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  • Article in Washington Post on Private Security and Policing...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...100665_pf.html

    The Private Arm of the Law
    RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kevin Watt crouched down to search the rusted Cadillac he had stopped for cruising the parking lot of a Raleigh apartment complex with a broken light. He pulled out two open Bud Light cans, an empty Corona bottle, rolling papers, a knife, a hammer, a stereo speaker, and a car radio with wires sprouting out.

    "Who's this belong to, man?" Watt asked the six young Latino men he had frisked and lined up behind the car. Five were too young to drink. None had a driver's license. One had under his hooded sweat shirt the tattoo of a Hispanic gang across his back.

    A gang initiation, Watt thought.

    With the sleeve patch on his black shirt, the 9mm gun on his hip and the blue light on his patrol car, he looked like an ordinary police officer as he stopped the car on a Friday night last month. Watt works, though, for a business called Capitol Special Police. It is one of dozens of private security companies given police powers by the state of North Carolina -- and part of a pattern across the United States in which public safety is shifting into private hands.

    ---

    Read the comments.

    Those who work for private colleges, hospitals, and other things that are not the United States Government, or a political subdivision: You are lumped in with the rest of us, a Bush created threat to personal liberties, and a "fad that will go away."

    Because George W. Bush has control over the past (NC has had the Company Police Act on the books for ages), and the states (those powers that give a private college officer the authority to be a police officer in Texas MUST of been a Bush/Cheney/KBR plot!)

    There are many people who outright hate the concept of anyone but the government directly telling them what to do. They don't even like the government doing it, but they know they can't fight that.

    But they can fight private policing. Expect this to swell up within the next five years, security hasn't gotten this much press in awhile.
    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
    Very nice read. Thank you for posting it.
    We may not be sworn in, have all the powers of arrest as a peace officer, or are able to run red & blues, but damnit, when the chips are down, the **** hits the fan, and the bullets are flying, me and an LEO share the same dumpster for cover, and spill the same blood in the same mud. All other differences are just details.

    Comment


    • #3
      Private Security is helping to keep tax rates down as well, providing security where a fully trained Police Officer is not needed. I would like to see more security people (with the right training of course) being used to free up the Police.

      A contract company I was with, had a contract to provide a CCTV observer when the Police Service had "customers" in a cell. Government & Police may not be able to perform as a private business, but they can be a bit more business like.
      Last edited by Eric; 01-06-2007, 09:55 AM.
      Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
      Groucho Marx

      Comment


      • #4
        Someone post this article on O.com and watch the fireworks begin.
        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

        Comment


        • #5
          As a pilot, I might add that a number of air traffic control towers have been privatized, something that government air traffic controllers are not too happy with. Despite the opposition, I believe that this trend of privatizing functions normally handled by public officials will only increase. The private sector has a better grasp on cost control and money always talks louder than anyone else.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

          Comment


          • #6
            Very interesting. Thanks.
            "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe there will be more of this in the future. There are already contract Security Police at certain government facilities now. They have limited police authority but can perform certain functions. Like issuing traffic citations and so on. I have heard of private corrections companies too but as far as I know we do not have any of those here in Alabama.

              Comment


              • #8
                I like the article. Its the comments that concern me. Most people have no concept of "private police," nor really "private security." When an article like this pops up on the radar, there is a lot of foaming at the mouth. Does it mean anything? Its hard to say. Within the next few years, things that are seen as "Bush-like" may be tossed and revamped by a new political group wanting "reforms." And people see these not in the time honored traditions of policing, but as "Bush-instituted special interest laws," somehow believing that these police forces come from the PATRIOT ACT or something.

                We've had sweeping reforms from one side of the spectrum (War on Terror, USA PATRIOT ACT, Military Tribunals, etc) which have had much political backlash. Now, we will have sweeping reforms from the other side of the spectrum. Where will we be left in the middle of these competing "reforms" at the state and national level?

