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Security versus Law Enforcement - The Animosity - Part 1

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  • Security versus Law Enforcement - The Animosity - Part 1

    Warning: This is an extremely long post!

    Since joining the forums here at SIW I have had the privilege to read many fine posts on a wide variety of topics. Posts that showed thought, were informative, in-depth, and were expressing the opinions and beliefs of the author. I had enjoyed all of them, almost.

    Those posts that have brought me concern fall into the area of those severely critical to security or law enforcement. They clearly show the deep animosity by the authors of one field for the other. Those posts tend to cause me concern for their discontent, at times downright hateful stance, about one of the two fields. It is this animosity I wish to address in this post to the forums.

    Modern law enforcement has gone through a long evolutionary process in America. August Vollmer, Berkeley Chief of Police (1905-32), was a strong proponent of professionalizing the police forces. Vollmer believed that every police officer should hold a bachelors degree as a minimum. This movement by Vollmer to have educated police officers covered the period from 1921 to 1943, before being interrupted by World War II. The ideas were so strong in Vollmer that upon leaving his post as Berkeley Chief of Police in 1932 he became a professor of police administration at the University of California Berkeley until 1937. The next era of educating the police officer started in the early 50’s and continued down that road to this day. Work by Vollmer lead ultimately to the creation of the first university department of criminology in the United States at Berkeley. Vollmer became the Dean of the school and supervised a curriculum that was based on public speaking, sociology, psychology, abnormal psychology, and statistics. Throughout Vollmer’s career he was a constant advocate for change – calling relentlessly for standardization or modernization of law enforcement. Vollmer also wrote the Wickersham Report, which represented a baseline for comparison and reform of police agencies. Today’s CALEA standards for accreditation came largely from this report by Vollmer. Vollmer had a positive effect on law enforcement right up to today. He wasn’t the only man working to improve law enforcement by any means, but he is one of the first.

    Yet even with this drive by Vollmer and others, professionalizing the police has been a very long road. Even in Vollmer’s time there were issues to be dealt with. Vollmer himself proposed (in 1941) that police officers should have high IQ’s. In those days many police officers around the United States were of the “dull and feebleminded” and were known as leatherheads. With the IQ testing used at that time, police officers in the city of Detroit scored an average of 55, while those in the force run by Vollmer had an average of 147. This is a large difference indeed.

    Nothing was accomplished quickly. It wasn’t until 1959 that California established its Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. Slowly over the coming years all states created commissions of their own. Yet, in the early 70’s when the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards looked at the criminal justice system they found a wide variety and inconsistent system of police training requirements and patterns around the United States.

    Even with this level of professional training for police it hasn’t eradicated problems in modern policing. The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in 1968 blamed rioting around the country on the police in many instances. The report said that the police often caused the riots to start by escalating routine traffic stops with their racism and abrasiveness. In the 70’s there were several commissions that spent themselves on investigating police corruption. One of the most famous was the Knapp Commission. Even with these investigating bodies problems still abounded in law enforcement. The “drug war” in America brought many police to misery when faced with such large sums of money available to them.

    Take the Buddy Boys of the NYPD, a whole precinct involved in criminal activity. From an editorial review on Amazon.com of a book on this group:

    This book concerns police in one of the toughest ghettos in New York City who became thoroughly corrupt, stealing, dealing drugs, and extorting. Reporter McAlary follows the careers of Henry Winter and Tony Magno, who started out as good cops, and slowly became bad in a precinct governed by no rules and known as a dumping grown for cops who had "messed up." Once there, officers quickly became part of a gang protected by the Internal Affairs Department and their union. Eventually, Winter and Magno were caught and gathered evidence against fellow cops rather than go to jail. This scary book shows how easily good men can be corrupted. Well-crafted, fast paced, and thorough, it provides new understanding of an old problem.”

    Buddy Boys: When Good Cops Turn Bad. Mike McAlary (1988)

    Problems have continued to exist. One of the latest commissions looking into the police was the well known Christopher Commission review of LAPD and the officers involved in the beating of Rodney King.

    Yet law enforcement continues to strive to move forward, to eliminate its ugly past by becoming a better profession. It is always looking to improve not only police officers but also policing organizations. This is the state of law enforcement today.

