Ontario will revise legislation to protect and secure

Starting in 2007, the new Private Security and Investigative Services Act would require licensing and training
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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

ONTARIO - The government here has introduced a Private Security and Investigative Services Act that if passed would make licensing and training mandatory for all private and proprietary security personnel.

The proposed legislation will implement licensing, license portability, training, and standards for uniforms, equipment and vehicles used by security personnel.

Reviewing the act began after 9/11 but gained momentum when a jury examined the 1999 death of a 31-year- old man, who attempted to steal from a grocery store, and was held down by employees as a security guard handcuffed him. The man died from heart complications and the death was determined accidental.

The jury discovered half of security personnel in Ontario are unregulated during the trial. Along with its verdict, the jury made 22 recommendations to the 1966 Private Investigators and Security Guards Act - which since its introduction had not changed.

The proposed revisions are expected to strengthen the security industry and instill professional standards for security guards in Ontario.

Under the act, license classification would be established based on the level of training and experience. License portability would also allow someone to change jobs within the industry without reapplying for a license. Training and examinations would be developed for applicants, while current license holders would have to complete a standardized test to renew licenses.

Security associations, firms employing security personnel, retail associations, municipalities and police studied and responded to the proposed legislation and most agree the changes are overdue.

The Association of Professional Security Agencies is committed to the improvement of the security industry in Ontario and will help to facilitate the changes, noted John Carter president of the APSA.

The act will have three readings by the government, and it will plan to have the new legislation in place in 2007, added Carter.