The number one priority of Shelter Movers Waterloo Region (SMWR) is keeping our volunteers and clients safe on moves. Shelter Movers conducts three types of moves: low, medium, and high-risk. To ensure that the proper protection is in place when needed, our chapter enlists the help of either security or police services during medium and high-risk moves. This protection is guaranteed for everyone involved in the move if there is any chance that the abuser knows the address of the move locations.
Shelter Movers Waterloo Region currently has partnerships in place with two different security firms, both of which provide their services free of charge to our chapter:
- Vigilant Security Services is the primary provider of security for SMWR, and their firm was one our very first local partners in Waterloo Region.
- A.S.P. Security Services mainly provide security for the Shelter Movers Greater Toronto chapter, but when their services are needed in Waterloo, they are always happy to lend a hand.
Additionally, our chapter currently has an agreement in place with the Intimate Partner Violence Unit of the Waterloo Regional Police Service to support our moves when police presence is required.
Using Security vs. Police Servicess
We determine both the risk level of a move and the type of service required based on a few factors that we collect during our intake process and confirm during the move coordination process.
Police MUST be present in any of the following circumstances:
- If there are pending charges related to the abuse
- If there is a no-contact and/or restraining order regarding any parties involved
- If there is a known history of excessive violence
- If there is a known presence of firearms (e.g. in the home, on the alleged abuser)
Police presence is advisable and ought to be discussed with the client and Referring Agency in any of the following circumstances:
- If the whereabouts of the alleged abuser are unknown
- If there are multiple alleged abusers
- If there is any known present or past gang affiliation
Shelter Movers Waterloo Region typically uses security as they are available for the entire duration of the move, whereas police can leave if they are needed for a higher priority call. As this would threaten the safety of our volunteers and our client, the move would have to be put on hold. Additionally, police usually limit their time on a move to around 45 minutes, which can put a constraint on moves that require more time.
Prior to our medium and high-risk moves, the move team, client, and police or security meet at a predetermined site, which is usually a couple of minutes away from the move location. This is done to ensure that our volunteers and the client are not at the move location without the necessary protection required to keep them safe.
We would like to thank our partners that generously offer their services to ensure the safety of our volunteers and clients on moves. Their support of Shelter Movers has made a huge impact on the lives of many survivors.