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Commissionaires

mariomike

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Nemo888 said:
I think most only make 27k a year. You won't get much for that. 

Out of curiosity, I compared a couple of job calls online. Their pay does not seem competitive with corporate security.
 

Kokanee

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IMHO the CF needs to cut the commissionaires loose. They provide only the illusion of security, are not accountable in any way to the military CoC where they work, and are an expense we can't afford ATM with the austerity measures we need to conform to WRT budget concerns.

I wouldn't mind pulling a duty @ the front desk of my Unit every two months or so if it meant we could toss them out, heck for once Unit security SOPs and positive control of access to bldgs/restricted areas might actually be enforced. 
 

Nemo888

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But the Commissionaires provide work to Vets who often do not have other options. Many soldiers leave the Army too beat up to do most jobs. Bad knees, shoulders, PTSD, etc. We should look after our own.
 
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aesop081

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Nemo888 said:
But the Commissionaires provide work to Vets who often do not have other options. Many soldiers leave the Army too beat up to do most jobs. Bad knees, shoulders, PTSD, etc. We should look after our own.

That doesn't mean that the Commissionaires should be employed guarding the gate at CF installations. If you are "too beat up to do most jobs", you are too beat up to secure military installations.
 

garb811

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Kokanee said:
...are an expense we can't afford ATM with the austerity measures we need to conform to WRT budget concerns.
The reason there are so many Cmre is because they are the cheapest option out of any available.  There's a reason that when budgets needed to be cut at certain bases who had Reservists manning gates in conjunction with the Cmre that the Cmre stayed and the Reservists went home.

I wouldn't mind pulling a duty @ the front desk of my Unit every two months or so if it meant we could toss them out, heck for once Unit security SOPs and positive control of access to bldgs/restricted areas might actually be enforced.
That might be easy for you to say if you only have 1 x Cmre post at your Duty Centre but the picture isn't as simple as that for everyone.  How do you propose to man all of the positions at a place such as Halifax?  If I recall correctly, there are well over 150 Cmre working posts in that location, most of which do not belong to a "unit" but which support MARLANT and it's lodger units as a whole (ie. gates to the Dockyard).  Where do those positions come from?  I'm sure the Fleet, which is already short sailors, would be more than happy to be told they need to pony up personnel to fill those positions.  How much more effective do you think a Bos'n is going to be while escorting a builidng repair contractor into the Dockyard than a Cmre when he has absolutely no vested interest in the task and is simply filling it because he got "shafted" to do it at 1530 hrs on a Friday of a long weekend?
 

Stoker

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garb811 said:
The reason there are so many Cmre is because they are the cheapest option out of any available.  There's a reason that when budgets needed to be cut at certain bases who had Reservists manning gates in conjunction with the Cmre that the Cmre stayed and the Reservists went home.
That might be easy for you to say if you only have 1 x Cmre post at your Duty Centre but the picture isn't as simple as that for everyone.  How do you propose to man all of the positions at a place such as Halifax?  If I recall correctly, there are well over 150 Cmre working posts in that location, most of which do not belong to a "unit" but which support MARLANT and it's lodger units as a whole (ie. gates to the Dockyard).  Where do those positions come from?  I'm sure the Fleet, which is already short sailors, would be more than happy to be told they need to pony up personnel to fill those positions.  How much more effective do you think a Bos'n is going to be while escorting a builidng repair contractor into the Dockyard than a Cmre when he has absolutely no vested interest in the task and is simply filling it because he got "shafted" to do it at 1530 hrs on a Friday of a long weekend?

The reservists who were manning the gates were being paid class C because they were armed and was cut back because it was too expensive. The problem is with who the commissionaires hire and who they employ guarding our military bases. Apparently anyone with a heartbeat is hired and they are suppose to be our first line of defence at our bases. I don't know how many times 5 in the morning going through the gate at Shearwater seeing our first line of defense fast asleep in the guard shack.
If we have to employ them fine, however not at the frigging gates and not because they are cheap.
 

garb811

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Chief:

Not an argument from my point of view and I, and my bosses, keep making the argument to put dedicated FP pers into the critical roles such as manning ACPs, but we are security advisers only, it is up to the Base Comd to implement or ignore that advice.  BASF/WASF/FASF or rotating duty NCOs is/are not the solution as nobody is willing to dedicate the time to allow their "critical" personnel to meet the training requirements to fill the requirement any better than the Cmre currently do.  Infanteer, I and a few others discussed some options here:  MP's or Provost - An Idea on Roles but all of those cost much more than the current solution of relying on the contracted personnel from the Corps. 