    If one currently looks at the state of private security in America and contrasts it against the, admittedly brief portrayal, history of American police one could objectively state that the industry is somewhere around the state of law enforcement of the late 40’s and through the 50’s. There abounds in the industry many who fit the same mold that police officers were in during that time. There are large numbers of reports in the media of the actions of security officers, both good and bad. The industry is working in a modern world, yet still in an infancy when it comes to professionalizing itself. As a group the security industry employs many guards still and will into the future if nothing is done to force improvement down on the companies with the outmoded idea that security is a warm body job comprised of people who aren’t capable, for a variety of reasons, of doing more than observing and reporting what they see to the police.

    The governing laws enacted by the states make the security industry a terrible mismatch of requirements (all inadequate) for officers and companies in the same way that the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards of the 70’s found those problems in policing. The many problems facing the ability of security officers to become professionals are the same the police faced over the decades from the 50’s until well into the 70’s and 80’s. This does not have to be. Change can occur just as it did for the law enforcement field. Until these kinds of changes get a strong foothold throughout the United States, and possibly Canada, there will always be incompetence within the field, to include behavior that is outright criminal by some working in the field.
    Last edited by aka Bull; 07-24-2006, 01:16 PM.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

  • #2
    Security versus Law Enforcement - The Animosity - Part 2

    Part 2:



    This state of existence in the security industry causes many in law enforcement to look down with disdain upon those people working within it. Is it fair? Is it earned? Is it productive? In my view it may be fair to some degree, and it is certainly earned to some degree. But it is not productive in any fashion. There are those currently in private security who have worked in the law enforcement career field and understand both sides of the coin and vice versa. Sadly sometimes some of the strongest disdain comes from those now in law enforcement who had prior experience in security. I have thought, more than once, that maybe so much of this outright hatred comes from reflecting on the idea that law enforcement views themselves as the only legitimate force for protecting society. In these modern times though it can not be accepted that the police can handle all the ills of society. If they could then there would be absolutely no reason for the security industry to exist at all. It is not for a lack of desire on their part, but it is a fact.

    Why then does law enforcement in general tend to carry this animosity? Could it be that they see what they were at one time in the history of their career? Certainly the fact that the security industry has been negligent in professionalizing itself is a major factor for this reflection. No one could reasonably deny that either. Yet could not those very same professionals set aside their bias and bigotry and take a cousin to themselves under their wing and help make the industry force a professional one? Could not security look to the advancements that those visionaries for law enforcement put into place and extract that which pertains clearly to a professional force and utilize it for self improvement. Security too needs to set aside the bigotries they show law enforcement and prove, beyond doubt, that the field can become a limited partner to their “older” cousin.

    Slamming each other with negativism, disrespectfulness, and biased bigotry will not lead to a better future in which private security moves towards a goal of becoming a partner in aiding law enforcement in reaching towards their ultimate goal of protecting society.

    Security does not need to continue in the vein of being guards and handling nothing more than observing and reporting. Within their restricted spear of operations security personnel can be selected discerningly, trained accordingly, and compensated fairly which will lead to a modern professional force of qualified and very competent people who can provide an additional layer of safety for society in general.

    One of the first steps in the right direction is for both groups to stop the discrimination and degrading behavior towards the other. Postings on this board which can be a reflection of that behavior towards the groups or individuals in those groups are unnecessary and show a definitive lack of basic respect for each other.

    Ladies and gentlemen, why are we continuing to hate so?

    Jon Bullis
    Security Officer (not “guard”)

    Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    Material on the history of policing has been taken from the following sources:

    A Brief Guide To Police History

    Police Training in a Democracy” Otwin Marinen
    Last edited by aka Bull; 07-24-2006, 01:16 PM.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

    Comment


    • #3
      I was suprised when I entered this forum and discovered a lot of "hate" between LEO and SO. I'm from Holland and I don't have much knowhow about the relation between those two.
      The only contribution that I can make is my own expirience here.

      In Holland the differance between LEO and SO is clear. Of course there are some SO's that see themself as a kind off LEO and try to act like one. But sooner or later they end up loosing there job.

      We have no more rights than civillians. We are not allowed to carry any kind of weapons. That incl. handcuffs to! There are 3 very clear things that we NEED to do. To see, alarm and make a report.

