Canadian Security Magazine

Protecting our protectors: Keeping frontline staff safe

By Winston Stewart   

News Industry View

The roles and responsibilities of security personnel have expanded far beyond mere gatekeepers.

They are the silent sentinels, the vigilant watchers who ensure the safety of our communities, businesses and institutions. Yet, as we entrust them with our protection, we must ask ourselves: How do we protect those who protect us?

Research sheds light on a disturbing trend: violence against security personnel is on the rise. According to a comprehensive study, incidents of verbal aggression, threats of assault, and physical attacks against security guards occur at least once a month for 39 per cent, 19 per cent, and 15 per cent of respondents, respectively. These figures paint a stark reality — one where security professionals face not just the threat of danger, but its grim inevitability.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety identifies security workers as one of the occupational groups most vulnerable to workplace violence. This underscores the urgent need for action to address the safety and well-being of security personnel across the country.


Alarming headlines from Canadian news outlets over the past couple of years punctuate this narrative with distressing frequency.

Amidst these troubling trends, it becomes imperative to explore strategies to safeguard the guardians of our safety. Protecting security personnel requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes of violence while implementing proactive measures to mitigate risks.

First and foremost, comprehensive training programs are essential to equip security personnel with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate potentially volatile situations. From conflict resolution techniques and situational awareness training to de-escalation strategies, training initiatives should empower security guards to defuse tensions effectively and minimize the likelihood of violence.

The importance of proper protective gear cannot be overstated. Equipping security guards with appropriate protective gear, such as body armour, helmets and communication devices, can significantly reduce the risk of injury in confrontational situations.

By providing frontline personnel with the necessary protective equipment, employers demonstrate a commitment to their safety and well-being while empowering them to perform their duties with confidence and resilience. Moreover, investing in high-quality protective gear underscores a proactive approach to risk management, ensuring that security personnel have the tools they need to mitigate potential threats effectively.

Fostering a culture of awareness and vigilance within organizations can enhance the safety of security personnel. Encouraging open communication channels and providing avenues for reporting safety concerns can help identify and address potential threats before they escalate into incidents of violence.

The implementation of technological solutions can augment the capabilities of security personnel and enhance their ability to respond swiftly to emergencies. From surveillance cameras to panic buttons, leveraging technology can bolster the security infrastructure and provide an additional layer of protection for security guards.

Collaboration between stakeholders, including businesses, law enforcement agencies and government bodies, is essential to address the systemic issues contributing to violence against security personnel. By fostering partnerships and sharing best practices, we can develop holistic approaches to enhance the safety and well-being of security professionals across Canada.
Additionally, legislative measures play a crucial role in safeguarding security personnel and holding perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions. Stricter penalties for assaulting security guards and enhanced legal protections can serve as deterrents while providing recourse for victims of violence.

As we confront the sobering reality of rising rates of violence against security personnel, we must reaffirm our commitment to protecting those who stand on the front lines of safety. By investing in training and proper protective gear, fostering a culture of awareness, leveraging technology, fostering collaboration, and advocating for legislative reforms, we can create safer environments for security guards to fulfill their vital roles in safeguarding our communities.

In the face of adversity, let us stand united in our resolve to protect the protectors and ensure that those who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe are afforded the protection and respect they deserve.

Winston Stewart is the president and CEO of Wincon Security (

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