Public Police vs. Private Police

March 20, 2017 Cultural

In the field of law enforcement there are different types of departments and agencies with different roles and responsibilities. When working in law enforcement one either is employed by the public or a private company. Each side has very similar and different responsibilities that play a big part in law enforcement. Each area has their advantages and disadvantages as well. The first private police organization was started by Allen Pinkerton in 1855 known as Northwest Police Organization. Private security is basically run as contract services.

Organizations and people contract private security for protection of personnel and property. Guard services, private investigators, body guards, and retail detectives are all apart of the private security arena. Private security arena. Private security officers are primarily responsible for protecting and securing institutions, businesses, and residences. They patrol properties and ensure safety codes are enforced. They do not have legal privileges as police officers but some are armed and in some cases can make arrests, depending on their training and licensing or the grounds they patrol.

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They also work closely with law enforcement and emergency response professionals. Their roles and responsibilities may differ depending on the area they are working for example a hospital or retail store. Private security officers are seen as either static or mobile, meaning they monitor the interior or exterior of a property using surveillance equipment or they patrol on foot or in vehicles. Due to security officers not allowed to be involved in dangerous situations, communication is very vital. They used mobile communication devices to communicate with other officers while patrolling premises.

Security officers are expected to be able to clearly communicate verbally and on written reports. They must at times testify truthfully in court or describe an incident to their superior. Their job is not physical but they are expected to be in good physical shape in case there is a need to restrain or handle a suspect or person invading private property. Private security has fewer restrictions placed upon them which benefit them in effectively carrying out their contracted duties. Private security is paid based on their performance and able to negotiate their salary. More technical equipment is made available to private security.

Some disadvantages include: lack of training or updated training and job retention due to their job being based on performance they are at a higher risk of termination. The first city to establish a police force was New York in 1844. Public police are part of the government umbrella which includes: local, county, state, and federal. Public police principles are based on the paramilitary model and have strict requirements, training, and certification. Politics, governments restrained by laws and rules controlled public police. Public police role is the safety and welfare of the public.

Public police are faced with many disadvantages. They are salary positions, therefore less negotiation powers exist and they are not compensated for exceptional performance. Public police are restricted under what they can do due to restrictions, legal and political aspects. Due to budget restraints they are understaffed, inaccessible to newer technology, and hiring limits. Public police have advantages that are uplifting. They are provided with advanced training and job retention. Public police are also allowed to work off-duty jobs and receive substantial pay for their service.

Private security and public police roles compare physically in both are required to walk during their work shift, sit continuously in a car or desk, walk/run on irregular potentially hazardous surfaces and lift objects off the ground. Their jobs cause for them to physically defend against and control an attacker, develop and maintain an awareness of potential hazards on the job, enforce employee and customer safety practices, use appropriate officer safety tactics, conduct lawful pat down for weapons, conduct lawful search of persons, issue trespass warnings, and confront unwanted persons.

Private security and public police compare in patrol procedures as well; they use radios for communication, properly put up signs/cones, operate car/vehicle, conduct foot and vehicle patrol, respond to alarms, provide information to other emergency responders, manage response to incidents, implement response to bomb threats/disasters, report emergencies to responsible parties, respond to hazardous materials incidents, activate response to reported fires, maintain a knowledge of applicable fire, gas, and water systems, check doors and perimeter security, report safety hazards, conduct building searches, secure or unlock doors, investigate signs of unusual activity/trespass, perform first aid, provide visible deterrent, manage and respond to civil unrest, and manage and control crowds. Both private and public police utilize basic computer skills and operate and monitor access control systems. Some administrative tasks include: maintaining dispatch and patrol log, communicate with clients/personnel, develop working relationships with members of the public, read and comprehend reports, logs, inspection forms, complete required documentation, obtain and provide information by phone, apply knowledge of cultural diversity, respond to client inquiries/complaints, manage safety programs, and comprehend, interpret and apply local laws and agency/company policies.

During investigation each agency obtain information from people contacted, evaluate situations land take appropriate actions to reduce civil liability, maintain confidentiality, carry out proper arrest procedures, enforce parking regulations, secure crime scenes, secure contraband, and conduct interviews. Private security and police officers must share the same interpersonal skills of knowing verbally how to resolve conflicts, use de-escalation techniques, and confront unwanted persons. They must uphold professional standards to participate in training to maintain knowledge and skills, meet and maintain minimum standards of professional appearance, and testify in court.

At times each officer or security personnel must use physical force some similar techniques are take down or subdue a resisting person, grip and hold a person to maintain physical control, and lawfully detain persons. Every agency is to uphold the principle to only use the minimum amount of force necessary to detain a person. There are several similarities and differences between public police and private security. The main difference is the power they hold within their role. A public police officer has rights a private security officer doesn’t have. Each agency must work together to enforce the law and provide a safe environment for their clientele. Sources 1. Ehow. com 2. www. asisonline. com 3. www. securityinfowatch. com 4. Trends and Practices in Law Enforcement and Private Security – www. ilj. org


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