      We have the right to make an arrest only then when we see the crime happening. We have to hand over the susp. a.s.a.p to the police.

      We are not allowed to do criminal investigation in any way. That's policebussiness.

      I think that there is a fine and clear border between both partys here. And that makes it for the both far more easy to work together. Where we end, the will start.

      And I think it's also a way of how you see your self and how you act. I'm a So not because I'm not allowed in the policeforce. I wanted to be a SO, so I am a SO for 15 years now.

      I'm part off a security-team so I act as a security-officer and not like a police-officer.

      And to my beleave, that's the hateproblem over there. Both party's are mixed up in each others playground.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by boes1970
        And to my beleave, that's the hateproblem over there. Both party's are mixed up in each others playground.
        That is the gospel truth lol. And I say this as someone who benifits from the "blurred lines" (I'm a Campus Police Officer for a public college, our status is LEO all the way, but the job itself is a hybrid between protection and enforcement).

        What I think would help is a few simple things states could do. For example, uniforms. My state is very liberal when it comes to private security uniforms, and many many Warm Body companies opt for uniforms that are exactly the same as what police wear (down to the trouser piping). I worked ofr a company whose badge was the same as Dallas PD, you had to be real close to see that it dosen't have the state seal (only LEOs can have the seal in their badges) and even thier shoulder patch had the same "Rainbow wroding" shape as DPD. I worked there 2 weeks before I quit because I though it was ridiculas.

        I think there should be more restriction, like saying S/O uniforms must be "two-tone" or or something. One company Calling itself the "Special Enforcement Buearu" weres neo-SWAT type gear all the time with the words "Special Agent" on the shirt. With WBS companies like this, is it any wonder that public LE looks down on Security, and many people don't take it seriously?

        The best companies I worked for were very much "Observe and report", even if you were armed. Being an Armed S/O is mainly for projecting a "preasance" and that weapon is for self defense or defense of a 3rd person in EXTREME cases.

        Only the bottom feedering WBS wannabe companies put their guards in posistions where they might actually NEED to constantly arrest people or use their weapons in my experiance.

        ~~~
        When I was in the private sector, I had a great relationship with Police.

        Why?

        Because I know what my job was and didn't go beyond. back then I had to explain to a few S/Os (who wanted me to whip out my reserve badge a few times) that I'm a S/O when in S/O uniform, I'm a cop at other times, I liked having the 2 badges and I'm gonna keep em. They also didn't understand why I didn't identify myself as a Reserve LEO back then when the cops arrived. Well, 2 reasons, unless asked for, it wasn't relevant, and 2 it was none of their business. A shallow ego S/O will try to spew off their "credentials" to LEO, and end up just embarrising themselves, which I refused to do.

        When I called police, i'd give MY name, not some security rank, I'd say I was an S/O at the location and what I was calling for. I'd take notes, and when the police would arrive I'd hand over the notes, give a quick verbal summary and then back off and cover their rear. Honest to god I've seen S/O s argue about "jurisdiction" with the same cops THEY called. One guy kept asking a suspect questions after the police arrived, I was the lead officer, I had to pull him out so the PD could do it's work. It was embarrasing.

        I did not try to use fake sounding police jargon around cops, it makes you look stupid. I woulnd't ask them what kind of gun they carried, or offer any small talk at all unless they did 1st. I had other rules I follwed as well.

        And on 5 occassions that I can remember, I was told by responding Police Officers that they appreciated my professionalism, and then I recieved the highest compliment a S/O can recive from a policemen (if you know how proud police are of being police, this will make sense): I was told that I "should apply for the Police Department". Like I said, when you know how police think of themselves, and what they usually think of S/Os, that is high praise indeed.

        THEN and only then would I tell them that I was involved in Law Enforcement (ie I was in a police academy at the time, or I was a reserve policeman or whatever). Then it was relevant.