                I don't think rank and file non-sworn security personnel will be affected much. It will be the sworn "special" or "private" police officers who may be. People are noticing this "huge infringement on our rights by super-corporations." I don't know how many of you know what the Shadowrun reference was, but to a large portion of people from my generation and the generation after me, they're referring to role playing game from the 1990s in the gamer culture that had large multi-national corporations and their shock troops: Corporate Police forces. The connotation was not that good.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  I like the article. Its the comments that concern me. Most people have no concept of "private police," nor really "private security." When an article like this pops up on the radar, there is a lot of foaming at the mouth. Does it mean anything? Its hard to say. Within the next few years, things that are seen as "Bush-like" may be tossed and revamped by a new political group wanting "reforms." And people see these not in the time honored traditions of policing, but as "Bush-instituted special interest laws," somehow believing that these police forces come from the PATRIOT ACT or something.

                  We've had sweeping reforms from one side of the spectrum (War on Terror, USA PATRIOT ACT, Military Tribunals, etc) which have had much political backlash. Now, we will have sweeping reforms from the other side of the spectrum. Where will we be left in the middle of these competing "reforms" at the state and national level?
                  People can be stupid, especially when they think they know something but really don't lol. Campus police folks like me get it all the time.

                  I was having a discussion with a student at my college a few months back. He said something to the effect that (paraphrasing) "seeing more and more campus police departments is evidence of the growing police state", and went on to say that because we didn't need campus police in the past was futher evidence.

                  I could see Campus Police as evidence of a "police state" if we were wearing SS unifroms, goose stepping to hitler's greatest hits and "dissappearing" people just for speeding on campus (lol), but it's not like that. Secondly, I had to educate the young man of the fact that campus/university police didn't just spring up yesterday.

                  The University of California Police came into existance by an act of the California Legislature in 1947. Several others were created in the 50s. My own department has existed since 1968.

                  Thing is, lots of campus police organizations didn't call themselves "police", but "public safety" or "Saftey and security". Dallas Public Schools did this, despite having an actual police department since 1979. A few years ago, when it was announced that "Dallas Public Schools Saftey and Security would transistion into a police department", some people were up in arms.......

                  .....because they didn't know DISD already had a police department...

                  Same with this article. People are short sighted. Some people actually think Bush has anything to do with us lol.

                  And you REALLY want to get people in an uproar? Inform them that some private religious organizations already have police forces lol.

                  Like around here in Dallas, the Dallas Theological Seminary Police, the Southern Methodist University Police, the Texas Christian University Police, the Methodist Hospital Police, the Presbyterian Hospital Police, The Baylor Health Care System Police (I used to work for Baylor, while BHCS is independant now, it still has ties to Baylor University, a Baptist school, while I worked at Baylor I was sometimes "loaned" to the Batist General Convention building on Baylor Medical Center's Campus).

                  All of these Campus police organizations are part of larger religious based non-profit corporations. Want to "spook-a-liberal", just tell em about em .

                  I don't think rank and file non-sworn security personnel will be affected much. It will be the sworn "special" or "private" police officers who may be. People are noticing this "huge infringement on our rights by super-corporations." I don't know how many of you know what the Shadowrun reference was, but to a large portion of people from my generation and the generation after me, they're referring to role playing game from the 1990s in the gamer culture that had large multi-national corporations and their shock troops: Corporate Police forces. The connotation was not that good.
                  Wow, now I don't feel so old . Someone else played Shadowrun. It was one of my favorites (I loved all the FASA games, I still play Battletech, and loved Renegade Legion too).

                  Personally, I'm in favor (with a very few reservations) of Private Police in situations like what we have here in Texas (for schools, hospitals, Airports and such) and for national security functions. The idea that I'm not so terribly fond of is the idea of Contract Private "Policing". I'm not a fan of "regular" contract security either, but as long as the companies and the security officers have no authority beyond what everyone else has (which here in Texas, is extensive enough IMO), thats ok.

                  But entrusting Government power to private, for profit comapnies who are only (really) accountable to a paying client and some unelected state security board? That does sound alot like police in Shadowrun IMO.

