Military police launch Sexual Offence Response Team
The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal Brigadier-General Robert Delaney today officially announced the establishment of a new 18-member team dedicated to supporting the investigation of criminal sexual offences throughout the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence.
"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 and Commander of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group. "The creation of the Sexual Offences Response Team and the increase in personnel to tackle these crimes will enable us to better support victims of sexual misconduct and ensure timely, professional investigations."
The Sexual Offence Response Team, an Operation HONOUR initiative, increases the ability of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service to protect and support victims of sexually based offences by identifying, investigating, and helping prosecute persons responsible for criminal sexual offences.
The announcement at Canadian Forces Base Trenton officially recognized the establishment of the specially trained team that is already in place and conducting operations in six locations across Canada.
"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, Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
Also in attendance at the announcement was Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett, Director General, Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct.
A majority of Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigations revolve around sexual related matters. The Sexual Offence Response Team provides investigators with a nucleus of expertise regarding historical investigative techniques; new trends in law enforcement concerning sexually based offences; and best practices for future sexual related investigations.
Frontline Military Police remain a key part of the investigative process as they are often the first point of contact for complainants in reporting any offence. Military Police often interact with victims as they attempt to deal with their trauma. The first and primary task in those situations is to support and protect victims.
The 18 investigators of the Sexual Offence Response Team are dispersed in three-member teams at the six Canadian Forces National Investigation Service’s regional offices located in Victoria, Edmonton, Borden, Ottawa, Valcartier and Halifax.
In addition to standard training received by all investigators in the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, members of the Sexual Offence Response Team also receive specialized training in investigating sexual assault; physical abuse and child death; investigating offences against children; investigative and forensic interviewing techniques; and trauma informed care training.
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is a unit within the independent Canadian Forces Military Police Group whose mandate is to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to Department of National Defence property, Department of National Defence employees and Canadian Armed Forces 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 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has a range of options available to him or her. For more information regarding available services, please visit the Harmful and Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour webpage.