Harbour Group Security takes over training facility
Harbour Group Security and Investigations, an investigation and guard firm founded in 2007 by a former deputy police chief, is expanding into guard training with the acquisition of a security training school.
The firm took over the Centre for Security Training and Management, a private career college, in July. The Centre, which has been operating in Toronto since 1998, will be run as a separate entity and will continue to offer the 40-hour course required by the province for certification as a security guard. It will also partner with Harbour Group Security to provide the 50-hour private investigation course necessary to earn a PI licence.
Steven Reesor, who founded Harbour Group Security in 2007, spent 30 years with the Toronto Police Service, nine years as a deputy chief. He says the school’s teachers are true experts in their fields.
“One of the features of our school that is unique is that our full-time instructors are all retired police officers, and they’re certified instructors, certified by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities,” says Reesor, the school’s CEO.
One new aspect of the school is employment assistance. Through government programs, instructors help course graduates to find jobs in security.
“What we find is the instructors personally get benefit from the fact that they believe they’re helping people get a leg up by providing the course and giving them the tools to go out and get a job,” Reesor says. “Even though it’s quite often an entry level job, it is a good job, and they’re empowering them to be able to write the test and pass it and get their licence.”
The school, a 4,600 sq. ft. facility with three classrooms, has three full-time trainers, as well as part-time instructors brought in as they are required for courses offered intermittently. Reesor says they are also considering offering police foundations training at the school.
“Our thought is that, with my background as a retired deputy chief of the Toronto police and our instructors being retired Toronto police officers, we have something extra to offer students who are interested in a policing career in terms of training and mentoring, while they’re taking the training as well,” he says.
During his 30 years with the Toronto Police Service, Reesor worked in many areas, including Uniform Patrol, SWAT, Internal Audit and Homicide. He was for a time director of the service’s Internal Audit Unit. After retiring from the police, he went to Magna International, where he was Chief Security Officer for two years. He left that position four years ago to start Harbour Group Security.
With the acquisition just completed, Reesor says they already have big plans. They want to expand the training programs that they are currently offering. “And our goal is to maintain the highest quality standards of training,” he adds.
And while it’s too early to talk about definite dates, they are also considering expanding to other locations, he says. “Certainly, that’s a possibility that we’ve been discussing.”