FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Vulnerable Persons Registry (VPR)?
The Vulnerable Persons Registry (VPR) is a community based policing initiative in partnership with the local Police Services and local community agencies. The registry promotes communication between vulnerable persons, the people who support them and the police. This information will assist officers when responding to an emergency involving the vulnerable individual. The registry provides quick access to critical information about a registered person, such as who to call in an emergency, a detailed physical description, and any particular sensitivities that the person may experience. Registration is completely voluntary. The database is to help alleviate safety concerns for those that are vulnerable in our community.
Who is a vulnerable person?
A vulnerable person is defined as a person who due to medical, cognitive, mental health or physical condition may exhibit patterns of behavior that may pose a danger to that person. Examples of Vulnerable Persons may include persons with autism, dementia, acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy that may cause a person to exhibit atypical behaviours (e.g. wandering, physical instability, inability to communicate, aggression, irrational fear, oversensitivity to sensory stimulus (sounds, lights, touch).
What is the goal of the registry?
The goal of the VPR is to provide police with quick access to critical information about a registered person so the officer can assist in an emergency situation. When a Vulnerable Person is thought to be at risk, his or her personal information will be shared with relevant organizations, enabling them to quickly respond and provide effective assistance to the registrant.
Who can use the registry?
The VPR is currently open to anyone, free of charge, living in the Waterloo Region, City of Guelph, Stratford, Brantford and South Simcoe communities who feels they are vulnerable in times of emergencies and would like an extra assurance. In addition to individuals registering themselves, the parent/legal guardian, or other legal authority of a vulnerable person may voluntarily register an individual who is unable to do so or give consent. Victim Services is a 24/7 365 days a year service; the registry will be accessed when needed by designated police staff.
Why would I want my name, or someone I am legally responsible for on the registry?
The VPR will record information that will help the police understand how best to assist the registered person, such as how to communicate with the vulnerable person, who the officer should call and any other information that would be helpful in case of involvement between the registered person and the police.
How do I register?
- The vulnerable person or their parent/guardian or other legal authority will complete the online registration form. You will be prompted to create a login and password. (You will be given options to reset logins and passwords if forgotten.)
- Once the form is submitted, an e-mail will be sent out to confirm that the form was received.
- The registry requires a picture to be included (face only picture similar to a passport or school picture).
- Once registered, the person will remain on the registry until they ask to be removed or until there is a lapse in updated information.
- A child who is a vulnerable person who is under the age of 16 years must be registered by the parent/guardian. Once your child/dependent adult turns 16 they will need to give their consent to stay on the registry (if they are able to give consent).
How do I update my information if there are any changes?
To update your registration, simply use your Login to access your registration and select the EDIT option. The vulnerable person or their parent/guardian may login anytime to update information. It is imperative that emergency contact information be current. Please note:
- Every year you will be sent, an email reminder that it is time to update your information from a partner organization associated with the VPR.
- It is your responsibility to make sure the information is kept current. Some examples of information that would be important to update are changes in address, school, email address or emergency contacts. You do not need to report minor changes such as a change in hair cut or colour.
How can I be removed from the registry?
A registration record can be removed from the registry at any time; simply use your Login to access your registration and select REMOVE (DELETE) option. You may also send an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who has access to the information contained on the registry?
Local Police Services personnel who require this information to perform their duties will have access to all information contained on the registry. There are strict rules about the sharing of information that are in place to protect your privacy. For example, Registry information would not be included in a police record check or a vulnerable sector check or be shared with an outside agency. This information will not be added to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database.
How will the registry help if my vulnerable person goes missing?
The registry provides the Police Services with information that would assist in identifying and locating a vulnerable person that may have gone missing. The VPR will offer assistance to anyone who is vulnerable or at risk in a crisis or emergency situation. This would include individuals who are at risk of wandering, in need of medical assistance in a natural disaster/power outage or any other crisis that may pose a risk to their wellbeing. If the registrant is found wandering and is incapable of communicating his or her name to an officer, the registry will be used to identify the individual more quickly. The Police Services will use the contact information to connect with parents/guardians.
Is there any other way that information contained on the registry could be used?
While the registry is intended to assist a vulnerable person in a crisis or when their safety is compromised, a local Police Officer may access this information for any reason, including when responding to a complaint or conducting an investigation.
What about Partnership Involvement?
The Community groups associated with the Vulnerable Persons are provided a list of emails to facilitate the annual reminder process but have no access to the registry. They are integral to community awareness and informing families of the VPR.
KidsAbility Centre for Child Development hosts the online registration form; a secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to transmit this information to Waterloo Region Police Services for the vulnerable person database which is then made available to associated Polices Services. KidsAbility is a Health Information Custodian and legislated by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (2004) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). For further information please contact the Privacy Officer at KidsAbility (519-886-8886; www.kidsability.ca)
Associated Social service groups are invited to support this vulnerable persons registry (VPR) by informing their families, providing their logo for the registry home page and posting the registry link on their agency website. If your organization is interested in becoming a partner of the VPR initiative please contact us at email@example.com