Historical Development of Private Security in the United States Pamela Adamoyurka
University of Maryland University College
Without a doubt the profession of private security has evolved over time. Today if you were to ask group of Americans at what point in history did the need for private security became significant, you’re likely to receive one of the two answers. Half would say toward the ending of World War II, because many of the man returning from the war had prior military police training and acquired work within the private sector as private police (security). While the younger individuals within the group will likely respond, private security became significant after 9/11; due to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) being created in 2002 (Maggio, 2009; Ortmeier, 2009). By and large the private security personnel has an extensive history and a long time line of origins. Taking a look at the American culture many traditions, customs and practices developed overtime and so did the profession of private security in some aspect. Throughout early history the need for private security was relevant in some areas more than others. The wealthy employed private personnel (security) to protect and safeguard not only themselves and their family but what we today in modern times would consider their wealth, things like money, jewels, and cattle. Due to the fact that in early times there was no such thing as a bank many of the wealthier kept these things in their homes in retrospects this would attract thieves invaders or their neighbors whom wanted their wealth and land (Maggio, 2009). This need for safety of person and property is what got the ball rolling all within itself.
The historical development of private security in the United States can be traced back the early 1800s, starting with the development of the first public police departments in Detroit, Michigan (Ortmeier, 2009). Within this paper we will take a journey through the historical factors leading to the significant growth of private security, the private security's move toward professionalism, and why today’s security professional might be interested in the history of the industries development.
The beginning of growth for private security would slowly begin with what is today known as the English Common Law. The English were the first to develop a hierarchy of commands within a government system of capturing criminals. Under the English Common Law; in the late 1600s to early 1700s the industrial revolution extensively demanded change upon both the economic and social conditions. During this time the small villages where turning into cities and the crime rate was on a rise. By 1692 the Highwayman Act was put into effect, creating the development of the thief takers. Thief takes where groups of forerunners and bounty hunters whom commence capturing thieves and recovering stolen property, and turning them in for a profit. As great as it sounds, this Highwayman Act didn’t go as planned fact it backfire, the forerunners and bounty hunters began steeling goods and turning them in to collect the profit themselves (Ortmeier, 2009).
Next would come what is marked in history as the first salary paid security force; the Bow Street Runners. The Bow Street Runners where developed by Henry Fielding, chief magistrate of the Bow Street Runners in London.
The criminal justice system in the United States was overall developed from the English Common Law structure (Ortmeier, 2009). Within the first half of the nineteenth century American saw a rise in urbanization, crime, and a mass need for a better law enforcement. Although private police (security) existed, it was on a very small scale. They were typically securing small business and protecting the small scale merchants. In actuality private police played a significant role in keeping the peace, yet it became obvious within particular cities, the centralization of a police force was needed (Nemeth, 2005)....
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