Manitoba Government Wants to Empower Hospital Security Guards

Manitoba Government Wants to Empower Hospital Security Guards

The government of Manitoba wants to authorize hospital security guards to detain violent individuals

In response to an increase in violence at health care facilities, Manitoba introduced a bill Monday that would authorize hospital security guards to enforce province laws when there’s a risk to the security of people and property.

Justice Minister Cliff Cullen said he wants the empowered security guards, who would be described as institutional safety officers, to be able to detain people. Their other responsibilities and the type of training, uniforms and equipment they receive would be decided through consultation, Cullen said.

"Public safety is paramount and that's why we want to make sure that we have individuals with the authority necessary and the training to deal with those respective situations," Cullen said.

Manitoba described the duties of these safety officers as similar to those of community safety officers and First Nations safety officers.

"The role of an institutional safety officer is built on what we've heard from health providers and others about improvements that can be made that benefit patients, visitors and staff," Health Minister Cameron Friesen said.

According to Cullen, hospital security guards currently face “unclear powers that limit their ability to act in certain situations.”

The bill’s introduction comes the same day that Manitoba announced a review of the security facilities at each health care facility.

“This review will report back on the varying levels of staffing and training standards currently in place at these facilities, and create a plan to ensure the continued safety for all Manitobans visiting or working at these facilities,” said Cameron Friesen, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister.

The reviews will include site visits and interviews with staff, as well as policy and statistical evaluations. It will examine staff duties and training, response plans and infrastructure, as well as the way incidents are tracked and reported.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.