                  I hated working in contract security, the idea that someone else would get paid for me laying my butt on the line irked me. The thought of someone (other than the taxpayers) paying me to enforce public laws....well, that scares me. There has to be a line somewhere between public (and non-profit private) and the for profit public sector. And that goes both ways, I don't think Police Departments should be selling security either...
                  ~Black Caesar~
                  Corbier's Commandos

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I found the citation for the NC Company Police "combining of Church and State" problem. If more lawyers fought their clients arrests by in-house peace officers based on the idea that a religious institution asserts direct authority over those charged with police powers, it may change the laws.

                    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...invol=020049-1

                    "Appellee Andrew Boyd Jordan (“Jordan”) was stopped by campus police at Pfeiffer University and charged with driving while impaired and driving with a revoked license. Jordan filed a motion to dismiss the charges, on the ground that permitting a Pfeiffer University employee to act as a police officer fostered excessive governmental entanglement with religion and violated the Establishment Clause of the United States and North Carolina constitutions. The district court granted the motion to dismiss, a decision that the superior court affirmed on appeal. For the reasons set forth in the following opinion, we affirm."

                    To me, the police department working for a company is already for-profit. Its already an arm of the company, and will follow company policies. In NC, there was a meat packing plant that went from Security to Company Police. They had their certifications taken away for gross abuses of civil rights - strikebusting as law enforcement officers.

                    This illustrates how the interests of the institution you work for plus "bad cops" will equal civil rights abuses.

                    It is arguable that a private police company that contracts out has little vested interest in the political stupidities (strikebreaking, separation of church and state, etc) that affect in-house operations.

                    The solution to both problems, of course, is that the police force is a separate institution that does not answer to those in the company, only its own chain of command. And that chain of command stops at the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of that agency.

                    Keep in mind that there's no real difference in motivation of profit for in-house police and contract police. A company police force established by XYZ Enterprises could be slapped down by XYZ Enterprises if they're lowering profits just as easily as a contract force could be fired by XYZ Enterprises. Simply for doing their job.

                    When you have direct administrative control over your police force by virtue of them being company employees, its hard for those employees to say you're "obstructing justice.'

                    With a contract force... They can walk away from the contract after arresting those responsible for the criminal obstruction. They retain their law enforcement powers after walking away. The in-house force...

                    Officer to non-sworn manager: "You can't tell me not to enforce this law."
                    Manger: "Yes, I can, you're our employee. Well, you were. You're fired."

                    Now what?
                    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


                    • #11
                      Black Ceasar

                      Good post. One thing though, and it's NOT to support the police state theory. When I attended school in the 70's, SRO's were unheard of in most areas. The increasing police presence, public or private, has more to do with a breakdown in family values and society itself. Yes, it IS a sign that something’s wrong. It's not about a police state; it's about increasing lawlessness, disrespect for authority, and a lack of love toward ones fellowman.

                      Adding more police is basically treating the symptoms of a disease instead of the disease itself. Unfortunately, that's the only option on the table right now.
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                        To me, the police department working for a company is already for-profit. Its already an arm of the company, and will follow company policies.
                        I'm not understanding what you mean here. In my state there is a disticnt differance between for-profit corporations and non-profit institutions.

                        Take for instance the one I used to work for, the Baylor Health Care System , it's non-profit, so by law, any "profit" it makes HAS to go right back into the corporation for improvements allowed by law.


                        The solution to both problems, of course, is that the police force is a separate institution that does not answer to those in the company, only its own chain of command. And that chain of command stops at the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of that agency.
                        That creates a huge accountability problem if a dept is truly autonomous #1. #2, it would be nothing more than Semantics mostly, the Chief works for someone, someone who can fire him.


                        When you have direct administrative control over your police force by virtue of them being company employees, its hard for those employees to say you're "obstructing justice.'

                        With a contract force... They can walk away from the contract after arresting those responsible for the criminal obstruction. They retain their law enforcement powers after walking away. The in-house force...
                        Why would an institutonal (in house or contract or whatever) police force ever arrest someone like that?

