WHEREAS rural municipalities employ Community Peace Officers (CPO) (Level 1 and Level 2) under the Peace Officer Act; and
WHEREAS rural municipalities are responsible for ensuring the safety of CPOs; and
WHEREAS Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) access was made available to CPO Level 1 in 2013; and
WHEREAS CPIC access is not available to CPO Level 2; and
WHEREAS uptake and usage of CPIC is available to CPOs only after initial contact and approach of a subject; and
WHEREAS employers are responsible for drafting policy that prohibits a CPO from attending a location alone where there is a known threat and must maintain a list of known local threats for reference by dispatchers and CPOs;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta request that Alberta Justice and Solicitor General work with the Canadian Police Information Centre, and any other Ministry necessary, to provide direct, mobile and timely Canadian Police Information Centre access to Community Peace Officers that can be used as a proactive and preventative tool within defined guidelines.
The Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) is a computerized system that provides tactical information about crimes and criminals. It is an integral part of the RCMP’s National Police Services (NPS) as it is the only national information-sharing system that links criminal justice and law enforcement partners across Canada and internationally. CPIC is responsible for the storage, retrieval and communication of shared operational police information to all accredited criminal justice and other agencies involved with the detection, investigation and prevention of crime.
CPIC has been operational since 1972 and is located at the RCMP Headquarters complex in Ottawa, Ontario. It allows for law enforcement officers to connect to the central computer system within police departments, RCMP detachments, and federal and provincial agencies across the country (1).
CPIC access was made available to Community Peace Officers (CPO) in 2013. CPOs are able to receive the following information from CPIC:
Currently, CPIC information is obtained through the Sheriffs Online Communications Center (SOCC) which requires a CPO to provide a reason for any requested query and provides a cumbersome approach to acquiring information on outstanding warrants. The time from request to final response is typically lengthy and becomes ineffective for day to day CPO operations. This often leads to CPO’s entering potentially dangerous situations without notice and forces them to act reactively to situations, rather than proactively.
In comparison, the RCMP have access to CPIC information quickly and can obtain such information prior to initial contact.
Employers provide CPOs with tools such as Registries Online Access Delivery System portal to Moves Law Enforcement that provides motor vehicle information, ownership information, license information and a history of moving violations. As technology progresses and health and safety programs become more robust, a request for improved access to CPIC should be considered.
Granting enhanced and timely access to CPIC for CPOs would provide municipalities added flexibility to determine their internal processes and protocols for CPOs when dealing with the public. It would provide a potential for increase in safety of employees as well as operational efficiencies of the organization.
The Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) has been advocating for “the formation of a working group comprised of the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police “K” Division, the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers (AACPO), and potentially other organizations” (2) to pursue options for direct, timely and mobile access to CPIC for CPOs. It is the intent of this resolution to provide additional support to their efforts to have this issue resolved for the safety of all CPOs in Alberta.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
The Peace Officer Program has been working with external stakeholders since 2011 to ensure that community peace officers continue to have access to information contained on the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), in order to ensure that they have the appropriate tools to conduct their duties effectively and safely.
In July 2018, the Director of Policing Standards and Audits met with representatives from the Sheriffs Branch, the Sheriffs Operations Control Centre, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers (AACPO) to discuss more timely access to CPIC information.
The outcome of this meeting was as follows:
Please note that the Peace Officer Program is in constant contact with the president of the AACPO and updates are provided as they pertain to CPIC and all other aspects of the program as needed or requested.
The Government of Alberta response indicates an ongoing collaborative effort between the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General and other organizations to ensure that community peace officers (CPOs) have adequate access to Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). The short-term commitment of five-minute processing time through Sheriffs Operations Control Centres and the long-term commitment enabling direct access through in-car laptops to eligible CPIC officers in encouraging.
In 2019, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers jointly requested that CPO access to CPIC be facilitated through the Provincial Radio Control Centre (PRCC), which is under the jurisdiction of Service Alberta. RMA has formally supported this request. In December 2020, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General informed RMA that the plan to provide CPOs with access to CPIC through the PRCC is no longer being pursued, and CPOs will not have access to CPIC through the PRCC for the foreseeable future. However, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General did indicate that there is work being undertaken to provide CPOs access to CPIC through the Sheriffs Operational Communications Centre (SOCC). Although CPOs may access CPIC through the SOCC, this agreement does not meet the intent of this resolution, as access relies on relaying a request through the SOCC rather than direct CPIC access.
This resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met and will be updated when direct CPO access to CPIC commences.