Security training in Thompson

Thompson Citizen – Matt Durnan

The Commissionaires security group paid a visit to Thompson the week of Sept. 17 through 21 to provide security officer training to a group of individuals young and old, male and female.

Commissionaires is one of Canada’s premier security companies. They have protected people and property for public and private sector clients across the country for more than 85 years.

Graham Walker, a former combat information operator with the Canadian Navy now works with Commissionaires and was in Thompson, running the weeklong instructional course.

Walker says that the course is for anyone who could be referred to as a concerned citizen, but also that Commissionaires provides meaningful employment to retirees.

“There’s a reason you don’t see many retired army veterans selling pencils on a corner in Canada,“ said Walker, “we provide employment to retired members of the Canadian Forces like myself, or to retired police officers and to anyone who has the will to serve.“

The course was an intensive weeklong seminar that concluded with a written exam. Students were required to complete 40 hours of in-class time, a requirement that was implemented by the Manitoba government in 2007, mandating that all security guards must complete 40 hours in the classroom, as well as passing a criminal background check.

Upon completion of the 40 hours of class time, the students were then given a provincial exam and expected to score over 75 per cent in order to pass. For those participants who successfully completed the course and exam, they were handed a provincial security certificate.

Commissionaires, however, doesn’t hire directly from the graduates of the provincial program, and in order to be eligible to work with Commissionaires, participants must complete an additional 44-hour course.

“We (Commissionaires) expect more training just because of the additional responsibilities that we take on,“ said Walker, “we have federal contracts, we’ve been at Thompson Regional Airport for about 10 years, and we’re looking at taking a few more contracts in Thompson.“

The duties that the Commissionaires take on are: basic guarding duties, fingerprints and identification, first aid training, non-violent strategies, and of course security guard training.

Walker says that among those in the provincial security guard training program that he was running, the pass rate is fairly good, though the timing for the course in Thompson was not exactly ideal.

“We normally start the course on a Thursday, and the first two days are deliberately front loaded, so the complicated stuff is right off the bat and the students then get the weekend to digest all that information,“ said Walker, “and then the rest of the course is the more practical stuff. This week is a bit more intensive.“


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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