Relationship between Private and Public Police
September 7, 2014
Varrick Douglas SR.
Relationship between Private and Public Police
The relationship between private and public police officers has been a topic of debate for decades and still happens to be right up until this very day. Both have a responsibility to provide a certain level of protection to the public and still societal views of private and public police can be blurry. However, one view remains constant and that is society has just as much need for private police protection as they do public police protection. An understanding, positive working relationship between both private and public police is beneficial for all parties involved.
Although some similarities between public and private police exist, there are some differences that cannot be overlooked. One major difference is private police are contracted to provide protection to specific locations or people. Over the years the need for private security has increased tenfold. This increased need may be attributed to the growing number of criminal acts committed by juveniles, drug users, gangs, or even cybercriminals. It may also be attributed to the decreased number of sworn law enforcement, which has left many communities lacking adequate protection. Financially speaking, police departments around the country have been stretched and therefore have to rely on private security to pick-up the slack. Areas traditionally policed by sworn officers, such as parks and alleys, are patrolled by private security due to the lack of pay.
Recently police departments have had to cut back on the number of police offers and in turn had to shed some of the duties they deemed to be of less priority. Some of these duties include traffic control during weddings, funerals, and major sporting events. As a result of the cutbacks, some police officers take advantage of off-duty work as hired private police. They have the opportunity to satisfy public need and earn higher wages (Brunet, 2008). The financial situations plaguing police has had a major setback on the force and a great effect on over all policing and security for civilians. With this being said, many security companies are now trying to hire more security personnel and are realizing the importance of having better trained officers and are increasing the level of professionalism their security officer have for the sole purpose of establishing contracts and in order to compete against public law enforcement officers. Furthermore, public officers receive their salaries from tax payer's dollars and are backed up by strong unions.
I do find there to be a slight problem though between private and public police. I do not believe that civilians tend to respect public police like they respect private police. Maybe some of these individuals do not see that they are as strong willed like the private police because they do not have the same authority and power as a private police officer does. Therefore, some civilians can care less if a public police officer is around and they attempt to commit any crime they please or cause some trouble. So, I think there needs to be some kind of training to these public officers where they can give the same strong effect to civilians without doing certain things. Most civilians find public officers to be a joke and can care less because they think they are only there to watch over the place and in case anything should happen they are there to call private police because they can’t really do much.
Overall, the relationship between public and private police, initially it was the responsibility of the public police-law enforcement to provide protection to all society and the property that existed within the jurisdictions these police officers served. In contemporary day, public and private police officials can be found working hand-in-hand on a regular basis at numerous public and private events-functions. In addition, it is not uncommon to observe police officers working part-time jobs with private security officials in order to safeguard valuable assets. Certain jurisdictions throughout the United States, have giving special private security officers arrest powers as a result of the lack of public security officers available. I do believe that more training needs to be given to both private and public officers not only to better treat one another and think of each other as equal but to better help out communities from crime and troubles. Many public and private officers do not know how to work together because they can’t agree on certain rules and regulations. I think that is also a part of the reason why many civilians do not have any respect for public officers.
Sklansky, David AlanView Profile. The American Criminal Law Review 43.1 (Winter 2006): 89-105. Gurman, Sadie; Lord, Rich. McClatchy - Tribune Business News [Washington] 04 Oct 2012. Wikipedia.com