Due Process Versus Crime Control
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In our democratic society both public policing and private security are very important entities. Both entities seem very alike from the outside looking in but their roles and responsibilities are very distinguished. Public policing can be defined as, “The arrangements made in all civilized countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law” (Schmalleger, 1995). The primary objective is prevention of crime. Most of their work could be considered a peacekeeping operation. On the other hand, private security differs from public police in numerous ways. If not closely observed, people in the community can easily mistake them for peace officers. According to the book Criminal Justice Today, “Private security constitutes a fourth level of enforcement activity in the United States today” (Schmalleger, 1995). Personally I see private security as a partnership to public policing. They handle the public services that public placing doesn’t have the time, manpower, or desire to do. Private security has been defined as, “Those self-employed individuals and privately funded business entities and organizations providing security-related services to specific clientele for a fee, for the individual or entity that retains or employs them or for themselves, in order to protect their persons, private property, or interests from various hazards” (Schmalleger, 1995).

Furthermore, the histories of public policing and private security can be traced back hundreds of years. Public policing really wasn’t an organized professional establishment until Sir Robert Peel’s 1829 Metropolitan Police Act was passed. Peel’s police became the model for modern-day police forces throughout the western world. The organization of American law enforcement which includes public policing can probably be considered the most complex in the world. “In America, there are three major legislative and judicial jurisdictions that exist today. The federal, state, and local levels have all created a variety of police agencies to enforce its laws” (Reith, 1956). Unfortunately, there has been little uniformity amongst the three levels as to naming functions or authority of enforcement agencies. This complicated matter is even more evitable with the growing number private security firms which operate on a profit basis and provide services which have traditionally been seen as law enforcement activities. Likewise, private security evolved from the need for additional individual’s protection for humans and their property. Dating as far back as Ancient Times, people used private security to guard lakes, land, and dwellings. Even shepherds were used to guard flocks and warn of raids by other tribes in the olden days. “In America, private security was developed first by Alan Pinkerton. He developed the first contract security for private railroad security and interstate railway crime” (Schmalleger 1995). Just like Sir Robert Peel’s professionalized public policing, Pinkerton developed an elaborate code of ethics for his agency. His employees were prohibited from accepting personalized gifts. He thought that personalized gifts would become political and affect his employees’ ability to do their jobs effectively. Now that America has been so industrialized and urbanized, we see why the need for professional public policing and private security is so important. As you might expect, public policing main objective is to protect and serve our communities. Public policing will continue to manage major offenses like murder, rape, robbery, arson, and aggravated assault. While private security will manage crimes like larceny which includes shoplifters, purse snatching, vandalizism, and other minor crimes against property and people. Now, this does not mean that private security can’t help in the apprehension or detainment of criminals committing major or violate crimes. They just don’t book and take criminals into custody like public officers do. According to the book Elements of Criminal Justice, in some jurisdictions private police can make an arrest until public officers arrives ( Inciardi 1997).

Moreover, the roles and responsibilities of public and private police seem similar in nature but have distinct functions. One may see police work as conflicts between law officers and law breakers, dusting for fingerprints and searching for elusive clues, the investigation and chase, and the ultimate apprehension and arrest of criminals. One might also suggest that the functions of police are only the control of crime and the protection of society. However, police work goes well beyond these tasks. Most police work is peacekeeping operation. They spend much of their time intervening in situations that may represent potential threats to public order. These threats include dealing with hostile crowds, family disputes, and public belligerent

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Private Security And Public Policing. (April 9, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/private-security-and-public-policing-essay/