Changes to security services begin

Province mandates uniform changes, additional training for StuCons and Campus Security

Head Student Constable Dan Whalen says provincial security legislation would allow Queen’s services access to greater resources.
Head Student Constable Dan Whalen says provincial security legislation would allow Queen’s services access to greater resources.

Queen’s Campus Security and the AMS Student Constables are revamping their services’ look and function to comply with provincial legislation.

Bill 159, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act 2005, distinguishes between police forces and groups who provide security services—such as Student Constables and Queen’s Security—with 13 new regulations.

The bill requires changes to be made to uniforms and training practices for both campus organizations.

It also requires all entities providing security services to register with the Registrar of Private Investigators and Security Guards by Aug. 23, 2008.

According to the act, a security guard is someone whose work “consists primarily of guarding or patrolling for the purpose of protecting persons or property.” This legislation applies to security guards—including bouncers, bodyguards, and mall security—and private investigators.

Student Constables will register and Queen’s Security has already taken the steps necessary to become licensed.

David Wright, Campus Security supervisor, said Bill 159 brings positive change.

“The intention is good, the idea behind it is solid and I think it will ultimately professionalize an industry where there have always been shortcuts taken by some organizations,” Wright said.

Wright said this legislation is a way of ensuring all security services have the same standards.

He said Queen’s Security and Student Constables must register as organizations so they can be listed as security practices. After the services are registered, each Student Constable and Campus Security staff member must be individually licensed in order to become a security guard.

“This includes completing background checks, submitting authorized documentation, including a picture, sending that off to the ministry, and then getting the approved licence,” Wright said. It will cost every staff member of both Campus Security and StuCons an additional $80 to be licensed, a fee that must be renewed each year.

Dan Whalen, head manager of Queen’s Student Constables, said it’s undecided who will cover the fee’s cost.

“We haven’t spoken about it yet with the AMS, but we don’t expect that individual StuCons will have to pay the fee.”

Campus Security has been working in close contact with the Student Constables to share information and make sure the changes from Bill 159 are understood and implemented, Wright said.

Whalen said the changes are necessary for updating the security industry and carving out roles of specific people in the field, as well as eliminating para-policing—when a security guard inadvertently fills the role of a police officer.

“Student Constables now fall under the realm of security guards,” Whalen said.

Although changes to StuCon training practices won’t be solidified until November and won’t be implemented until mid-2008, it will include additional training mandated by the provincial government, Whalen said. Some visible changes have already occurred on the Queen’s campus.

“Part of the bill says black and blue are police colours, so we can no longer have those colours as our major colours of our uniforms,” Whalen said.

StuCons can now be seen with new polo shirts—black around the shoulders and yellow from mid-chest down. Their jackets will remain the same, but the word “Security” will now appear in bold letters on the back.

“I think some people have been nervous about the changes, but I really see it as adding to the resources available to the Student Constables,” Whalen said. “The actual resources available will be greater and I think that’s a good thing.”

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