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Community Security Network to Launch Pilot Program in Toronto

CSN is an unprecedented Canadian community security model
By: Daniel Horowitz
Published: March 12th, 2012 in News » World
Doron Horowitz

Canada is recognized as one of the strongest, fastest growing Jewish communities in the world.

Home to more than 200,000 Jews, Jewish Toronto continues to grow and prosper, and is often emulated by other Jewish communities in the Diaspora.

But, as Jewish Canada continues to grow, so too does our responsibility as Jewish citizens to do what we can to ensure that that growth is supported and nurtured.

That’s where the Community Security Network (CSN), the brainchild of Doron Horowitz, National Security Director for The Centre for Jewish & Israeli Affairs, comes in.

Horowitz, who has been decorated for his combat service, brings decades of experience as an expert in counter-terrorism and in the protection of Jewish communities to the initiative.

The CSN is an unprecedented, groundbreaking Canadian community security initiative based on an existing model in the United Kingdom which has successfully trained over 3,000 volunteers from across the UK and has been a tremendous success by providing additional security services across the UK to schools, synagogues and Jewish community events.

And, today, members of Jewish Toronto between 25 and 50, who are interested in playing a proactive role in the safety and security of their own community, with the added benefit of receiving professional training in security best practices, are encouraged to contact Horowitz.

“The pilot project is taking place in Toronto for the simple fact that we do have approximately 200,000 Jews across the GTA,” explains Horowitz. “This is such a wonderful chance for people to get involved in their community, to give back to their community, and to really garner a sense of pride by playing a direct role in that community. Let’s face it; a home owner will always protect their home better than anyone else, because of that emotional connection. That’s the philosophy behind the CSN.”

But prospective CSN members take note. Horowitz is not interested in you if you have an axe to grind, or are applying simply because you think it gives you license to flex your muscles.

Quite the contrary, says Horowitz emphatically.

“I am not looking to train commandos or security officers, I’m looking to train regular members of our Jewish community who will take a proactive, preventative, and responsible stance,” he explains. “We are not looking for people who are aggressive, hostile or who are looking for a fight; those are the people who will be prevented from joining the CSN. What we want are people who can be extra pairs of eyes, whether it’s at a community event or at shul during the High Holidays. We want people who, after they are properly trained, will have the proper tools to identify a potential threat or a suspicious individual and then can document and relay the information to law enforcement officers.”

Horowitz will begin training 25 volunteers in Toronto starting next month before eventually recruiting members across the nation, from Vancouver to Halifax.

Selected candidates will have to qualify by going through an interview/screening process including physical and psychological testing. Those chosen will be trained in the Canadian criminal code, principles in security, self defense, police practices, tactical communication and much more.

Once the candidate has passed the screening process, they will take part in an orientation followed by a two-day training course. CSN members would then be required to commit to a minimum of five hours per month to serve on a volunteer basis at either a school, synagogue or community event.

“Imagine the pride they would feel as part of Canada’s first CSN graduating class,” says Horowitz. “These men and women – and we hope to have an equal balance between the two – will be on the cutting edge of community security, playing a direct role in the future of their own wonderful Jewish community while learning so much. This is truly a win-win situation.”

For more information about the Community Security Network, e-mail dhorowitz@cija.ca.

Related articles: Toronto, Community Security Network, Security, Doron Horowitz
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