Public versus Private Policing
April 19, 2010
Public versus Private Policing
In recent years, both the numbers of police officers in the United States has been declining. However, the rates for many white-collar crimes, such as computer crimes, employee theft, and fraud, are increasing. Public policing has been known to have a monopoly on policing until the increased trend in private policing in the United States. Public and private policing have many similarities as well as differences and the distinction between public and private police are often blurred. Public Policing
Public policing has always been known as the frontline in protecting the society and one of their major assets is the public’s accountability. Recent studies have shown that to some people, a uniformed police can transmit a feeling of respect and security, and through that, he may even be preventing crime just by their presence. The role of public policing is governing both the future and the past: preventing crime and rendering justice with respect to past crimes. Its favored strategy is deterrence on punishment because punishment promises both to prevent crime and to exact a cost for misdeeds already done. Public policing must provide a full range of police services to the public. Public police are particularly experienced, trained, and skilled in the exercise of persuasive authority to command compliance with their safety orders and needs. They are also trained and effective in the use of tactics such as undercover policing, arrest, use of weaponry to protect themselves and the public as-needed, and investigation related to preparing cases for referral to the prosecutor. On the other hand, public police must be taught ‘how to’ do community policing, a type of policing that requires an entirely different approach and language. It requires a different manner of speaking and a different choice of words from traditional policing. It requires a different mindset and attitude toward the public, and a different kind of leadership from the top down. Community policing requires officers to stay put in one neighborhood and build long-term relationships with shoppers, residents, businesses, and employees. It requires officers to be much more proactive and friendly than normal, receptive to suggestions, and willing to use a participatory process to set at least some policing goals and priorities. It requires language not command-oriented and language that does not tend to escalate emotions or raise hackles of those being questioned and not in trouble, or those causing disturbances. It rarely requires arrest as the first resort. It usually requires conversation, negotiation, and mediation that move both parties toward the center, and toward a mutually satisfactory reduction of tempers and threats. Public policing is known to society as the police who protect our communities and arrest those individuals who commit crime. Public policing has the role to maintain law and order, preserve peace, and prevent crime. Public police are employed by governments and paid for by tax dollars and grants. Private Policing
Private policing, while emerging as a new industry, is not a new phenomenon and predates the existence of public policing as witnessed today. Private police look and behave as if public police and describing their function often involves a comparison of the activities and responsibilities of the two. The increase of private policing has been in response to many changes in society such as the increase of "mass private property" in the form of large shopping complexes, cinemas, large retail stores, and large compound style housing estates or gated communities. These require constant surveillance for the safety of shoppers and residents. In fact, adequate security has become one of those value-added extras that attract customers and residents. Technological advances, such as high-tech video surveillance cameras,...
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