Public Police and Private Security

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The public police industry has never had a close relationship with the private security profession. Public police officers have typically viewed private security as “law enforcement wanna-bes” (p. 247, Clifford, 2004). Private security is viewed this way because the training requirements are different and in many ways less extensive than what is required of public police officers (Australian Institute of Criminology, 1998). This has been a controversial issue in the past but in recent years has been changing for the better. Private and public security agencies have begun to bridge the gaps between the two industries. Private security professionals have been given a bad reputation in the past because of the many abuses of power and the misunderstandings of the main goals of private security. Take for example, Allan Pinkerton started his own security firm in the 1800s and was not very well liked by many for the program he devised to protect railroad companies from internal threats (Clifford, 2004). Many people thought he and his company were out to get them which brought about negative feelings toward him. This very same feeling that security companies are out to get people is still alive today and some security professionals are even less respected today. Many people view private security in a negative light because they believe them to be minimum wage help and uneducated. This feeling toward private security has led to stereotypes in which they are called “Rent-a-Cops” and other derogatory names. Currently, many individuals are working to change the negative image that is associated with private security. Police officers also have been given a bad reputation because of the actions of some people who have been on-the-job in the past. Many law suits and uprisings have been a result of the American people’s inability to trust and their dislike of police officers. However, like the security industry, they too, are working to make the industry more professional and...
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