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  • Utah Legislators, Police, FOP, decry Private Security in Hearing

    Panel denies more power for private security officers

    By Ben Winslow
    Deseret Morning News

    Wearing his blue uniform and badge, Lt. Rick Tallent
    stood before state lawmakers and asked for more
    authority to make arrests, write citations and
    transport prisoners.

    The southern Utah private security officer was shot
    down by a number of police agencies who argued that
    private security companies should not have powers even
    remotely similar to those of sworn peace officers.

    "Policing, law enforcement and taking people into
    custody should remain a government function and a
    government function only," Ed Phillips, the deputy
    director of the Utah Department of Public Safety, said
    Wednesday. They were discussing proposed legislation
    Wednesday before the Legislature's Law Enforcement and
    Criminal Justice Interim Committee.

    Tallent and his employer, All American Security Corp.,
    have joined other private security companies in asking
    the Legislature for more authority in special
    situations.

    "In today's world, the police departments have fewer
    police officers and more crime than ever," Tallent
    told lawmakers. "Private security can help to
    alleviate some of the strain and allow the police
    officers to concentrate their efforts in more critical
    areas."

    Right now, private security officers can detain people
    on citizen's arrest statutes. However, Tallent wanted
    authority to do things that he said street police
    grumble about having to respond to. He also asked for
    more clarity about the color of lights that private
    security officers can use.

    However, police brass blasted the idea. Maj. Rich
    Townsend of the Utah Peace Officer Standards and
    Training (POST) Council said not one law enforcement
    agency in the state supports the legislation.

    "We give police unprecedented powers," said Kelly
    Atkinson of the Fraternal Order of Police. He accused
    the private security officers of mimicking police
    officers too much already. "Security officers refer to
    themselves with titles. Lieutenants, captains,
    officers. You see them wear uniforms and more and more
    you're seeing their cars look more and more like
    police officers."

    Phillips said it is a slippery slope that lawmakers
    would be going down. Apparently, it was one that
    lawmakers didn't want to. They adjourned the committee
    meeting, effectively killing the proposed legislation.

    After the meeting, Tallent said he was surprised by
    the heated reaction by law enforcement. He noted there
    has always been some friction between police and
    private security officers.

    "They misunderstood where we were trying to go," he
    said. "We weren't really asking for anything radical."

    ---

    Mr. Tallent does not understand that what he is asking for is not only "radical," but demanding to give mere citizens the "unparalled" powers of the police.

    Notice that the article states that guards have the authority to "detain" through Citizen's Arrest statutes. Not Arrest, but merely "detain."

    This was brought to my attention by Colin Sparks of NAPSOA.

    This serves us a lesson that we cannot forget: The Faternal Order of Police sees private security as an encroaching threat, even as their mebmers encroach on what has traditionally been security concerns - protection of personnel and property - through their "off-duty" programs.

    The mere suggesting that police are being impersonated by "security guards" using titles such as "Officer," "Sergeant," and "Lieutenant" is silly. Our "uniforms" have not changed. Except that many companies buy the same types of uniforms, our clients demand it, and that our badges are no longer made of tin. Oh, and we dare to wear intermediate weapons and guns.

    The State of Utah's law enforcement has basically declared war against the industry.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

  • #2
    This looks like quite a row, several venues are covering this.... Including...

    http://www.kcpw.org/article/1004
    "They misunderstood where we were trying to go with this legislation," says Tallent. "We weren't asking for anything radical. They thought we were asking for the ability to become more like police officers. We don't want that because it would put more liability on us."

    The Legislature's Interim Committee on Law Enforcement denied all of the security industry's requests.
    And the comment...
    There is a distinct genre between certified police officers of the law and private security officers, or shall we say rent a cops. Police officers put their well being aside and put their lives on the line daily, despite the liability. That is the difference. Police officers will be there protecting you,your family and property despite their small pay,long hours and lack of respect from people such as Rick Tallent. Kudos to The Legislature's Interim Committee on Law Enforcement and all police officers that serve the community.
    Yet another person who fails to realize that "despite the liability" means nothing. Sworn Law Enforcement Officers as Agents of the Government are immune to civil and criminal prosecution while acting under good faith.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      Mr. Tallent does not understand that what he is asking for is not only "radical," but demanding to give mere citizens the "unparalled" powers of the police.
      Yes, granting any form of police power to private citizens who do not go through the extensive pre-employment testing and screening that sworn law enforcement officers do, nor attend the difficult and demanding training courses that sworn law enforcement officers do, is "radical." I am very glad that Utah shot this idea down in flames, as it so rightly deserved.

      I am all for granting security guards expanded authority and powers, but only when accompanied by increased training and hiring standards. I saw nothing in this article that addressed training and hiring standards.

