Court Document Coordinator (Civilianization) (Synopsis)

Fredericton Police Force

Description: To ensure a more effective use of resources, the Fredericton Police Force has changed the model for serving a summons or subpoena, including eliminating the position of Summons Server. In the new model, the person named in the summons or subpoena must visit a police facility to pick up the document in person. This model is based on the premise that most people would prefer to avoid having police officers visit their workplace or home to serve court documents. A civilian clerical staff member has been assigned the role of Court Document Coordinator to facilitate this process. The Fredericton Police Force piloted the new model in May 2010 and implemented the initiative fully in 2011.
Objective: The objective of this initiative was to increase efficiency by replacing the summons server function (a position requiring a sworn officer) with a new model administered by a civilian member of the force.
Outcomes: A full-time sworn officer has been freed up and reallocated to another division for frontline duties. In 2011, 856 subpoenas were sent to the police office to be picked up by the people named in the subpoenas, of which 590 (or 69%) were picked up (remaining subpoenas are designated to patrol officers to be served). The new process has numerous advantages:
  • a full-time sworn officer has been freed up for other operational duties and there is no longer any requirement to backfill the Summons Server position with other sworn officers in case of vacation, illness or other issues;
  • one assigned vehicle has been reallocated, with associated savings in vehicle operation and maintenance;
  • documents that are not picked up are easier to serve because the officer responsible for serving the document is the investigator familiar with the file; and
  • officer safety has been increased.

A formal evaluation of this initiative is not planned.
Resources: No significant resources were required to implement this initiative; it only required the reallocation of responsibilities from a sworn officer to a civilian clerical staff member.
Province: New Brunswick
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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