As posted earlier, we (the CF and Gov't as a whole) have no option as to who we turn to first for these types of roles, it is enshrined at the National level for "security" tasks, until that changes, and it won't in the short to mid-term due to the recently publicly reinforced perception that the Corps is a dignified and viable solution to the employment needs of ex-CF members (Commissionaires and DND Join Forces to Support Injured Veterans).  You can bet that any move by the Gov't to strip the Corps of its favoured status would be met with a well coordinated publicity campaign highlighting yet another move by the Gov't to abandon the veterans.  Accordingly, the only solution to the problems presented by the Corps' personnel is to find the internal resources to fill the task and time after time, the decision makers vote with their budget and "accept the risk" as opposed to doing what is right.

Point to note:  If you go by the Guardshack at 5am and the Cmre is sleeping, don't just shrug and do a FIDO; file a complaint via the MP so that action can be taken to replace the individual, I have it done all the time.  Not saying that the incoming person is going to be much better, but the message will hopefully get out that sleeping is going to cost them their $10.50 an hour.
 

Stoker

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garb811 said:
Chief:

Not an argument from my point of view and I, and my bosses, keep making the argument to put dedicated FP pers into the critical roles such as manning ACPs, but we are security advisers only, it is up to the Base Comd to implement or ignore that advice.  BASF/WASF/FASF or rotating duty NCOs is/are not the solution as nobody is willing to dedicate the time to allow their "critical" personnel to meet the training requirements to fill the requirement any better than the Cmre currently do.  Infanteer, I and a few others discussed some options here:  MP's or Provost - An Idea on Roles but all of those cost much more than the current solution of relying on the contracted personnel from the Corps. 

As posted earlier, we (the CF and Gov't as a whole) have no option as to who we turn to first for these types of roles, it is enshrined at the National level for "security" tasks, until that changes, and it won't in the short to mid-term due to the recently publicly reinforced perception that the Corps is a dignified and viable solution to the employment needs of ex-CF members (Commissionaires and DND Join Forces to Support Injured Veterans).  You can bet that any move by the Gov't to strip the Corps of its favoured status would be met with a well coordinated publicity campaign highlighting yet another move by the Gov't to abandon the veterans.  Accordingly, the only solution to the problems presented by the Corps' personnel is to find the internal resources to fill the task and time after time, the decision makers vote with their budget and "accept the risk" as opposed to doing what is right.

Point to note:  If you go by the Guardshack at 5am and the Cmre is sleeping, don't just shrug and do a FIDO; file a complaint via the MP so that action can be taken to replace the individual, I have it done all the time.  Not saying that the incoming person is going to be much better, but the message will hopefully get out that sleeping is going to cost them their $10.50 an hour.

I have complained but never followed it up unfortunately. In the future I will be contacting the MP's in that regards.
I'm not advocating abandoning the veterans, however it seems to me that the corp of commissionaires as mentioned in this thread use this enshrined status to their advantage even if it means sacrificing security at our bases. I would like to see them taken to task and be more accountable especially in placing infirm personnel not up to the task in sensitive positions.
I hope to hell nothing occurs that a 60 year old commissionaire with bad legs has to handle. Lets hope the response time of the MP's is good that day.
 

Jarnhamar

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Halifax Tar said:
Linguistic ability is good but a lack of it wont hold you back.
It will at army.ca  ;)



I think we need to stop considering commissionaires as some of defense against anything. Or anyone who isn'r armed for that matter.  Most bases's I've seen have zero security. You could drive a big ol van pretty much anywhere you want on base and park it next to some expensive equipment or lots of people -if you know what I mean.
On the flip side of the coin, Petawawa for example, would riot if the CF started stopping everyone at the 2 gates in and out to check ID. Getting on and off base at peak time is insane enough already.
Heightened security means longer wait times, more frustrations, longer commutes.


Commissionaires seem to have some training issues.  I showed up at my armory on a holiday in civies to check email. The guy let me in and opened up the company office for me. I (politely) suggested he check my military id, write my info down and check to see if I was on the list of people authorized keys.
He was pretty thankful, he told me he had zero 'hand over' or info passed on and when he started to ask questions he said he was told not to worry about it, it's a holiday and people probably wouldn't show up.  Not exaggerating.

