Public police and private security agencies will hardly find a compromise. Public police votes for limitation of private security rights. Private security becomes more popular with the increasing criminalization of the society. In reality, the objectives of public police and private security significantly differ.
The increasing popularity of private security agencies has raised substantial concern among the public police officers. The objectives of public police and private security differ, but public police agencies fear that private security will bury traditional policing standards, and will replace the major policies objectives and responsibilities.
In the general structure of public policing responsibilities, private security guards traditionally fulfill “supporting roles”. By hiring contractors, some federal agencies save up to 50 percent of their traditional expenditures. “One firm provides security for six major public transit systems around the country, transports prisoners, maintains booking and security for a juvenile assessment center, and supplies security for court houses in 40 states” (Youngs, 2004). Although private security agencies possess full range of policing equipment, personnel, and opportunities, such agencies are permanently restricted from fully participating in public policing.
Potentially, private security and public policing could have similar objectives, but public policing remains purely a state structure. Public police agencies use private security firms to concentrate on their major tasks. In many aspects, these strategies remind outsourcing principles, which are often employed business. In Ontario, private security was given some freedom “to observe, report, and deter […] elsewhere private security companies are offering quasi-police services in low-income housing projects” (Harman, 2000). Although private security and public policing could effectively combine their efforts, and work for the decrease of criminalization in the country, public policing insists on the fact that public police and private security cannot follow the same objectives.
Public policing continues fulfilling its “traditional crime-fighting duties. Private security carry out their mission of protecting their companies or clients’ people, property, and information, while at the same time serving the homeland security objectives” (COPS, 2004). Private security and public policing are still too far from joining their efforts and objectives for the benefit of criminal situation in society.
COPS. (2004). Private security / Public policing.
Harman, A. (2000). Private security use debated. Law & Order, 48 (6), pp. 125-126.
Youngs, A. (2004). The future of public / private partnerships. FBI Law Enforcement
Bulletin, 73 (1), pp. 7-12.