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Patrol vehicles, what do you get to drive?

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  • Mr. Security
    replied
    My concern is that security needs to have a clear distinction from LE where appearance is concerned. I'm not saying that we all need to wear square badges and goofy-looking uniforms. What I am saying is that every time we are perceived as trying to look like cops, we add fuel to the fire about security being a bunch of wannabes.

    IMO, titles like Public Safety and Private Police play right into this argument. Security Enforcement Officer, Private Protection Officer and the like convey authority w/o crossing into LE territory.

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  • Special Investigator
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Ditto with regard to black/white, the slight revision of the well-known police motto "To Protect and Serve", and the reference to "911", which is obviously not the phone number of this security agency! The only thing missing is a blue/red lightbar.

    I'm sure there are a lot of venues where this design wouldn't go over well with the police, or would even be illegal.
    I tend to agree with ya on that. As far as I know, and I could be wrong, but a squad that is painted B&W like that may be illegal in Wisconsin. I believe it is reserved only for local LE. Sheriff depts cannot use B&W around these parts, it must be a solid color squad. The "To Protect and Serve", and the reference to "911", may be confusing to the general public and I'm sure LEO's might not like it and harrass anyone behind the wheel. The phone number of the agency MUST be on the vehicle.



    Originally posted by Corbier
    If your patches and title do not impersonate a specific public office (Kenosha Police, Milwaukee County Sheriff, etc), then you can use the term Police.
    That is changing. The use of the word "POLICE" is currently being deemed 'illegal' by the DRL. The DRL is forcing security companies who use the word police in their names to change it otherwise their license to operate may not be renewed. Also, your shoulder patches cannot look like, or resamble a police patch. All patches must be approved by the DRL.
    Last edited by Special Investigator; 12-02-2006, 01:40 PM.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Ah, but look in other states where the vehicles say "Public Safety," as well. The term "POLICE" is generally reserved for the government, but "public safety" is not. Illinois, where the words "POLICE" will get you arrested have many national security outfits calling themselves "public safety departments," usually around the malls.

    Wisconsin has historically viewed it as so: If you are impersonating a public office, you are impersonating the police. If your patches and title do not impersonate a specific public office (Kenosha Police, Milwaukee County Sheriff, etc), then you can use the term Police.

    Blue Knight Police does not infringe on a specific public office, unless there's a Blue Knight, Wisconsin somewhere in this state. Valor "Public Safety" does not infringe on any Department of Public Safety in Wisconsin, unless there is a Valor, Wisconsin.

    That's how the game has historically been played.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Welcome to Wisconsin. Also, "Public Safety" is not a "police" word up here. Look at IPC, who does not have "security officers," but "public safety officers."

    Let me make the point a little better on edit:

    There are companies running around with POLICE on their cars. Blue Knight Police, Kenosha Private Police, Schmitt Security Police (I saw one that hasn't been redone! Old POS too...) and who knows what else... Police is a verb up here, not a noun. Hell, the statute requiring licensing for security says "private police" right in it.
    Yes, but I doubt that the public is "up" on all of these technical minutiae like what the statute for security licensing says, and public perception was all that Mr. Security was talking about in his post. This would certainly apply even more so to the millions of people (who are also part of "the public") who visit Wisconsin every year from other climes.

    And, I don't wish to be argumentative, but "police" is a noun as well as a verb everywhere that the English language is spoken and standard English language dictionaries are used - including Wisconsin. That's why you will find "Milwaukee Police", for instance, and the word "POLICE" on the patches and vehicles of Wisconsin police agencies - it's not being used as a verb but as a noun in the formal name of the agency.

    If not...maybe there should be signs at the Wisconsin state lines to warn visitors that words don't mean the same as they do elsewhere. It reminds me of this quote from Alice in Wonderland:

    Humpty Dumpty: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean -neither more nor less.
    Alice: The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Welcome to Wisconsin. Also, "Public Safety" is not a "police" word up here. Look at IPC, who does not have "security officers," but "public safety officers."

