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What’s the real goal of the CSIA?

Does the security industry need another association? Specifically, does it need one looking out for the plight of the security guard and private investigator?


September 16, 2009
By Jennifer Brown


Topics

There’s been much written in this magazine about the pros and cons of
security associations and the long-term viability of the ones that
struggle to keep going. So imagine my surprise when a brand new
security association surfaced in late August — the Canadian Security
Investigations Association (CSIA). The partners behind this association
— one ex-member of the RCMP and some others who seem to have a vague
connection to the industry — seem focused specifically on the plight of
the security guard and private investigator in the Greater Toronto
Area, although they claim they will be branching out as membership
grows.

In a letter sent to Canadian Security seeking support as a
sponsor/partner, the CSIA states, “We are the first and only
association to finally answer the desperate cries of the individuals
who work in the security industry”¦”

Their president, Dan Rousseau, says he thinks there should be better
pay for guards, better benefits and support for training. Talking to
Rousseau you get the distinct impression he is not aware of the other
associations currently operating in the industry. Rousseau said he had
heard of CSIS and ASIS but understood that ASIS “is aligned towards
technicians and those in the monitoring industry.” Hmm, that sounds
more like CANASA.

I also wondered where he and his partners had been when CSIS and ASIS
were slogging through the consultation process with the province when
the legislation was being developed about three years ago. Those
discussions were all about improving the training and expectations of
security guards in Ontario.

The organization, which says it is a non-profit, plans to officially
launch Oct. 7, but began seeking support and recruiting earlier this
month. They even have plans to hold an annual seminar. Their ultimate
goal is to create a security training college. Interesting timing as
Ontario prepares to finally roll out its Private Investigator and
Security Guard training which has been set forth by the province.

Rousseau worked in mobile patrol for a large security firm after he
left the RCMP and says he was shocked at the standards he found in the
industry in terms of the rate of pay and lack of benefits even though
guards perform many of the duties of public police officers. “We need
to change the face of the industry,” he says.

The CSIA benefit packages range in price from $30 to $55 charged
bi-weekly plus a one time $55 set up fee. They also offer additional
services for parking ticket coverage, emergency taxi service,
legal/paralegal services, work vehicle damage deductible coverage and
CAA membership. The head of a large guard force in Ontario told me
plainly that no security guard would be able to afford such a fee
structure. Most guards pay union dues and asking for more money would
hurt their wallets further.

Rousseau insists the CSIA is not in competition with the unions. “In no
way is this to be a union; we are merely trying to fill a gap. We are
in no way taking advantage of the security industry. We want to
standardize the industry and give financial relief to the agencies that
employ guards.”

The CISA has also partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation Toronto and
plans to hold six charity fundraising events per year. Rousseau says a
portion of the fundraising goes to Make-A-Wish and a portion goes to
the association. On the “Sponsor” page, company logos indicate who has
made donations to the CSIA fundraisers. It’s a curious venture, to be
sure.


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