The 10-year Arming Initiative was approved by the Government of Canada to enhance border security and improve officers' ability to pursue enforcement activities and handle and mitigate high-risk situations by equipping designated frontline personnel with a duty firearm and associated training. In turn, this provided officers with a broader range of intervention options with which to respond to dangerous situations and conduct enforcement activities.
In February 2011, the decision was made to re-establish the Arming Division within Human Resources Branch (HRB) by re-integrating various elements that had been divided up across Training and Development Directorate (TDD) and the Programs Branch.
About the evaluation
The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy) of the Arming Initiative, in accordance with the 2016 Treasury Board Policy on Results. The evaluation presented herein is a requirement of the approved Arming Initiative Treasury Board submission.
The evaluation covered $693 million expended over 10 years (from March 2006 to March 2016) and assessed the implementation of the Arming Initiative. The evaluation was conducted from FY 2016-2017 to FY 2017-2018.
- The triennial recertification was subject to continuous improvement and the Use of Force training programs (i.e., the Duty Firearm Course, the annual recertification and the triennial recertification) were well-regarded.
- An overall decrease and the success rate of the Skills Enhancement Course pass rates.
- Low participation in off-duty practice and the consumption of available practice ammunition rounds across the regions.
- The Arming Initiative and Use of Force training have enhanced officers’ ability to exercise their authorities by increasing their confidence, preparation, ability to assess safety risks and to respond to high-risk situations.
- Arming has had a positive impact on border security through increased border intervention, timeliness and the ability to respond to a wider spectrum of threats.
- There is evidence to suggest that the CBSA has reduced its reliance on other law enforcement organizations in specific contexts and regions, and now plays a more significant and active role in the enforcement community.
- Certain operational and human resources challenges were identified including:
- Number of accommodated Officers as a result of not meeting the new requirements of the armed positions,
- Lack of mental health support,
- Lack of understanding and inconsistent application of certain policies,
- The ergonomic implications of the defensive equipment, and
- Recruitment and training.
1) Efficiency and utilization of financial and human resources
|Original target (A)||Actually Trained (B)||Result (B-A)|
|4,800||6,492||1,692 (Exceeded Target)|
|Planned Budget (A)||Actual Expenditures (B)||Result (A-B)|
|$785M||$694M||$91M (Under Budget 12%)|
2) Opportunities to more economically or efficiently arm CBSA frontline personnel
- More local/regional delivery of certain recertification training to reduce travel costs and increase convenience for officers,
- Enhanced partnerships with other law enforcement organizations to further facilitate the sharing of resources,
- The continued evolution of the Use of Force training with consideration for the CBSA operational environment.
To address ongoing challenges associated with the steady-state of Arming and to provide opportunities to more economically/efficiently arm CBSA frontline personnel, the evaluation made five recommendations:
- Implement the current phase of the Workforce Strategy to mitigate the impacts of arming-related accommodations on frontline service delivery.
- Enhance the understanding and application of the existing policy on the wearing and handling of the protective and defensive equipment in all modes.
- As outlined in the Agency's Strategy to Support Mental Health:
- Implement tools to support managers and employees working in an armed environment.
- Implement training initiatives related to officers' awareness and knowledge of the mental health of clients.
- Complete the assessment of the uniform and duty equipment as a self-defence system, with consideration for ergonomic issues, to ensure that operational needs are met.
- Assess firearm training and skills maintenance, including qualification requirements, to ensure that operational needs are met.
The management action and response plan is accessible at Evaluation of the CBSA Arming Initiative.
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