        I think if more S/Os follwed a few simple rules, there would be less heat coming at the Private Security Industry from public institutions and officers than there is now.
        ~Black Caesar~
        Corbier's Commandos

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

        Comment


        • #5
          This thread should be hardcopied and direct mailed to every law enforcement agency in America, and perhaps elsewhere. If police would allow security personnel to work effectively with them and make them feel comfortable doing so, instead of holding a grudge and continually working against the industry, law enforcement would clearly see how Security Officer's are assisting in crime prevention, deterrence, detection, and even apprehension.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dhcp
            This thread should be hardcopied and direct mailed to every law enforcement agency in America, and perhaps elsewhere. If police would allow security personnel to work effectively with them and make them feel comfortable doing so, instead of holding a grudge and continually working against the industry, law enforcement would clearly see how Security Officer's are assisting in crime prevention, deterrence, detection, and even apprehension.
            I'm sorry, but I still think it's the ther way around. If your gonna email someone, start with the Warm Body Security companies and such that abound everywhere.

            In a combined total of 5 year in Private security, most of it in Dallas, I never had a problem with Law enforcement. Sure, for some of that 5 years I was a reserve, or in the academy, but for most of it I was not.

            Truth be told, I'd had more problems with the city police since I became a Campus Cop than I did as private security lol. If Private Security didn't have sooooo many untrained and , lets be honest here, undisireable knuckleheads running around ruining it for everyone, things would be better.

            But , in an industry where the lowest Bidder wins, thats what you get.....
            ~Black Caesar~
            Corbier's Commandos

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Two way street...

              As an SO that has also worked in law enforcement as a reserve, I can say with certainty that this is a two way street. The "warm body" companies need to stop worrying completely on the all mighty dollar and invest in better training, education, and background checking of there staff. I work for and am employed by a county hospital. I have also worked armed private security with people that should not have been carrying firearms. But all this being said, not all police officers are required to have any more education than a security officer. Minnesota does require a degree in criminal justice. But not all states do. I have a degree in auto collision repair and I do qualify to be a U.S. Marshall. How that works, I'm not sure. A college degree isn't actually required for them. Security and police need to work together and get over their personal problems and work together. We're on the same team.
              Apparently a HUGE cop wannabe...

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm sure you won't solve the problem by emailing this to every law enforcement organisation in the US. Like Black Ceasar already quoted, there are also security-company's that don't understand. Like handing out uniforms simular to police. (forbidden by law in Holland)

                And I have a question also, he I'm from Holland and try to understand a view things here

                Campuspolice is real police or Security or maybe a kind of mix? And is this the way in your State or the same in all States?

                I'm pretty confused by now, about all the types of SO and LEO i've seen passing by.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Normally I would be all over this thread, but Black Caesar beat me to it! Caesar said everything that I wanted to say, and probably did it more elequently than I ever could. Hail Caesar!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by boes1970
                    I'm sure you won't solve the problem by emailing this to every law enforcement organisation in the US. Like Black Ceasar already quoted, there are also security-company's that don't understand. Like handing out uniforms simular to police. (forbidden by law in Holland
                    Sounds like You all have less confusion about roles than we do.

                    And I have a question also, he I'm from Holland and try to understand a view things here
                    Good luck, Im from Texas and I still don't undersand America

                    Campuspolice is real police or Security or maybe a kind of mix? And is this the way in your State or the same in all States?

                    I'm pretty confused by now, about all the types of SO and LEO i've seen passing by.
                    "Campus" Police is what we call ourselves, but the term dosen't actually exist in Texas Law. This is a list of Texas Peace Officers (It excludes Railroad Police and "Special Rangers" though, you have to scroll down further for them). I'm a #8 BTW .

                    Wikipedia actually has a couple good articles Here and Here. It varies greatly from state to state.

                    Status Wise, here in Texas a cop is a cop (there are peace officers, and then there is everyone esle ). My Department is totally independant of any other Law Enforcement Agency (but it's still part of the college)

                    In other states, they might have campus police, but they are actually "commissioned" (given their authority) through a local or county police force, basically they are "borrowing" authority from somebody else.

                    In still other states, there are no campus police at all, only city, county and state cops.

                    Nationwide, there is one differance between Campus Cops. Police Officers for a Public Institution (public hospital, public college ect, meaning the instituution is owned by the government) can carry their guns into other states by federal law (HR218), where as a police officer who works for private institutions (like, for instance, the Harvard University Police, or the various "Private Police officers" springing up around the country) cannot.

                    It's complex, but America is a hugh country.
                    Last edited by Black Caesar; 07-25-2006, 07:31 AM.
                    ~Black Caesar~
                    Corbier's Commandos

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanx BC

                      I see I have some study to do right now.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Keep in mind that its even more complex. Basically, there are three kinds of commissioned officers in the United States.

