Commissionaires on Campus Security

There’s little argument that today’s colleges and university campuses have changed.

The advent of emerging technologies, the introduction of sustainable practices and the push for greater student autonomy have had a tremendous impact on shaping the new landscape.

Yet perhaps the biggest change has come in the form of increased campus safety and security.

One of the legacies of the school shootings at École Polytechnique, Virginia Tech and Dawson College has been the proactive measures that school officials on both sides of the border have taken to beef up campus safety.

Following a shooting at Concordia in 1992, the university implemented a range of physical security measures and safeguards.

It has not had an incident since. “Protecting our people and our property requires more than just a security presence. We need to be focused on prevention, intervention and education,” said Jacques Lachance of Concordia’s Security Department.

“We also need to be focused on integrated security solutions, monitoring, trend analysis, and risk assessment.”

To that end, Concordia has engaged Commissionaires, a Canadian security provider that has provided security solutions to clients across Canada since 1925.

Besides Concordia, Commissionaires provides campus security for over 45 Canadian colleges and universities, including Laval, Queen’s University, UBC, Brock University, Dalhousie University, Acadia, St. Mary’s, the University of Western Ontario and others.

Lachance said Commissionaires Montreal was chosen to provide its campus security largely because it hires many former members of the military and RCMP.

He added that it also hires multicultural and multilingual personnel of all ages—“appealing to a university culture that attracts students from 150 countries around the world, 15% of whom speak languages other than English or French.”

“Since many commissionaires have military experience, they can relate to our primary focus – which is preventing incidents before they happen – and have what it takes to respond to a wide range of security-related challenges and priorities,” added M. Paul Naud, Director, Security and Safety Service at the Université Laval.

“The security requirements at educational facilities such as college and university campuses can be complex,” explains Doug Briscoe, Executive Director at Commissionaires.

“In some ways it can be more challenging than providing security than at an airport because of the open environment.”

“In addition to guarding services, Commissionaires has experienced security professionals who can contribute to strategic planning on college campuses, problem solving, resource and risk management, as well as operational improvements.”

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Commissionaires is a not-for-profit security solutions organization that has been protecting Canadians for 87 years. Their mandate is to provide meaningful employment to veterans of the Canadian Forces and RCMP.

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