      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      This was brought to my attention by Colin Sparks of NAPSOA.
      If this is the direction NAPSOA wants to go, I am glad to have severed my association with NAPSOA when I did.

      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      The mere suggesting that police are being impersonated by "security guards" using titles such as "Officer," "Sergeant," and "Lieutenant" is silly. Our "uniforms" have not changed. Except that many companies buy the same types of uniforms, our clients demand it, and that our badges are no longer made of tin. Oh, and we dare to wear intermediate weapons and guns.
      I am not in favor of security personnel using traditional "police" titles either. If I had my way, the only titles security personnel could use would be "Security Guard", "Security Supervisor", and "Security Manager." Also, I am not crazy about current "traditional police titles" anyway. Titles such as "corporal", "sergeant", "captain", etc. are military rank titles and should be reserved for the military. Civilian police officers are cops, not soldiers, and that is how it should be.

      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      The State of Utah's law enforcement has basically declared war against the industry.
      I don't think the state has declared war against the security industry. The state is not trying to abolish private security, or add any new regulations to the industry. They just want to keep governmental power and authority out of the hands of private entities, which is a good thing IMHO.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
        Yet another person who fails to realize that "despite the liability" means nothing. Sworn Law Enforcement Officers as Agents of the Government are immune to civil and criminal prosecution while acting under good faith.
        You are correct, Nathan, but remember that "good faith" is determined by a jury in a trial. What is considered "in good faith" by the cops may be seen totally differently by a citizen juror who only exposure to and knowledge of police tactics and procedures comes from watching "CSI"

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by histfan71
          I am not in favor of security personnel using traditional "police" titles either. If I had my way, the only titles security personnel could use would be "Security Guard", "Security Supervisor", and "Security Manager."
          While I do think it should be the choice of the people who own the company, I tend to agree in principle. Sometimes the "military sounding rank" for security personell just sound silly, and make professional security officers look silly by association.

          I once worked for a WBS company that had a FULL military rank sturcture. I'm sorry, but as proud as I was of being a private security officer, I never ever told anyone I was a "Security Sergeant major" (my actual rank on that job, I'd been with the company 3 months and their was since I had the senority, I was next in line to the post commander, who was a "1st Lieutenant"....the owner of the company kept the Rank of Colonel for himself....the company had 19 employees total....).

          If I were running a company, it would be :

          -Officer (or Agent maybe)
          -Senior Officer/Agent/Training Officer
          -Asst. Supervisor
          -Supervisor
          -Asst Manager
          -Manager
          -Area Manager

          Or some such. I'm sorry, but "Gunnery Sgt of Security" is just....I don't even know the word for it .

          Also, I am not crazy about current "traditional police titles" anyway. Titles such as "corporal", "sergeant", "captain", etc. are military rank titles and should be reserved for the military. Civilian police officers are cops, not soldiers, and that is how it should be.
          Well, I'm a Corporal of Police now, but I kind of agree with this too. I like how British Police have their own police sounding ranks. Constable, Sergeant (the only military sounding rank), Inspector, Chief Inspector, Superintendant, Chief Superintendant and Chielf Constable IIRC. My Department has 17 officer, yet we have a Chief, a Captain, a Lieutenant and 3 Sergeants. Top heavy if you ask me.
          ~Black Caesar~
          Corbier's Commandos

          " "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

          Comment


          • #6
            Police officers will be there protecting you,your family and property despite their small pay,long hours and lack of respect from people such as Rick Tallent.
            I'm sorry I had to post a comment on that website in regards to that. My comment was:

            "As will security officers for less pay, longer hours to make up for that pay and absolutely no respect from people such as you."


            Ok maybe not the best comeback, but excuse me, I'm in the middle of a double shift after haveing 5 hours off from my regular shift!

            Comment


            • #7
              Salve, Caesar!

              I, too, am a police corporal! I just got promoted two weeks ago, after a whole 6 weeks on the department. How's that for advancement opportunity!

              The rank structure for KPD is:

              Resident Manager
              Chief of Police
              Deputy Chief of Police (who wears captain bars as insignia of rank and is addressed as "captain")
              Lieutenant
              Sergeant
              Corporal
              Police Officer

              I also worked for a WBS company with a full military rank structure. I often had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing when some pimply-faced 19 year old with 90 days of security experience introduced himself as "Sergeant Major XXXXXX!" If you joined the company as an armed guard you were hired as a "staff sergeant"; if an armed patrol officer you were a "sergeant first class" and promoted to "master sergeant" after your 90-day probation; unarmed guards with some sort of prior security experience were hired at least as a "corporal" and sometimes as a "staff sergeant."

              The owner of the company also wore "colonel" eagles and wore them everywhere! On his collar points, on his epaulettes, and on his hat! His name tag actually read "Col. XXXXX" I believe he was a PFC when he was in the Army. It is people like this owner and companies like this one and one you worked for why so many people think the security industry is a pathetic joke!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by histfan71
                Salve, Caesar!

