Comparing and Contrasting the Roles & Responsibilities of Public & Private Policing
CJA Survey of Justice and Security
By: TaShauna D. Hayes
Prof. Nancy Arce-Laporte
For years, public police have “walked the beat” and protected our streets from criminal activity. However, with an ever changing society, policing, as a whole, is evolving to combat the never ending battle on crime. Public and private policing have many similarities, as well as differences and the distinction between public and private police are often blurred. Private police look and behave like public police and describing their function often involves a comparison of the activities and responsibilities of the two. Despite the differences, public and private police tend to mirror each other to a certain extent. 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, computers, mobile phones, and satellites have increased the need an increase of security personnel for monitoring, investigating and analyzing. Private policing has been described in many different ways such as, policing activity of crime prevention; detection and apprehension carried out by private organizations or agents for commercial purpose. It is described to include those people who work for a security company or are employed by an individual or firm to carry out security work, crowd control or private investigations. Private policing is provided by a private individual or organization, rather than by a public body or the state like public policing is. Private police are seen to be concerned with the protection of personal and corporate interest while public police represent the interests of the public and seek to enforce the regulations of the judicial system. The police are "persons with a special legal status employed by governments to preserve the peace" (Button 2002) Private policing, in comparison to public policing, has been described as passive policing as to active policing, or as proactive and preventative rather than reactive: where public police generally react to the crime, private police through surveillance and presentation are seen to prevent crime (Button 2002) Private policing targets private crime and is in the business of protecting private and corporate interests. I am going to compare the roles and responsibilities of private and public policing and share the similarities and differences and touch on the importance of both aspects of policing. Defining Private & Public Policing
Private policing can serve as many different roles in our community. The major components of private security are alarm systems, security guards and investigative services. The increase of security systems installed in cars, homes and businesses have said to be the deep-rooted needs to feel secure and to feel that their lives and property which are personally valued are protected, and that offenders can be identified and also obtained. Security has been considered to be a commodity, to be bought and sold in the market place. The value of such a commodity reflects not only material criteria but also an inner human dimension of personal fear and feelings". (Button 2002) Many individuals that are in the public eye also hire private security as bodyguards to protect themselves, along with their valuables. The increase of mass private property such as privately owned shopping malls has increased the need for store security guards for loss...
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