Public versus Private Policing CJA 500 April 19, 2010 Chris Bragg 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.
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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, 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 aspects such as policing activity of crime prevention; detection and apprehension carried out by private organizations or agents for commercial purpose.
Private policing includes 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 policing targets private crime and is in the business of protecting private and corporate interests. 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 that 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 marketplace. The value of such a commodity reflects not only material criteria but also an inner human dimension of personal fear and feelings.
Many individuals who are in the public eye also hire private security as bodyguards to protect themselves, along with their valuables. Security guards are on the frontline of public interaction and contact in private security. Security guards are used in shopping malls, factories, airports and many other venues that need to be monitored. Crowd control has been part of the private policing roles at functions such as concerts, sporting events, school, and religious events. Private investigators are also among the private policing sector is one with the least amount of public contact.
Private investigators are hired by individuals or businesses for a certain purpose and work mostly behind the scenes or undercover doing surveillance. Security guards, surveillance, monitors and investigators are among the few that make up private policing. Comparing Private and Public Policing Private police are seen to be concerned with the protection of personal and corporate interest whereas public police represent the interests of the public and seek to enforce the regulations of the judicial system.
Private policing, in comparison to public policing, has been described as passive policing regarding active policing, or as proactive and preventative rather than reactive: in which public police generally react to the crime, private police through surveillance and presentation are seen to prevent crime. The ability of private security providers to select the tasks and duties that they perform is one of the major advantages that private policing has over public policing.
Private security regulates entry, limits participation, and excludes on the basis of presumption signs of bad behavior. Some examples would be securing gated communities by checking for residency or employment; dress (T-shirts, bare feet) in businesses that require appropriate attire; and behavior (obscene language, loud radios, roller blades, skateboards). This is also referred to as "profiling," which the public police have accused of many times. Unlike the public police, private police are not hampered by their regulatory actions by probable cause.
Private policing usually operates behind the traditional and legal boundaries in which the public police cannot lawfully cross unless by invitation or probable cause. This leads to the private policing sector developing a "broader enterprise than public policing, with a wider range of functions. " Another major benefit with the private providers of security is their flexibility. They can, and will, perform most tasks they are paid to do. Their customers can demand a lot from them, because they are directly answerable to paying clients and their needs.
The private entrepreneurs are also forced to 'do right' by the market. If they fail, they will lose their money. Public police do not have the negotiation factor and are paid on salary, no matter how they perform or how efficient they are in performing their duties. Many have said that private policing is for the rich and public policing is for the poor. This could be effectively argued based on the fact that private policing is not designed to consider the general good for society, like public policing.
Private policing is primarily protecting the interests of their paying clients and focuses more on "loss prevention," rather than "crime prevention. " Private policing has been scrutinized and concern have expressed that private security can be overly intrusive, less than scrupulous in its adherence to self-imposed guidelines, and on occasion, the law, and threatening to civil liberties. This could be a direct effect of poor standards, low pay, poor training, lack of good background checks, and also strong competition among private security companies.
Many criminologists have examined these factors affecting private policing and believe that the key to the problem lies in the issue of the accountability and regulation of the private security sector. Legitimacy is a problem among private policing because there are few, if any, statutes or laws that give the private security industry governmentally granted rights or powers. Although public policing does have higher standards, they are not regulated and accreditation is voluntary. Many police officers, both working and retired, take jobs in the private security sector for extra income.
Obviously, poor training and lack of experience cannot pertain to these individuals; however it has been argued that by hiring these experienced individuals at a higher pay, decreases the pay and funds for training to those without experience. Conclusion Public and private policing are major components in the criminal justice field. It would be impossible for our communities to feel secure without the combination of both forces. The focus has been on public and private policing to interact effectively and cooperate with each other. Understanding the importance of one another's responsibilities and roles could lead to a great partnership.
Throughout recent years, some law enforcement agencies have come to realize how to benefit from private policing. References T. Jones. (1998). Private Security and Public Policing. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o=30434190 Shearing and Stenning. (1983). The Interweaving of Public and Private Police. Retrieved on April 19, 2010 from web. mit. edu/gtmarx/www/private. html (May 12, 2009). Private security and public policing. Retrieved on April 19, 2010 from www. statcan. gc. ca › ... › 85-002-X_ › _Juristat
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