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Public Vs Private Policing

Essay by   •  April 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,024 Words (9 Pages)  •  3,031 Views

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Public policing has been thought to have what is called a monopoly on the policing which was until the private sector of policing increased. In the private sector this was said to be coming forth as a new industry, this is not a new idea plus it predates public policing as witnessed today (Wilson, 1994). The areas of public and private policing may have most of the same similarities, but they also have their differences and sometimes the distinction dealing with the two areas are often confused. Private police tend to look like and also have been known to have a similar behavior as their public counterparts. When trying to describe their functions it there can be a slight similarity with what jobs the two have to perform. Even though both sectors have a mirror image of each other but only to a certain extent (Nalla and Newman, 1990)

When it comes to the roles and responsibilities of policing, this will mostly depend on what sector the individual is attached to, meaning are they working for the public or for private. To gain a clear and better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of both sectors are compared with policing as a whole. The private officers are basically given the duty to protect a private organization by making sure all of their assets, whether it may be computers, cars, and furniture. The officers usually are those that work for many different obtain positions with an individual or many are employed by individual or private companies. While on the other hand the public is made for just what it is called public, they are made responsible for protecting and making sure crime is prevented, assisting with a victim if there is one, and also making sure there is calm but occasion interaction with the community area that they are covering.

Between the two of these, the way they are made up can make a great deal of determining how the officers are trained and how what salary they are paid. Private Officers will tend to make more money, only because they are working for a private agency and they will pay to make sure their property is protected, while the public officers will take the chances of being laid off at times, and not making near what the private sector officers are making. With the many differences that occur between the public and private officers, both like any other law enforcement agency will still have to go through a certain academy to gain their education and training that is required by their particular sectors.

The definition of public policing can be defined as a role that the officers will play in a community and the kind of perception that the society will put on the effectiveness of their work. Many public officers are seen to be viewed as a role model in the neighborhood they patrol, and many are sometimes feared and some are respected.

With the increase of the changes in society such as "mass private property", the response has been an increase of private policing (Shearing and Stenning, 1983) in many forms such as massive shopping complexes, movie theaters, grocery stores, large estates, and residential communities. These types require the relentless coverage of surveillance to make sure that all patrons that frequent the areas are kept safe. More that often people that move into certain areas for living and shopping purposes only do so if the area they are moving in has adequate security. With the advancement of technology in the new age video type surveillance cameras, cellular phones, all the new types of computers, and global positioning satellites, have made for the need to increase the security staff.

Public police are there to handle issues the public may have and to gather and regulate rules and conditions of the judicial system, while the private officers are more concerned with personal and corporate protection. The police are "persons with a special legal status employed by governments to preserve the peace" (Shearing,Farnell and Stenning,1980) Policing in the private sector has been compared to policing in the public sector as being active, or in other words could be preventative to proactive instead of reactive. Where public police generally react to the crime, private police through surveillance and presentation are seen to prevent crime (Wilson, 1994).

In the community, policing by the private entities can serve numerous different roles. Major components in the private security sector come in the form of guards, alarms, and private investigative services. Over time there has been a spark in the amount of security systems that have been places in personal cars, homes, and even business's. This has been due to the fact that people want to protect themselves and their personal property. Within the marketplace, security has been looked as a commodity. This placed a value not only on the material but also a personal fear and feelings". (South, 1988)

Public officials may tend to hire bodyguards from private firms to give them the protection they need, along with their family members and property. Most guards are the front line of defense when it comes to the interaction with the public. Most guards will be placed in areas such as malls, small factories, at the airport, and stations that are watched. More so many private investigators that are out there in the will have some of the least contact with the public. This is mainly so because the investigators are hired more by individuals and small businesses and they will more than likely be working in a behind the glass type of policing, meaning they are behind the scenes and will not deal with the public. Policing in the public sector will do the job of maintaining the peace in a community help prevent crime from happening, and to make peace. These are mainly employees of the government and are paid by the taxes dollars that are collected

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