The Private Police

Private police

Private police are law enforcement bodies that are owned and/or controlled by non-governmental entities.
These can be firms to which the government contracts out police work (e.g. the 1975–1977 Oro Valley, Arizona-Rural/Metro contract, the 1980 Reminderville, Ohio-Corporate Security contract, the 1976 Indian Springs, Florida-Guardsmark contract, and the 1976 Buffalo Creek, West Virginia-Guardsmark contract), or they can be officers who contract with various firms to patrol the area, as in the case of the San Francisco Patrol Specials.
A specific type of private police is company police, such as the specialized railroad police or mall security. In some cases, private police are sworn in as government employees in order to ensure compliance with the law, as in the Kalamazoo, Michigan-Charles Services contract, which lasted 3½ years. Private police services are sometimes called "Subscription-Based Patrol."[1]
Private security firms in the U.S. employ more security guards, patrol personnel and detectives than the U.S. federal, state and local governments combined, fulfilling many of the beat-patrol functions once thought central to the mission of public police. It has been argued that the private police market furnishes tangible evidence about what people want but are not receiving from public police.[2] The growth of private policing is a phenomenon that is occurring all over the world.[3] In Australia, private and public police have conventionally been considered parallel systems, with private security as very much the lesser or junior entity.[4]
Private police typically focus on loss instead of crime; preventive methods rather than punishment; private justice (such as firing embezzlers or issuing no trespassing warnings to shoplifters) rather than public court proceedings; and private property rather than public property.[5] Most do not have the ability to arrest civilians, unless they are also peace officers.
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