    Let me make the point a little better on edit:

    There are companies running around with POLICE on their cars. Blue Knight Police, Kenosha Private Police, Schmitt Security Police (I saw one that hasn't been redone! Old POS too...) and who knows what else... Police is a verb up here, not a noun. Hell, the statute requiring licensing for security says "private police" right in it.
    Last edited by N. A. Corbier; 12-02-2006, 11:30 AM.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    PUBLIC safety on a security vehicle? Seems pretty close to what a member of the public expects a police car to look like.
    Ditto with regard to black/white, the slight revision of the well-known police motto "To Protect and Serve", and the reference to "911", which is obviously not the phone number of this security agency! The only thing missing is a blue/red lightbar.

    I'm sure there are a lot of venues where this design wouldn't go over well with the police, or would even be illegal.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-02-2006, 10:49 AM.

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  • Mr. Security
    replied
    PUBLIC safety on a security vehicle? Seems pretty close to what a member of the public expects a police car to look like.

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  • WISecurityGuy
    replied
    This is my first post. I have been reading your posts regarding WI laws as they pertain to security officer arrests/detainments. In September of 2004, the Milwaukee Police Department decided that they would not respond to residential and commercial burglar alarms. It was up to each individual alarm install company to contract with a security guard company and have them provide a "verified response." Much commotion has come up because of this. This year alone, our officers have "detained" over 5 burglars while checking these burglar alarms. Our company is one of the main providers of this service in Milwaukee, responding to over 1200 alarms per month. As stated in one of the earlier posts, in a quote from the DRL, an officer may only detain a person long enough to call the police and wait for police response. We have received many praises from police as well as the Chief herself.

    Another example of our company when it comes to detainments is the extensive work we do for the "high-risk" clubs that we have in the inner city. We provide a risky service providing armed OUTSIDE security patrols for many clubs. There is usually an incident once or twice at minimum throughout all the clubs where we have to detain a person until the police arrive. Just this last Thursday at one of the clubs, 2 of our officers drew down on a person who had a gun in the car, dragged him out of the vehicle and called the police. A gun was recovered, and those two officers have a meeting next week with the Captain of that district. Apparently he will be recommending them for a citizens award for stopping a potentially fatal incident.

    It goes to say that depending where in Wisconsin you are talking about, each department has their certain views on private security. The smaller departments sometimes feel like security is stepping on their toes, doing their jobs. Most larger departments have major lazy officers who are always looking at how to avoid writing any reports. However, this still does not change the fact that if there is a crime being committed, we as security guards should at least detain the person until the police arrive. It is not considered as an arrest, ever. The police are the ones who make that decision, not us.

    Also, just to clarify the private police question. In Milwaukee, there are a few companies that have the word "Police" in them. Blue Knight Police is one that is still in business. There is also one that is no longer in business, but had POLICE plastered all over their cars. Metropolitin Police Services of America. They went out of business, however it was not because of their red lights and police decals on their cars.

    Finally, our company squad cars. In our company, all security guards drive 2001-2005 Crown Victorias (we have 6). The Supervisors (Sgts.) drive Explorers (2), and our transport officers drive a 1997 extended Dodge Van (it has 3 separations in it to keep the transportees separated) and a 2003 GMC Astro van (also with 2 separations in it). The chief and asst. chief drive unmarked crown vics. Their cars are the only ones with siren and lights. They only have the wig wags in front and rear and are only used on private properties. NEVER on the streets.
    Hopefully this link works! Heres a pic of one of our squads. All of them are black and white, other than the unmarked squads.

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  • officergossman
    replied
    lol...some of these car pictures are making me jealous as I love Crown Vics...good car for security and storm chasing as well

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  • Bill Warnock
    replied
    As long as money is driving the clattering train, nothing will change. Clients and security companies are guided by the principle of "calculated risk." That will change, has changed and will continue to change given post 9/11.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Yes, I understand all that. My point is that legislative clarity is needed in many states even regarding "plain vanilla" (John Q. Public) citizen arrest powers, and while this vagueness doesn't cause any problems for the average citizen who never needs to make an arrest, the lack of clarity does cause enormous problems for security companies, officers and their insurers.

