News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 26, 2021

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT ADVANCING THE INSTITUTIONAL SAFETY OFFICER PROGRAM

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Amendments Now in Force to Permit ISOs at Health-Care Facilities and Post-Secondary Institutions: Friesen

Amendments to The Police Services Act (PSA) have come into force to enable designated health-care facilities and post-secondary institutions to establish institutional safety officer positions, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“We know that health-care facilities and post-secondary institutions face unique security concerns due to size of facility and number of people,” said Friesen. “Our government is proud to take action to enhance the authority, training and skills of these safety officers to increase safety and security for people and property.”

Manitoba Justice consulted widely with stakeholders on the development of a regulation to specify required training and equipment, as well as and statutory authority of the officers.

Officers must be licensed security guards who have been trained in public safety and crime prevention, enforcement of provincial laws, arrests, searches and seizures, use of force and officer safety, note-taking, interview basics, court preparation and mental health awareness.

Authorized training providers will include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Winnipeg Police Service, Brandon Police Service, Manitoba Justice and Assiniboine Community College. Other training providers may be approved by Manitoba Justice following a review of their training curriculum.

Officers will have distinctive uniforms and will be permitted to carry handcuffs, defensive batons and aerosol weapons. Officers will have the authority to enforce youth consumption and open liquor provisions under The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act as well as the indoor tobacco and outdoor cannabis smoking prohibitions in The Smoking and Vapour Products Control Act. They will also be enabled to take intoxicated persons into custody under The Intoxicated Persons Detention Act and apprehend trespassers under The Petty Trespasses Act.

Only security guards at designated health-care facilities and post-secondary institutions can have their security guards trained as institutional safety officers. These officers will be responsible for maintaining safety and security at an institution's facilities.

The minister noted the proclamation of the act aligns with the overall strategic direction of Manitoba’s Policing and Public Safety Strategy, which identifies the need to reduce the demand on police resources.

To read the strategy, visit www.gov.mb.ca/justice/pubs/police_publicsafety_strategy.pdf.

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