As for weapons training.
Commissionaires should not teach it, period.
All soldiers should be highly trained and skilled, but that doesn't always happen.
On our FTX before deploying a navy clerk asked me how to use the C7 during a patrol with blank ammo, enemy force in the village we were approaching.
She hadn't touched a C7 in 7 years.
My platoon left the wire every day overseas, half of us didn't have zeroed weapons for the first 2 months.
 
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aesop081

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Grimaldus said:
Heightened security means longer wait times, more frustrations, longer commutes.

No it does not. I have been to many US bases in the last decade and have never waited long to get in, despite armed guards, 100% ID checks and random vehicle searches.

The trouble with places like Petawawa is the design of the gates themselves. Properly built, you could have 100% checks and not delay anyone.
 

garb811

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No it does not. I have been to many US bases in the last decade and have never waited long to get in, despite armed guards, 100% ID checks and random vehicle searches.

The trouble with places like Petawawa every base in Canada is the design of the gates themselves. Properly built, you could have 100% checks and not delay anyone.
Fixed that for ya.
 

Jarnhamar

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CDN Aviator said:
No it does not. I have been to many US bases in the last decade and have never waited long to get in, despite armed guards, 100% ID checks and random vehicle searches.

The trouble with places like Petawawa is the design of the gates themselves. Properly built, you could have 100% checks and not delay anyone.

Exactly my friend.  It works in the states, they've been doing it what the last 10 years?  How much money did they throw at that problem.

Implementing that in Canada would be a mess. Manpower, budget, things rebuilt (new range control building...),  politics. The CF takes a very long time for anything to be done. We would need to send out requests to make bids, there would be arguments over which company got picked and favoritism.  People would protest that we are becoming "too american" with the silly notion of guarding our military bases.
Sadly it'll take a terrorist attack with some loss of life before anyone takes a serious look at security.
 

Kokanee

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There seems to be a systemic problem in the Army with trusting soldiers with live ammo when tasked with base defence/checkpoints in garrison..... ie:

I asked about throwing my hat in the ring for BASF training, but when I read their SOP's and talked to some of the fellows on it during an event they were activated for, I decided against it. The security situation was deemed to be elevated enough to deploy the BASF with weapons and magazines, but not ammo. At that point I realised it was a giant waste of time and didn't bother following up on it.

After reading this thread though it seems the Navy has no qualms about giving pers (some with questionable quals?) live ammo to defend ports etc.  Not a knock on the Navy, just pointing out the difference.
 

EpicBeardedMan

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Chief Stoker said:
I agree. In the US, a lot of the navy and coast guard bases have uniformed armed security forces that handle gate duties.
Then again, this is Canada.

On the west coast it flip flops back and forth with people complaining about how lax the commissionaires are to how strict they are and make people late for appointments, etc. Either way it seems like there's no winning solution.
 

jasonf6

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Kokanee said:
The security situation was deemed to be elevated enough to deploy the BASF with weapons and magazines, but not ammo. At that point I realised it was a giant waste of time and didn't bother following up on it.

I never understood this either.  They expect ALL trades to be able to dig a trench, fire a weapon accurately and all that jazz covered by the Universality of Service yet they don't give out live ammo for BASF.  I understand the safety thing but if you're expected to deploy and carry weapons you should be relied on to use them in a safe manner.  If you can't carry a weapon and not shoot yourself in the foot then you shouldn't be in the military at all.  It may sound harsh but it's the MILITARY, not boy/girl scouts.  It's an armed force.
 

Nemo888

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Grimaldus said:
Exactly my friend.  It works in the states, they've been doing it what the last 10 years?  How much money did they throw at that problem.

Aren't they broke now after borrowing a few trillion to pay a bloated military budget for the last ten years?  Better gate guards for the place filled with guns and tough as nails soldiers who would love to shoot a tango may not be money well spent in most civvies minds.  I'd much rather have a quick access plan to loaded ready to go firearms if security became a problem. I can shoot them myself for what I'm being paid now  >:D
 

Jarnhamar

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Most civilians who worked in high rise buildings probably didn't care much about homeland security and metal detectors at airports back in August 2001 either  ;)

 

Tank Troll

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We could could go back to the Germany solution and have Armed Dependants guarding the gates.
 
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