March 10, 2013
Relationship between Private and Public Police
The police in our society carry with them a deep sense of tradition and honor that stems from generations of serving and protecting the public. This pride can, at times, lead some police to believe that they are the last line of defense with the public they serve and any other entity that appears to be encroaching on that territory should be mistrusted. This attitude does not mix well with others attempting to perform the same job function such as private security. Thankfully this is not the consensus of all public police officers. Most public police understand that they require the assistance of the private sector and will welcome the help where it is offered. The public police also understand that that private security entities are often times the first to respond at many of the incidents that later involve the public police. It has been estimated that nearly 85 percent of the country’s critical infrastructure is protected by private security (Ohlhausen, 2004). When the private security firms handle such a large majority of the policing duties it is essential that the relationship between the private and public police forces relate well to one another and cooperate whenever possible. One of the largest issues with the relationship between the public and private police stems from the general population’s opinion. The public police are looked upon as the legitimate police force and the private security departments are looked upon with very little respect by the community at large. This can be seen at most shopping malls when someone is committing a crime. When the security officer intervenes that situation may only deescalate slightly and the participants still look upon the security officer with little respect. However, when a public police officer arrives the situation is typically handled swiftly and all...