                        1. A sworn "law enforcement officer" who works for a public entity. (some form of the US, State, County, or Local government.) This is what HR218 (Which allows them to carry guns anywhere off-duty sorta) considers a "law enforcement officer." They work for the government, and their powers to make arrest, carry guns, and give lawful orders are derived from their position in the government.

                        2. A commissioned "peace officer" who may or may not work for a public entity. These are persons who the state gives some manner of police power to, in the state's name, to help carry out their duties. A good example in the differences between states is that in New York, a building inspector who inspects buildings to see if they're within the city's building code is a peace officer with arrest powers. He has those powers so he may write a ticket for violations of the code. Across the nation in California, we have people who work for a private company (a college) who can make arrests as "peace officers." The standard for peace officer is "a person who's primary mission is not the enforcement of laws, but may be required to enforce law as part of their duties." Like, say, a park ranger. His job is to take care of the park. As part of that job, he may have to arrest people for violating laws while in the park, including park-related laws that city police might not know.

                        3. A private police officer, or "security police officer," established in some states as either law enforcement officers or peace officers. These are people who work for a security company, or another company, and are commissioned by the state as police officers for the property they protect. Their primary mission is to protect the property and persons on it. They have a secondary mission to enforce law and statute. This is how the government deals with security vs. policing: Everyone gets arrest powers, but the security mission is to protect stuff. The police mission is to enforce laws. This is why some federal government installations give their security forces police powers. Their primary mission is to protect the federal property, and they have police powers to help them do that.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Why The Animosity?

                          There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Without getting into a long post about this issue, I'd like to use an illustration to explain part of it. Most of us understand the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist. Many optometrists have pushed for legislation that would allow them to prescribe medication just like an ophthalmologist. They have succeeded in some states, much to the dismay of ophthalmologists who had to complete medical school before obtaining the right to issue prescriptions.

                          It's similar with the training that s/o's receive when compared to police officers. Most police officers must be POST certified, graduate from an academy, and complete training with a FTO. Thereafter, they will likely be on probation status until the department’s requirements are satisfied. Huge difference in training.

                          Ophthalmologists complain that optometrists have no business trying to perform tasks that normally are reserved for doctors. Likewise, LE complains that security has no business performing functions normally reserved for police officers. Get the picture?
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mr. Security
                            There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Without getting into a long post about this issue, I'd like to use an illustration to explain part of it. Most of us understand the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist. Many optometrists have pushed for legislation that would allow them to prescribe medication just like an ophthalmologist. They have succeeded in some states, much to the dismay of ophthalmologists who had to complete medical school before obtaining the right to issue prescriptions.

                            It's similar with the training that s/o's receive when compared to police officers. Most police officers must be POST certified, graduate from an academy, and complete training with a FTO. Thereafter, they will likely be on probation status until the department’s requirements are satisfied. Huge difference in training.

                            Ophthalmologists complain that optometrists have no business trying to perform tasks that normally are reserved for doctors. Likewise, LE complains that security has no business performing functions normally reserved for police officers. Get the picture?
                            So why are police officers performing functions normally reserved for security guards? There's two sides to that argument. Many agencies engage in "short-call" work, where the primary function of the police officer is to perform security duties.

                            A great example of this (among other insanity at the rich client's property) is the fact that a security company was hired to post gate duty on a public road in an exclusive community. It is illegal for anyone to stop the flow of public road traffic in Florida. The security company's employees made no attempt to "keep people out," because if they did, they would be in violation of the law.

                            The client's answer is to contract with the Tampa Police Department, who they feel "is the only person who can arrest someone for trespassing." Keep in mind, folks, your fourth ammendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure still applies. How is a police officer going to "keep people out" of this guy's exclusive community when the traffic stops must be based on probable cause?
                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                              So why are police officers performing functions normally reserved for security guards? .......
                              Good question. I don't think they should. The reason you see security being used for gatherings/functions that normally had police to maintain order is because it's cheaper. Same with the concept of physician’s assistant. It's cheaper for a medical office to hire a PA instead of an MD. My PCP has never seen me. It's always the PA.

                              As w/ most things in this world, money is always at the root of the problem.
                              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                              Comment

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