                        In both Institutional Police Departments I've worked for (1 public, 1 private), the PD would make the case, then hand it off to an outside authrotiy for the arrest, not because anyone was scared of retaliations (hell we WISH they'd retaliate, thats early retirement for us after the lawsuit), but to remove any appreance of conflicting interests.

                        When I was at Baylor (I was a non-sworn PSO there), the Detective Squad made a case against the executive VP who was in the PD's direct Chain of Command. They handed off to the Sheriff's Office, the guy was arrested and eventually plead to a lesser charge and was forced to resign.

                        Working for the College District (a special government district), we hand such cases to the Dallas County Public Integrity Unit.


                        Contractors, on the other hand.....

                        Contractors live off of their contracts. No contracts, no business. I've watched contract security companies (I was working for at the time) bend over backwards to keep a contract.

                        I would hate to see what got "bent" when a contract police force was trying to keep it's contract........
                        Last edited by Black Caesar; 01-06-2007, 06:02 PM.
                        ~Black Caesar~
                        Corbier's Commandos

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                          I found the citation for the NC Company Police "combining of Church and State" problem. If more lawyers fought their clients arrests by in-house peace officers based on the idea that a religious institution asserts direct authority over those charged with police powers, it may change the laws.

                          http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...invol=020049-1

                          "Appellee Andrew Boyd Jordan (“Jordan”) was stopped by campus police at Pfeiffer University and charged with driving while impaired and driving with a revoked license. Jordan filed a motion to dismiss the charges, on the ground that permitting a Pfeiffer University employee to act as a police officer fostered excessive governmental entanglement with religion and violated the Establishment Clause of the United States and North Carolina constitutions. The district court granted the motion to dismiss, a decision that the superior court affirmed on appeal. For the reasons set forth in the following opinion, we affirm."

                          To me, the police department working for a company is already for-profit. Its already an arm of the company, and will follow company policies. In NC, there was a meat packing plant that went from Security to Company Police. They had their certifications taken away for gross abuses of civil rights - strikebusting as law enforcement officers.

                          This illustrates how the interests of the institution you work for plus "bad cops" will equal civil rights abuses.

                          It is arguable that a private police company that contracts out has little vested interest in the political stupidities (strikebreaking, separation of church and state, etc) that affect in-house operations.

                          The solution to both problems, of course, is that the police force is a separate institution that does not answer to those in the company, only its own chain of command. And that chain of command stops at the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of that agency.

                          Keep in mind that there's no real difference in motivation of profit for in-house police and contract police. A company police force established by XYZ Enterprises could be slapped down by XYZ Enterprises if they're lowering profits just as easily as a contract force could be fired by XYZ Enterprises. Simply for doing their job.

                          When you have direct administrative control over your police force by virtue of them being company employees, its hard for those employees to say you're "obstructing justice.'

                          With a contract force... They can walk away from the contract after arresting those responsible for the criminal obstruction. They retain their law enforcement powers after walking away. The in-house force...

                          Officer to non-sworn manager: "You can't tell me not to enforce this law."
                          Manger: "Yes, I can, you're our employee. Well, you were. You're fired."

                          Now what?

                          The above was a problem for the religious institutions because of the separation of church and state clause in the constitution.

                          North Carolina addressed that problem last year with the implementation of a separate law governing these institutions.

                          Now the Campus Police are separate from the Company Police if in statute and name only but still it was addressed in the new statute 74-G

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            oh you better believe i posted that on o.com

                            and btw my company is the one with the durham transit terminal contract, and i've worked there many a time...it gets really interesting at times
                            Be Professional And Courteous, But Never Forget The Next Person You Meet You May Have To Kill.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't know how many of you know what the Shadowrun reference was, but to a large portion of people from my generation and the generation after me, they're referring to role playing game from the 1990s in the gamer culture that had large multi-national corporations and their shock troops: Corporate Police forces. The connotation was not that good.

                              Shadowrun, I haven't played that in years! Hard to believe that it's in its fourth edition now. Riggers rule BTW

                              Comment

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