Below are some of more often asked questions. If you anything specific you would like to know please get in touch from our Contact page.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Who runs the PFOA?
    The Association has a CEO, Board of Trustees and an Executive Committee along with full and part time administration staff. The Trustees and Executive Committee meet regularly and attend an AGM once a year where members are invited to attend.
  • Who can become a member, and what type of memberships are there?
    Any officers of any rank involved in firearms operations for example, all Authorised Firearms Officers, Strategic, Tactical, Operational Firearms Commanders ,Post Incident Managers, Tactical Firearms Dog Handlers, Negotiators, Weapon Issuing Officers, and Taser Only Officers. There are three memberships: Full, Honorary and Life.
  • How much does it cost?
    £4 per month (£48 per year)
  • Where does my membership fee go?
    Your monthly donation becomes part of the funds available to assist Firearms Officers and their families. The Association is non-profit making. The PFOA has access to a number of resources to assist members and their families. Including specialists to assess members cases and make sure funds are spent correctly, proportionality and ethically.
  • How can I pay?
    There are several ways: Some Forces have set Direct from your pay monthly(check with Force) cheque, or debit card/credit card. We can also accept standing orders. Some Forces pay for all their Authorised Firearms Units. Forces & Firearms Units that may wish to consider a block membership, please call for details.
  • What about my anonymity?
    The Board, Executive Committee and all Co-ordinators are serving or retired Police Firearms Officers. Your Privacy and Confidentiality are a priority; we DO NOT share your information with any other party or organisation, or individual. We DO NOT ask for your home address, other than for the Gift Aid form.
  • How do I contact the Association and get Assistance?
    Most Forces Have a PFOA co-ordinator. You can contact the office Direct during Office Hours or via the contact us page. PFOA members and families have Access to the 24/7 helpline provided by the Welfare Support Programme. Access to WSP contact numbers in times of emergency can be obtained through your Force and Police Federation Branch Board
  • What if I leave My Firearms Unit, Retire or change Role
    It’s a matter entirely for you whether you continue to contribute to the Association. You can leave at any time. Some members have decided to continue to pay as they view they are supporting a valuable charity in support of their colleagues As a registered member however and a former firearms officer you would still be entitled whilst continuing your donations to the full benefits of the Association.
  • How soon can the PFOA assist me if I need help?
    Immediately we are notified by either yourself or your local PFOA Co-ordinator. Please note in the past we have had Officers who are not members who require assistance and then attempted to join. We have an obligation to use members funds correctly and ethically and believe that process is not fair to other paying members
  • What would financial assistance include?
    The trustees will take a view on ANY request for assistance. What we are keen to ensure is support long term, especially for spouses and children. Any grant awarded will be subject to fast track approval. We will not pay members debts or grant money for luxury items. Our funds come from you the members, we are entrusted and obligated to use them responsibly.
  • The future?
    The Association relies on us all to contribute and support each other. Firearms Officers are extraordinary people carrying out an extraordinary role in Policing, we firmly believe you deserve the best support and assistance. The Police use of Firearms is currently a growing, changing and evolving area within the Police Service. The PFOA will also move forward to make sure they are ready to assist members and their families.
  • Are my Subscriptions paying for the 'Top Cover' Magazine
    Top Cover Magazine is available free to PFOA members. The production costs for this magazine is paid for by advertising and members funds are not used. We are keen for members to contribute to the magazine if you would like to write an article for the magazine please contact the PFOA office.
  • Where is the PFOA Head Office/ HQ
    Chatteris Police Station, 18 East Park Street, Chatteris , Cambridgeshire PE16 6LD Tel: 01354 697890 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • How Secure is my information ?
    The PFOA head office is located in a secure Police station, with up to date CCTV and 24/7 hour Monitored alarm system. All our data is stored on our own encrypted computer systems and updated regularly Only vetted PFOA administration staff have access to your private details.
  • Is the PFOA a Recognised Support Network?
    The PFOA is recognised by the PFEW as a support network and co-ordinate the Welfare Support Programme on behalf of the police Federation. The PFOA is mentioned as a support group within the College of Policing - Armed Policing The Police Firearms Officers Association (PFOA) offers valuable additional support and appropriate services to principal officers and their families.