The Records Section is comprised of five full-time and four part-time civilian members under the direction of the civilian Supervisor of Support Services-Records.
Information sharing services, employee and volunteer screening services, processing and maintaining court documentation, criminal records and police file maintenance, C.P.I.C. services, records quality control, accident reports, statistics, privacy issues and 24 hour data entry are among the many responsibilities of this Section.
For the most part, the records element of the Owen Sound Police Service is handled through the new Ontario Policing Technology Information Cooperative (O.P.T.I.C.) Records Management system, which enables staff to work in an efficient, streamlined manner. All information is compiled by the Records staff and input to the O.P.T.I.C. network, creating a database of involved persons, a tracking mechanism for officer assignments and an information base for court disclosures.
Owen Sound Police Services officers spend more time on patrol and less time in the office performing clerical functions, as all reports are taped and then transcribed by Records staff. Files created by Records personnel are used in court; all pertinent information being compiled and forward to the Owen Sound Police Services Court Case Manager for dissemination to the Crown Attorney.
In light of recent changes and new legislation concerning Criminal Record searches the Owen Sound Police Services developed new application forms and a pamphlet that provides the public with detailed information outlining the procedure followed. We are now providing the public with two different police contact searches – a Criminal Record only which consists of a search of the National repository for criminal records in Canada via Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and an Enhanced Record Search which is required when an applicant is involved with vulnerable persons and includes a search of our local database of police information.
Criminal Record searches processed by the Records Section have increased. The volume of requests for criminal record searches received from persons seeking employment or volunteer status is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years as more accountability is placed on organizations involving vulnerable persons.
This trend is expected to continue and is anticipated to impact police agencies province wide. This staggering increase caused the Records Section to experience a considerable shift in workload and ultimately affected public service by slowing down the process time.