to any one or group of Board members. The Board has the authority to give orders and direction to the Chief of Police, but not to other members of the Service. The Board shall not direct the Chief with respect to specific operational decisions or with respect to day-to-day operations of the Service.