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  • Special Police?

    What do you all think of security officers having police powers on private property and calling themselves Special Police? Just saw an article about them (archangel special police in Washington dc) and I was intrigued as to what the rest of you thought. I think that they are not a good idea, or that they should at least get some extra training, so was wondering what y'all thought.

  • #2
    Where I'm @ it wouldn't be taken kindly at all for a security guard to call himself a cop.

    With that being said, state ordinances read that the guard can act against criminals - ON THEIR ASSIGNED POST, DURING THE DESIGNATED SHIFT - in the capacity of private law enforcement.

    But the client isn't really concerned with "law enforcement;" only to keep order on their premises & their property undamaged/unstolen.

    We cannot, however, arrest for or formally charge criminals with violating statutes unless said guard is a sworn, active law enforcement officer on an off-duty gig.

    As far as non-sworn personnel on duty, advise first, then detain if necessary - so you're not the one arresting them; just getting them arrested.)

    Per state law, any citizen can arrest for a felony witnessed directly but it's rarely ever necessary to go that route while actively on a security detail.

    Of course, most security companies - especially the unarmed ones - hardly give their staff that much leeway as there is little to no immunity for non-sworn staff if injury [tort] or death results in the course of a detention. Not to mention if no crime is later determined to have been committed (false imprisonment, kidnapping).
    Last edited by The Enforcer; 01-08-2020, 02:37 AM.

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    • #3
      Agreed. I'll be kind and say those that use that title are trying to indicate that they have arrest powers or a limited commission, as opposed to the usual O&R guard. But "police" is a specific term (and that's why it is restricted on uniforms, cars, etc.) - it indicates that you attended a law enforcement academy and have specific legal powers given to you by the state or federal government, as well as your specific agency.

      I think you will definitely start seeing this become an issue on the west coast, as the heroin and homeless crisis continues to spiral out of control, and people are getting tired of liberal mayors and judges shackling the local police and protecting petty criminals under the guise of "compassion." Private businesses are already understanding that observe and report does nothing; they will eventually demand their security to fill in the gaps by forcibly removing trespassers or detaining suspects. A new title may be in order, one that doesn't have "police" in it, but indicates an officer with broader powers and discretion.

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      • #4
        The DC SPO program is basically an upgraded security officer. They have a 1-week academy and you have to be sponsored by a security company prior to being able to go. Outside of an LEO they are the only security that can carry a hard badge or have shields or a star emblem on their uniform shirt. The O&R guards are so neutered in DC in regards to what they can have with them when on duty it is not even funny.
        Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman's truncheon over the anarchist's bomb.
        Spiro Agnew

        Why yes I am a glorified babysitter , I am here to politely ask you to follow the rules , if not daddy comes to spank you and put you in time out its your choice - Me

        Luck is a red hair woman , if you ever dated one you know there remarkably dangerous , my personal preference is to be competent and let luck join the ride if she so chooses .- Clint Smith

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        • #5
          Originally posted by psycosteve View Post
          The DC SPO program is basically an upgraded security officer. They have a 1-week academy and you have to be sponsored by a security company prior to being able to go. Outside of an LEO they are the only security that can carry a hard badge or have shields or a star emblem on their uniform shirt. The O&R guards are so neutered in DC in regards to what they can have with them when on duty it is not even funny.
          From what I understand since private citizens cannot carry firearms in DC (including security guards), the SPO program was basically a way for public and private agencies to be able to have armed security guards, and usually have no intention of having them do anything law enforcement-related.

          From what I understand Security Police programs in the US have varying different implementations and types of authority, and I am not opposed to the idea IF it is done properly. Of course, I would expect the recruiting, training, equipment etc. to be different depending on the type of authority they are given. For example, I wouldn't expect someone who is a sSPO for the purposes of writing parking tickets and towing cars to have the same level of training as someone who is a SPO for the purposes of enforcing criminal law.

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          • #6
            I know this thread is dead, but I just wanted to add that in Wisconsin any security company can call themselves a "private police department". They appear to be around a bit in that state, and have officers in both armed and unarmed capacity. They also are given the same emergency lighting requirements as public law enforcement. Not gonna lie that's both intriguing and a little scary to me.

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            • #7

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  They have security police officers at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA, in addition to regular security officers. I work with a guy who used to work as an SO there and he said that they're required to have their POST basic academy course certificate in addition to the NASA federal arrest authority course, but unlike city/state/federal LE, they cant carry off duty because they're contract security and therefore dont fit the definition of a qualified law enforcement officer. I hear only a couple are retired LE and the rest are all former LE who either got fired or didn't make it through FTO or probation. Kind of sounds like the island of misfit toys.

                  As far as whether it's a good thing or bad thing, I suppose it's fine so long as they are professional in how they perform their job.

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                  • #10
                    Well, since the country is so busy weakening the real police, I guess private police is the next step to fill the gap. It is semantics at some point, but I think we need to keep the word "police" reserved for civil servants who work for a actual government agency.

                    There does need to be a distinction between O&R guards and special security officers that have more training and broader powers, but that's a whole other thread...

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                    • #11
                      I'm predicting that "private police" or "special police" officers will become more and more around because of the backlash. However, this might not be such a good thing either.

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