Created by firearms officers in 2009, the Association became a registered charity in England and Wales in 2010. The PFOA has over 6,500 members UK-wide. PFOA does not provide legal support, or any kind of discipline representation. This is the role of the Police Federation of England and Wales.
The PFOA was created to support all those involved in firearms operations and their families. It is managed by serving and retired police officers with many years’ experience in this field. It offers a unique package of support for officers and their families which is supported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Armed Policing, Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales, Police Federation of England and Wales and the College of Policing.
PFOA provides unique and discreet welfare support to officers and their families, which includes access to more than 200 counsellors, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR is a psychotherapy approach for the treatment of trauma) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). There are also 20 PFOA coaches (all serving firearms officers) who specialise in neuro-linguistic programming and emotional freedom techniques.
Membership to PFOA is £4 per month and is open to all those involved in any aspect of firearms policing.