News @ LESTAC - August 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Conquering Stress

When you are tasked with protecting property and life it’s only natural that feel stressed or under pressure. It’s important that you recognize the symptoms of stress and that you deal with it appropriately. You can’t do your job properly if you can’t take care of yourself. If stress from your job is seeping into your personal life, or vice versa, you need to seek professional help. The following is a list of possible stress symptoms.


Cognitive Symptoms:

 
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

 

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness


Physical Symptoms:                                                 

 

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds

 

 Behavioral Symptoms:

 

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

 

NOTE: The above mentioned symptoms are not a complete list and could be symptoms of other medical conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should see you doctor.

 

Tips for managing stress:

- Take a break and breathe. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed step aside to a quiet place and take deep breaths. Concentrate only on your breathing. If you need to do this while you are working make sure to let someone know where you are going.

- Yoga and meditation. Both have been used for centuries to find inner peace.

- Get a hobby. Make sure you take time to do something you enjoy.

- Socialize. Humans are naturally social creatures and we need social skills to function.

- Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins in your brain that make you calm down and give you a feeling of euphoria 
 
- See your doctor or a counselor. There are many resources that are free or low cost, that also offer evening and weekend appointments. If necessary there are also local and national crisis phone lines you can call to speak with someone.

- Talk to your employer. If you feel your stress level could impact your performance at work you must tell your boss immediately. Your employer may have an Employee Assistance Program or a group benefits package that includes short term counseling. The Human Resources department will have information about company policies, time off options and other resources available to you.

 


We are human, it’s part of life to feel stressed once in a while but it is not normal for that stress to affect your daily life. Remember that there are people ready and willing to help and that you are not alone.

 

Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 12:13 PM

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Being Your Own Boss

Is it possible to become a self-employed security guard? Absolutely!

Many people work as freelance guards and work at specific events or on a casual basis with various companies. Working on a freelance basis has many advantages such as being able to choose when you work, travel opportunities, and gaining a wide variety of work experience. Of course nothing is without its disadvantages. The disadvantages of working as a freelance security guard could include a difficulty in finding work, being away from home for long periods of time, and having difficulty getting any kind of promotion within one company.

 

Freelancing also helps you establish a valuable network of professionals within the security industry if you’re looking to start your own security business. Here are 6 steps for starting your own security business:

 

1.)    Pick a name for your business and register it with the Companies Office in your province or territory. They will also provide you with a Business Number for tax purposes. Also secure any permits you will need to operate.

 

2.)    Make a business plan that includes the purpose of your business, how you will fund your business and the monthly operating costs involved. There are many business plan templates available online.

 

3.)    Find funding. Are you going to pay to start up your business out of your own pocket or will you seek external funding? You could get a bank loan, a business grant or find an investor.

 

4.)    Find venues or companies that will contract your company and get your name out there so the public knows you exist. Now would be a good time to use that network of security industry contacts you established.

 

5.)    Hire guards. Make sure that all your guards are certified to the standards of your provincial government and are of good character. Remember that they represent YOU now, not just a faceless company.

 

6.)    Make sure you have insurance and a reliable payroll system set up. As an employer you are responsible for paying the CPP and EI contributions for your employees.

 

Running your own business is challenging and time-consuming but if you love that you do it’s worth the effort.

 

Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 12:02 PM

Monday, August 13, 2012

Training and Licensing FAQ's

Is the Professional Security Guard Training Level 1 course sufficient to get my license?
            In most provinces, yes. However, in British Columbia you will need to arrange your own Final Exam and in Quebec they require 70 hours worth of training or a sufficient combination of training and experience. Always check with your provincial Ministry of Justice with any questions regarding licensing.

Am I allowed to carry a firearm while on duty?
            No. Unless you are driving an armoured vehicle you are not permitted to carry any type of weapon. This also includes a baton, pepper stray, a taser, a knife or anything that can be mistaken as a weapon.

