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Police: Private Police and Industrial Security

Nature Of Security Work

Very little is written about the nature of private police work. Public perceptions of private security attest to the assumption that security work is done by "rent-a-cops" who lack the requisite training and education. The nature of private policing involves more than patrol and guard duties. Activities may include establishing perimeter security through such elements as guard services, signs and notices, fence design criteria, protective barriers, locks, alarms, and protective lighting. While most of these responsibilities are tied to asset protection, these activities are also designed to prevent insiders and outsiders from committing crimes. Employee theft is a major concern for all workplace organizations. Measures are designed to prevent other detrimental activities such as workplace violence, drugs in the workplace, and white-collar crime.

Security work includes fire protection with attention focused on the causes of fire, fire brigades, fire control surveys, fire alarm technology, and fire protection plans. Security departments are also concerned with access control issues including swipe cards and badge systems, personnel movement, automated access systems, degrees of restriction, and other classification systems that support access control.

It is not uncommon for security departments to be involved in the planning stages of developing business environments. Security analysts interface with architects to ensure security features, such as electronic surveillance equipment, in the design stage. Personnel security is another feature of security departments. Some of the tasks included within this area include employee crime, employee suitability, preemployment screening, executive protection, and other evaluation programs relating to personnel.

Another major function of most security departments is risk management, disaster management, and emergency preparedness. Some of these tasks include risk identification, risk analysis, risk reduction, and program evaluation. Risk management includes defining vulnerabilities, and planning and conducting security surveys. Emergency planning and the management of both natural and human-induced disasters constitute the core of a security department's functions. Within this framework of risk, insurance plays an important role for security managers, who must consider the application of varieties of insurance such as bonds, federal crime insurance, kidnap and ransom insurance, fire insurance, and liability insurance.

Security managers are also concerned with computer crime and information security. One of the major tasks for large corporations is securing proprietary information from unwanted disclosures. Other functions include legal and liability issues.

Security managers have to be concerned with developing strategic alliances and relationships within the organization to maintain security effectiveness. In addition, security managers have to develop relations with the media, public law enforcement, fire departments, and other security organizations.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawPolice: Private Police and Industrial Security - Scope Of Security Work, Nature Of Security Work, Legal Authority, Public Vis-à-vis Private Police