There is a direct relationship between the law and private security. This is due to the fact that in many states in America, the responsibility of law enforcement does not rest in the hands of the police alone, but in private security firms as well. This means that private security personnel do have certain rights similar to typical policemen such as the right to arrest, search, and bring criminals to justice. Private security firms indeed hold a powerful role in the aspect of protecting citizens and enforcing the law in this country. In fact, security firms have often been called “the private arm of the law”.
A recent online news clip from the Washington Post indicated that “private security guards have outnumbered police officers since the 1980s” (Goldstein, 2007). Furthermore, private security guards sometimes dress like SWAT teams and they make citizen arrests.
Very often, employing the services of a private security group can be extremely helpful, especially to corporations, who need twenty four hour security. This industry is now expanding to other fields of law enforcement, such as extensive criminal investigation and patrolling larger districts and neighborhoods.
Because the private security industry is now considered as the private arm of the law, it must also abide by the law. For example, each weapon issued to security guards and personnel must be properly licensed. Private security must also cooperate with the state police if any threat for national security surfaces. Although private security firms hold strong law enforcement rights, they could not and should not exceed the laws of the land and the police department itself.
Goldstein, A. (2007). The Private Arm Of The Law: Some Question The Granting Of Police Power To Security Firms. The Washington Post, p. A04. Retrieved October 11, 2007, from http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/01/AR2007010100665.html