How much does training cost?
            Tuition costs vary by region. Using your postal code you can find out pricing at www.guardtraining.ca

Do I ever need to attend a class?
            No. Our training is 100% online. You study at your own pace.

Will I be totally left on my own?
            No. You will always have the support of the Academy staff. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Never hesitate to ask questions or contact us for clarification.

Can you help me find a job after training?
            Unfortunately we cannot. Due to provincial laws we are not allowed to assist students in finding employment before, during, or after training.

Can I use the Professional Security Guard Training Level 1 program to become a police officer or to work in Corrections?
            All branches of police and the Department of Corrections train their own staff. For qualification requirements you must contact your local police department, the RCMP or your provincial civil service commission (for Corrections).

Can I become a security guard if I have a criminal record?
            In most Canadian provinces it is required that you have no criminal charges against you.  However, in some provinces they will still consider various factors such as the charge itself, how long it’s been since the charge was brought against you and your personal credentials.  Licensing is always at the discretion of the Ministry of Justice. You can also contact the Parole Board of Canada to enquire about getting a Pardon. Another factor you must consider is your eligibility for employment with a criminal record. Even if you are able to get a Security Guard License it’s not a guarantee that an employer can hire you.

Are there any eligibility criteria I must meet to take courses through the Academy?
            You must be the age of majority in your province and you must be either a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant.

Am I eligible for a refund if I decide to drop out of the course?
            Possibly. It depends on how much of the course you have completed.  Under the Private Vocational Institutions Act we have the right to retain a percentage of tuition paid and the cost of the materials for the course.

How long do I have to complete the course?
            The minimum amount of time you must put into the course is 40 hours. Essentially the student decides how long it takes them to complete the course. If you have difficulty logging in or if you know your initial expected completion date is passed e-mail info@guardtraining.ca for an extension. (NOTE – You can take a maximum of 1 year to complete your course. We cannot offer any extensions beyond that)

What will happen when I complete the course?
            The Student Resources Coordinator will automatically be notified about your completion. Your certificate and transcript of your marks will be sent to the mailing address on file. It is important to keep your personal information up-to-date with us until you complete your course.

I get an error message when I try to finish a quiz or submit my report. What do I do?
            We apologize in advance for any technical difficulties you may experience while taking our course. E-mail info@guardtraining.ca immediately if you experience any problems with the website. We will do our best to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

How long do I have to do the quizzes and the exam?
            You will have a maximum of 30 minutes to do each quiz and a maximum of 1 hour to do the Final Exam. After that time the system will automatically kick you out.

Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 1:12 PM

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dressing to Impress

Not only is it mandatory in Canada to wear a uniform in the Security industry, it’s also a privilege. Wearing a uniform represents being part of a team, it looks professional and it signifies authority.  One of the cornerstones of the industry is professionalism and a properly worn uniform garners respect from your peers, your employers and the civilians that will require your aid. Wearing a uniform lets the world around you know that you have been chosen to fulfill a duty. You are “en garde” and you are there to help.

Some tips on how to keep your uniform looking sharp are:

1.)  Know how to properly tie a tie.  www.tie-a-tie.net and www.tieatieeasily.com are good online resources if you don’t already know how to tie a tie. Also, make sure your tie is straight, clean and not faded or dingy from age.

2.) Iron your pants and shirt after every wash.  If you’re afraid of burning your clothes remember that as long as you keep the iron moving nothing will burn. Follow the directions on the garment tags and iron section by section. Once you have completed a section, apply a thin layer of spray-on starch and iron over the area one more time.

3.) Keep your shoes shined. Scuffs are inevitable so you need to take care of your shoes.  Take out your shoe polish and a small container of water. Gently dab your shoe shine cloth in the water (but don’t soak it) and then apply the polish. Apply the polish to the shoe and then use a shoe shine brush to finish the job.

