Sexual Offence Response Team now live across Canada
The Canadian Forces Military Police now have a specially trained response team dedicated to supporting the investigation of criminal sexual offences throughout the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence.
The 18-member Sexual Offence Response Team, an Operation HONOUR initiative, increases the ability of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) to protect and support victims of sexually based offences by identifying, investigating, and helping prosecute persons responsible for criminal sexual offences.
“Our job as Military Police is to protect the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families,” said Brigadier-General Robert Delaney, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal. “The creation of the Sexual Offences Response Team and the increase in personnel to tackle these types of crimes will enable us to better support victims of sexual misconduct and ensure timely, professional investigations.”
BGen Delaney made the announcement September 27, at CFB Trenton during a week-long training session focussed on the latest sexual assault investigation and trauma interview techniques for CFNIS investigators.
The announcement officially recognizes the official establishment of the team that is already in place and conducting operations in six locations across Canada. The 18 investigators are dispersed in three-member teams at the six CFNIS regional offices located in Victoria, Edmonton, Borden, Ottawa, Valcartier, and Halifax.
A majority of CFNIS investigations revolve around sexual-related matters. The Sexual Offence Response Team provides CFNIS with a nucleus of expertise regarding historical investigative techniques, new trends in law enforcement concerning sexually based offences, and best practices for future sexualrelated investigations.
In addition to standard training received by all CFNIS investigators, members of the Sexual Offence Response Team also receive specialized training in investigating sexual assault, physical abuse and child death, and offences against children, as well as trauma-informed care, and investigative and forensic interviewing techniques.
“The Sexual Offence Response Team adds to the strength of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and optimizes opportunities to successfully identify, investigate, and bring to prosecution those persons responsible for criminal sexual offences in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Bolduc, Commanding Officer, CFNIS.
CFNIS is a unit within the independent Canadian Forces Military Police Group whose mandate is to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to DND property, DND employees, and CAF personnel serving in Canada and around the world.
Any member who has experienced or witnessed harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour of any kind in the CAF has a range of options available to him or her. For more information regarding available services, visit the Harmful and Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour Web page at forces.gc.ca.
Requests for CFNIS involvement usually come through regular Military Police organizations, but CAF members and DND employees can lay complaints or communicate directly with regional offices or individual CFNIS members.
Anyone wishing to contact Sexual Offence Response Teams at CFNIS regional offices across Canada can call the following numbers:
- Pacific Region – 1-844-489-0569
- Western Region – 1-877-290-1019
- Central Region – 1-888-812-3647
- Borden Region – 1-866-698-1119
- Eastern Region – 1-877-763-3272
- Atlantic Region – 1-888-253-5335
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