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Canadian Firearms Program - Survey

2007 Canadian Firearms Registry On-Line

Conducted by the Canada Firearms Centre

General

The Canadian Firearms Registry On-Line (CFRO) system provides police officers access to firearms licence and registration information in the Canadian Firearms Information System through an interface called the Canadian Police Information Centre. Police queried CFRO an average of 8,600 times per day in the last quarter of 2007. This rate is 44% higher than the same period in 2006, largely attributable to the RCMP’s increased use of the system.

In early 2007, the Canada Firearms Centre (CAFC) undertook an initiative to assess the usefulness of CFRO to general duty police officers. The purpose was to gain an understanding of how CFRO could be improved to offer greater assistance to the policing community as well as to identify the need for additional training. With the assistance of RCMP Survey Centre, the CAFC conducted a survey targeting this audience.

The survey was sent to 500 police contacts from a wide variety of agencies, encouraging distribution to as many general duty officers as possible. The CAFC received responses between March and July, 2007. During this period, 408 police officers from 56 police departments completed the survey with a functional breakdown as follows; 262 general duty patrol officers, 64 criminal investigators and 82 supervisors. The responses fully reflect the diversity of police departments from large to small, urban to rural, federal, municipal and provincial.

The survey consisted of questions focusing on the use of CFRO and the users’ familiarity and training with the system.

Key Findings
Questions Overall Trained Not trained Difference
Does your agency use the CFRO system? 92% 98% 86% 12%
Do you use CFRO in your day to day functions? 65% 78% 53% 25%
I use CFRO in responding to calls for service 73% 81% 65% 16%
CFRO query results influence the manner in which I handle calls for service. 69% 73% 65% 8%
In my experience, CFRO query results have proven beneficial during major operations. 74% 81% 68% 13%

The results of the survey confirm that trained general duty police officers value the information from CFRO and it has a significant impact on their day to day functions especially on service calls that could involve violence or firearms.

Way Forward

The CAFC will develop a formal training program for CFRO, including assessment of options and content for training, beginning early in the 2008-2009 fiscal year.