                I, too, am a police corporal! I just got promoted two weeks ago, after a whole 6 weeks on the department. How's that for advancement opportunity!
                All that good butt kissing!

                Seriously Congrats, glad your doing good over there, are you planning on extending past your original tour?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GCMC Security
                  All that good butt kissing!

                  Seriously Congrats, glad your doing good over there, are you planning on extending past your original tour?
                  Yeah, I think so, even though things on Roi are even slower than on Kwaj!

                  In the 3 weeks I have been on Roi I have only written one citation, for a lady sneaking out a couple packs of cigarettes! Real exciting, huh?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i kinda agree with...

                    I for one would like a few things changed hopefully for the better.
                    frist off i'd like to be able to write tickets, how many times have you seen
                    someone park in the handicap parking and run into the store?

                    2nd I'm not sure how it is in other areas but i'm not allowed to carry a
                    backup gun? why not?

                    i do agree with the higher standards of hiring. some of these WB companys
                    will hire anyone.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In Canada...

                      Boy, am I glad I live in Canada.

                      Someone wrote that "Sworn Law Enforcement Officers as Agents of the Government are immune to civil and criminal prosecution while acting under good faith [but guards are not]."

                      Here we have the Criminal Code of Canada to save us:
                      ______________________________________
                      25. (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law

                      (a) as a private person,

                      (b) as a peace officer or public officer,

                      (c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or

                      (d) by virtue of his office,

                      is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.
                      ______________________________________

                      Also, we (guards or private citizens) have the exact same powers of arrest as sworn LEOs, except that Police have the authority to enter a "private dwelling" to execute same (although perhaps some other Canadian could shed light on this, I'm not completely sure of it).

                      wjohnc
                      Rule #1: Go home at the end of the day in an upright position, with everything attached, and with peace of mind for having done the job well.
                      "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." - John Wayne (in his last movie 'The Shootist')

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Randal
                        frist off i'd like to be able to write tickets, how many times have you seen someone park in the handicap parking and run into the store?
                        As a security guard, it is NOT your job to enforce the state vehicle code or any local laws/regulations/ordinances that address illegal parking. If you want to enforce parking regulations so badly, get a job with your local city or county as a Parking Enforcement Officer. It IS your job as a security guard to enforce your employer's/client's rules and regulations, so if someone is illegally parking on your post and your post orders address such a situation, you can write them a "Parking Warning Notice" or whatever your company calls them.

                        Originally posted by Randal
                        2nd I'm not sure how it is in other areas but i'm not allowed to carry a backup gun? why not?
                        Most of the armed security guards I have seen and dealt with should not be carrying one gun, much less two! Seriously, it is probably a rule of your state's licensing body. In California, it is a BSIS (Bureau of Security and Investigative Services) rule that armed guards may only carry one firearm on their person while on duty. It is probably the same in your state.

                        Originally posted by Randal
                        i do agree with the higher standards of hiring. some of these WB companys will hire anyone.
                        Don't even get me started on that topic!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by histfan71
                          As a security guard, it is NOT your job to enforce the state vehicle code or any local laws/regulations/ordinances that address illegal parking. If you want to enforce parking regulations so badly, get a job with your local city or county as a Parking Enforcement Officer. It IS your job as a security guard to enforce your employer's/client's rules and regulations, so if someone is illegally parking on your post and your post orders address such a situation, you can write them a "Parking Warning Notice" or whatever your company calls them.
                          Don't even get me started on that topic!
                          It's not completely unheard of. In Ontario, security guards can apply to be permitted to write city parking tickets on their property.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            South Carolina and Virginia allow arrests by Armed Security and they seem to have no problems other than the local PD's whining about it.

                            What public police are really scared of is that a Private Security Agency may take over a town and do a better job than them, ala the minutemen on the border.

                            while I do believe in training I don't nessassarily belive that more is better...I think that better is better, and there is the difference between a Private mindset and a public one. The public sector always stresses more, more, more thats how they stay in business.

                            The private sector looks to solve problems with minimum effort where the public sector will send in a Swat team for publicity and to justify themselves.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by talon
                              What public police are really scared of is that a Private Security Agency may take over a town and do a better job than them, ala the minutemen on the border.
                              This HAS been tried before. I will try to find a link to the story.

                              Going from memory, a small town in Pennsylvania I believe it was, in the late 1970's disbanded their police department and contracted with a private security company to provide law enforcement services to the town.

                              It only lasted a few months. The security guards were making false arrests, destroying evidence before the trial, and other such things. The town quickly got rid of the security guards, contracted with the county sheriff, and a few years later brought back their own PD.

                              If any members have any information on this, please post it!

                              Comment

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