4.) Make sure any patches, insignias, and your name tag are straight and fastened tightly.  If you notice that a patch is starting to come loose, fix it. Or if your employer handles this, report it to them right away. How to fix a crooked or loose patch depends on whether they were ironed on or stitched. If you’re unsure about how to fix a patch it’s best to talk to your supervisor before attempting to fix it on your own.  Do not add anything to your uniform that has not been provided by or approved by your employer!

Remember that when people approach you in the line of duty they are approaching the uniform, not the individual. As such, your conduct needs to reflect back positively on the uniform. If a person has had a negative experience with someone else in uniform, like a police officer, they may lash out at you at first. Always be polite and professional while you are in uniform, even when you’re walking to your car at the end of your shift.

Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 1:11 PM

Monday, August 13, 2012

Citizen's Arrests 101

In June 2012, section 494 of the Canadian Criminal Code was changed. The Citizen’s Right of Arrest and Defense of Property law has finally received a long overdue amendment. What does this mean for security guards? Quite a lot actually. Prior to June 2012, a citizen’s arrest could only be made if a civilian caught another civilian in the act of committing a crime. Now, a civilian can arrest another civilian within a reasonable amount of time after a crime has been committed.

 

As written on the federal Department of Justice website the amendments will include:

 

Amendments to the Criminal Code section 494(2) on citizen’s arrest will authorize a private citizen to make an arrest within a reasonable period of time after he or she finds someone committing a criminal offence that occurred on or in relation to property. This expanded power of arrest will only be authorized when there are reasonable grounds to believe that it is not feasible in the circumstances for the arrest to be made by a police officer”

 

The law still isn’t crystal clear but progress has been made.  The Backgrounder done by the Department of Justice also goes on to say:

 

A citizen’s arrest is a very serious and potentially dangerous undertaking. Unlike a police officer, a private citizen is neither tasked with the duty to preserve and maintain public peace, nor properly trained to apprehend suspected criminals. In most cases, an arrest consists of either actually seizing or touching a person’s body in an effort to detain them. Whenever possible, a person should report wrongdoing to the police instead of taking action on their own. A citizen’s arrest made without careful consideration of the risk factors may have serious unintended consequences for those involved. When deciding whether to make a citizen’s arrest, a person should be aware of the current laws (see below) and consider whether:

 

·         a peace officer is available to intervene at that time;

 

·         their personal safety or that of others would be compromised by attempting an arrest;

 

·         they should report information about the crime to the police instead of taking action on their own;

 

·         they can turn over the suspect to the police without delay once an arrest is made; and,

 

·         they have a reasonable belief regarding the suspect’s criminal conduct and identity.

 

It is extremely important to ensure that there is correct identification of the suspect and their criminal conduct. If a citizen’s arrest takes place at the very time a person is found committing a crime, the correct identification of the suspect will not be in question. If a citizen’s arrest takes place within a reasonable time after a person is found committing a crime, the accuracy of the identification can be in question. Stress or the presence of a weapon can negatively affect an eyewitness’s memory. Arresting the wrong person could provoke a violent confrontation, and risk injury or death.”

 

Basically, the amendments give security guards a wider scope with which to defend the property they are hired to keep secure. A citizen’s arrest is still only one option a security guard has in their arsenal. Always keep abreast of your employers policies regarding Citizen’s Arrests and never do anything you are not comfortable with.

 

Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 1:10 PM

Friday, August 10, 2012

Take 7 Steps in the Right Direction

 

How to Become a Security Guard in Canada

 

Step 1: Select a training program.  In each province there are many schools that offer excellent training programs that will give you the knowledge and tools to be successful in the security industry. The licensing ministry in your province will have a list of accredited trainers.

 

Step 2: Study hard. Security is a business’ most important asset so you need to take your job seriously. Most provincial governments legislated mandatory training for security guards for a very good reason: to properly prepare a guard for working in such an important position. Never be afraid to ask questions or seek out additional information.