    It's also no good anymore for security companies to tell their officers "Well, just don't make an arrest", either, because there is also potential liability in taking that approach, should a situation arise in which a security officer may reasonably be found to have a duty to act...just as liability would attach if the officer failed to act upon the discovery of a fire breaking out. Whether simple "reporting" will be found by a jury to satisfy the duty to act - especially if someone is subsequently harmed - is growing more and more doubtful. Failure to act where there is a duty to do so and where such failure is the proximal cause of harm does constitute a tort in every state in the union.

    Nor are the client's wishes controlling in this regard. Regardless of what the client wishes to do in the way of restricting security activities to "observe-and-report-only", other stakeholders such as customers, visitors and employees have legally-recognized expectations as well. There is abundant security case law to the effect that these stakeholders' expectations will be regarded as being as valid as those of the entity that contracts for security.

    In short, it's time to pull our heads out of the sand and get the state legislatures that have not done so to clarify citizen arrest powers - whether very limited or very broad is up to them - so that the citizens (security officers) who do need such clarity have it.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Because the largest security companies do not want anyone but a "Security Police Officer" (i.e. a contract security guard given arrest powers by some federal agency) performing arrests. If they perform arrests or detainments, they open themselves up to liability. They have to increase training. It cuts into their profit margin, basically, because the clients will start realizing that they can start arresting, and the clients will start putting it into the contracts.

    Remember, most contracts specifically state that the contractor will provide an employee to patrol, deter, observe, and report. They are not provided for the purposes of intervening, providing "security," or providing "protection."

    Basically, the client is paying for an untrained (or in some states, minimally trained) observer. Arrest and detention powers would require additional training that costs money, money that the client won't pay and that comes out of the profit of the security companies.

    Companies have always been of the position, "If you want people arrested, give our guards the same powers as a police officer, so they have complete immunity to prosecution like one." Lowers the liability greatly when you have complete immunity under the Good Faith Doctrine to anything short of willfull negligence or excessive force.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    LED Bars

    Some of the LED bars are "stealthy" in that it's impossible to tell what color they are when not operating (they just look clear, basically, even though they might be blue, red, white, amber or green when operating).

    I have a different take on all of this, probably, than most. When I was acting chief of a small PD, I was very happy (for the most part) to have security patrols running around town, and the more like police cars they appeared to be, the MORE I liked it. In other words, they somewhat made up for my own small force of two units in terms of presenting a "protection presence" to the bad guys that might be cruising through town looking for trouble and couldn't tell from any distance whether they were looking at a security or a police unit.

    We had very good relations with the security officers and even considered giving some of them special commissions...until the city attorney (those darned attorneys) nixed the idea for liability reasons.

    Given the climate in some communities, however, I'd be very tempted just to go with well-marked slick tops. With spotlights, deck bar, corner strobes, wigwags, etc., the point still gets across if the car itself is commonly used in LE and isn't some kind of a clown car like a VW bug or something. Most security venues can do well with this kind of gear and don't need a bar, IMHO. I'd rather spend the money on night vision gear, in-car video and computer gear anyway.

    Can consider all white or even all black, all navy, etc. There are also a lot of two-tone combinations that provide a "protective" appearance w/o stepping on the black-and-whites' turf. Blue/gold with gold shield, for instance. There's also a very dark shade of green - *almost* black - that together with white looks a lot like B&W at night, but does avoid actually being a B&W.

    On a different topic, I can't for the life of me understand why security companies - and their insurance carriers - don't get together and hammer the state legislatures to eliminate, by specific legislation, the ambiguities about security arrest and detainment powers. The only people that benefit from these ambiguities persisting are lawyers.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    I'll see if I can get any of the polk guys to give me a pic of their Liberties.

    I have a client who has Whelen LFLs in Green. Whelen says that they don't make them in green, he had to special order the lightbars, because really nobody uses Green in their primary customer base.

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  • Jackhole
    replied
    Originally posted by Echos13
    Have not seen anything in Florida yet. Though the new LED FHP lights do have a slight tint of purple to them at an angle. The Polk County Sheriff Office have new Chevys with these all blue LEDs in-cased in an all clear housing. It looks really weird. But man is it bright!
    They're probably Whelen Libertys. We have those (all blue) and they're SUPER bright.

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