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Police: Private Police and Industrial Security - Scope Of Security Work

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Specific occupations within the security profession are diverse. They include security officers, asset protection personnel, security directors of businesses, security supervisors, vendors of alarm services, investigators (e.g., those involved in pre-employment screening, background checks), technology services (e.g., access control systems), and guard services. Both contract and in-house security personnel can be found in a range of industries that include utilities, transportation, manufacturing, oil, pharmaceutical, health care, banking, insurance, retail, hotel, food services, and sports. In-house security departments in certain industries employ hundreds of people to coordinate security for thousands of employees. Some service industry security units monitor several hundred thousands of clients. In certain large industries, in-house security operations typically have departmental budgets exceeding $15 million. These figures generally exclude budgetary allocations for contract security, security performed by nonsecurity units, and security consultants.

Despite significant differences in the scope of work between law enforcement officers and private police, security professionals as a group are in various ways similar to law enforcement officers. First, they are similar in the sense that both organizations serve like interests. Though private security serves the narrow interests of the organization for which it works both groups strive to reduce crime and prevent client losses. Thus, each organization's goals include order maintenance functions and protecting their respective clients. Interestingly, while the client base of private security is arguably smaller, the fact remains that with the expansion of large, privately owned property—where much of public life takes place—the role of private and public policing has become increasingly blurred. Consequently, private security is not only concerned with corporate interests but also the public who constitute a significant client base.

Second, security professionals often are former law enforcement or military personnel who join the private sector upon retirement. The presence of a large number of such personnel in private security has had considerable influence on the organizational culture of security departments. The military model has served as the framework for instilling professionalism in private policing through militarization, a process that has fostered such attributes as obedience, physical training, education, and the display of uniforms. At the same time, historically, law enforcement agencies hired individuals with prior military experience. Law enforcement remains the primary occupation for military retirees and military "wannabees," as it provides all the trappings, such as uniforms, caps, and brass, available to military professionals.

Finally, the observable behavior of personnel in both organizations is often identical. For example, security personnel wear uniforms and drive vehicles similar to those of law enforcement. Further, some of the functions such as securing premises, patrols, and crowd management are very similar for both organizations.

The fact that personnel employed in private security, especially in recent years, far outnumber law enforcement officers and that they engage in pursuits similar to those of law enforcement, suggests that the police could have willing partners in cooperative efforts to achieve common goals.

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about 2 years ago

I want to know regarding the scope of security and other aspects.

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about 7 years ago

Why can I never find the name of the person who actually wrote the article. I would love to cite this material but this website never provides the name and date of the articles.