Local security guards blame a lack of training for incidents like the alleged attack on a protester on Sunday.
Two Canstar Security guards allegedly assaulted Atul Jain, who was packing up signs near Deerfoot Mall on Sunday after protesting the Shrine Circus.
Former Canstar Security guard Chris Kentebe told Metro he quit the company after working there for only five months.
“I had to leave because they were completely useless. What the guards need is better training. It seemed that anyone can work as a guard here,” noted the former Toronto guard.
A current Canstar guard who didn’t want to use his name for fear of reprimand said he is “ashamed” to wear his uniform after this incident.
“I met Atul and I find it hard to believe he would be capable of violence. It merely accentuates my belief ... more training should be par for the course,” the man said.
Jain, who suffered damaged ribs in the incident, said the two guards came at him unprovoked, pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him. There are photos of the incident but no charges were laid.
Vice-president of Impact Security Group John Burns said guards didn’t follow protocol when handcuffing Jain.
“Those guards stepped over the line,” Burns said. “We’re merely the eyes and ears for the police; we’re not supposed to be out there handcuffing people.”
Currently there is no requirement for training in Alberta but most other provinces have a mandatory 40-hour course. Applicants must pass a test with 75 per cent.
“It’s not compulsory here and I believe Alberta is the only province that doesn’t have a requirement. But it’s coming down the line soon,” Burns said, adding his company is voluntarily introducing the course.
Canstar operations manager Basim Abu-Ijleh said the company is investigating the incidents and searching for both sides of the story.
“We are collecting facts from the two security guards, their supervisor and the police. It is protocol to use handcuffs as a last resort,” he said.