Subject Behaviour / Officer Response Database (SBOR)

Executive summary

Incidents requiring the use of force by police are an unfortunate reality for law enforcement agencies. Each occurrence demands accurate documentation that demonstrates in detail the necessity of such a response. Police officers must be able to explain to an investigator, a judge, a jury or any court of inquiry that what they did at any given moment of time when applying use of force was reasonable and necessary based on the totality of the circumstances.

The RCMP recognizes the need for capturing the details surrounding use of force by police and is developing a reporting framework that will provide increased liability protection for police officers and law enforcement agencies, provide a standardized method of gathering subject behaviour and officer response (SB/OR) data, and provide a means of reporting SB/OR data for statistical, trend analysis and training purposes. Furthermore, stronger accountability to the public will be realized as incidents of use of force employed and the circumstances surrounding them are recorded.

The RCMP proposes to collect data in relation to incidents involving use of force by its members into a new electronic database. The SB/OR database will permit online reporting and storage of information where there have been an intervention, the behaviour and actions of the subject prior to the intervention, the results of the intervention, and information on any injuries sustained by the subject, the officer or any other individual present at the scene. Limited personal information will be collected within the SB/OR database. This comprises the police officers name and employee identification number. With respect to the personal information of the individual involved in the altercation with police, the date of birth, the weight and the height of the individual will also be included within the SB/OR database. This limited personal information cannot be associated to an individual as the names of persons involved in use of force incidents will not be contained within the database.

The SB/OR Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) examines the privacy risks associated to the proposed SB/OR database and makes recommendations to avoid or mitigate said privacy risks in the design and/or operation of, or access to, the SB/OR database. Access will be provided only on a "need to know" basis and the use of role based access controls (RBAC) will limit such access to only RCMP officers who are required to report, investigate or audit use of force incidents. Users will be notified of transaction monitoring when logging onto the SB/OR database and will be advised of what activities are being tracked or monitored, what is being recorded about each activity, who will view the information, and how long it will be stored and retained.

The general public will be provided with a complete and accurate description of the Use of Force program as the PIA executive summary will be posted to the RCMP corporate web site that explains the purpose of the program and the use of the SB/OR database. Furthermore, Section 11 of the Privacy Act requires government institutions to describe their personal information holdings as personal information banks of classes of personal information in the relevant section(s) of Info Source. The RCMP PIB CMP PPU 005 will be updated to include a reference to the SB/OR database.

The SB/OR PIA raises no serious privacy risks. Limited personal information will be only retained for two years after which such information is depersonalized for research purposes. This information is, in essence, a copy of the case information contained within the operational police records management system. Personal information will only be released at the discretion of the RCMP in strict accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act. No data matching activity will be undertaken.

Less personal identifiable information (date of birth, gender, height, and weight) necessary to determine use of force effectiveness and safety impacted by these variables will normally only be released in aggregate format, although it could be released at the record level at the discretion of the RCMP, in compliance with the provisions of the Privacy Act. Age, gender, height, and weight information, in relation to the SB/OR subject, will be kept indefinitely for research and statistical purposes.Footnote 1 Dissemination of aggregate data will only be provided to legitimate research and statistical studies of use of force by police.

The implementation of the SB/OR database will be a direct benefit to Canadians as circumstances surrounding the use of force by police will be documented and open to examination when required. This will result in increased transparency by police to the public.

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