 

Step 3: Get a Criminal Record Check and Child Abuse Registry Check. Both of these are done by your local police branch. You may also need a Driver’s Abstract or another form of background check. In many provinces you must have a clean criminal record to obtain a Security Guard License. However, there are some provinces that will assess your credentials, the charge(s) against you and other factors and it may be possible to obtain a license.

 

Step 4: Contact the licensing branch of your provincial Ministry of Justice to find out if there are any additional requirements for licensing. These additional credentials can include: CRP and First Aid, a firearm’s license, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, self defense or a specific class of Driver’s License. 

 

Step 5: Say cheese! Every provincial license needs a photograph of the licensee. Get a passport size photo of yourself. These are cheap and easily done on-the-spot at most photography studios. Make sure you are not wearing head gear, like a hat or bandana, and that you look neat and presentable. This picture will be visible to everyone that you encounter during your work as a guard.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the wearing of religious garments in license photographs, contact the licensing branch of your provincial Ministry of Justice.

 

Step 6: Once you have completed all the modules in your training program it’s time to take the Final Exam. Minimum passing grades for the exam vary by province but range from 60% to 80%.  Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta require that the Final Exam be written in-person. Check with your training school to find out if there will be any additional fees for writing the Final Exam.

 

Step 7: Once you have completed your training program, have all necessary background checks and any additional training done, taken a photo of yourself, and passed the final exam, you are ready to become a licensed security guard!  You can find the applicable application on your provincial government’s website (full contact info for all provincial governments listed below). Print out and fill in the application for your province, gather all the necessary documents and your photograph, and mail them or report in-person to your provincial Ministry of Justice office.  There will also be a fee for your license. Fees vary by province and are (as of 2012) between $25.00 and $127.00.  Length of validity for a license also varies by province and is between one and five years.

 

 **Note** As of August 2012, Security Guard Licenses are NOT mandatory in Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

 

Ministry Contact Information:

Alberta:
Solicitor General and Public Security
9th Floor John E. Brown Building
10365-97 St
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
(780) 427-3441 / 1-877-462-0791
ssia.registrar@gov.ab.ca
www.solgps.alberta.ca


British Columbia:

Ministry of Justice – Security Programs Division
PO Box 9217 STN Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9J1
1-855-587-0185 (does not work outside of BC)
sgspdsec@gov.bc.ca
www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/securityindustry/

 

 Manitoba:
Ministry of Justice
1430-405 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6
(204)945-1242 or (204)945-2825
pisq@gov.mb.ca
www.gov.mb.ca/justice/safe/private/index.html

 

 New Brunswick:
Department of Public Safety – Compliance and Enforcement
Licensing Services
PO Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
(506) 453-7472
www.snb.ca

 

Nova Scotia:
Ministry of Justice – Security Programs Office
5151 Terminal Rd – Ground Floor
PO Box 7
Halifax, NS B3J 2L6
(902) 424-2905 / 1-888-760-5577
secprog@gov.ns.ca
www.gov.ns.ca/just/

 

 Ontario:
Ministry of Community Safety and Investigative Services
Private Security and Investigative Services
777 Bay St – 3rd Floor
(416) 212-1650 / 1-866-767-7454
PSIS.PrivateSecurity@ontario.ca
www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca
Testing portal: www.ontariosecuritytesting.ca

 

Prince Edward Island:
Department of Justice and Public Safety
Consumer Services – Firearms Office
PO Box 2000 – 161 Maypoint Rd
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N8
(902) 368-5536

 

 Quebec:
Bureau de securite privee
6363 route transcanadienne
Bureau 201
Saint-Laurent, QC H4T 1Z9
(514) 748-7480 / 1-877-748-7483
info@BureauSecuritePrivee.qc.ca
www.bureausecuriteprivee.qc.ca

 

Saskatchewan:
Ministry of Justice
Corrections, Public Safety and Policing
1850-1881 Scarth St
Regina, SK S4P 4K9
(306)787-0402
Bill.Blanchard@gov.sk.ca
www.cpsp.gov.sk.ca

Posted by Chanelle Boudreau at 12:00 AM

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